Chapter 6: The Second Edison is now available online.
Regular visitors to this site will note that it has been two weeks since a new chapter has been added (the intent is to post a new one every week); I have also received a bit of criticism that these "chapters" are so… brief. Both of these circumstances are a reflection of the complexity of the material.
On too many occasions, I have likened the process of researching and writing this biography to "assembling a jigsaw puzzle that has no picture on the box-top." That may not be an entirely original analogy, but it is nonetheless an accurate description of this undertaking. Stretching the metaphor a bit further, this is a large jigsaw puzzle, one with a thousand pieces at least, and some of the pieces have a curious habit of sticking to the table…. face down.
What is really happening here is a gradual process of looking into the puzzle box and picking out the pieces that look promising. Then I’m turning them around in my fingers and trying different placements. In some cases, I’ve just had to put the pieces back in the box until later. So it should come as no surprise that the process can seem tortuously slow at times. It is.
What you’re seeing so far are the pieces that I have managed to find at least the beginnings of a fit for. Yes, the pieces are small, but that’s the way it usually goes with jigsaw puzzles: the pieces rarely come out of the box in spontaneously assembled sections. All we are really doing now is trying to define the pieces.
I fully expect that as the the puzzle pieces fall further into place, there may be whole sections that have to be rearranged. We’ll just have to see how things look as the process unfolds.