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Powering the Dream by Alexis Madrigal

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chapter 2
The First Green-Technology Futurist
JOHN ETZLER WAS PROBABLY CRAZY, but not so much more than your average futurist. A friend of John Roebling, who built the Brooklyn Bridge, Etzler weaves in and out of history in the first half of the nineteenth century, showing up in odd locales and never quite being in the right place at the right time. We know him best for a slim, cockeyed volume he wrote in the 1830s called The Paradise Within the Reach of All Men, Without Labour, by Powers of Nature and Machinery: An Address to All Intelligent Men. It came with two afterwords addressed to President Andrew Jackson and Congress. Filled with mental sketches for tremendous machines that would harness the wind, waves, and sun for human purposes, ...

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