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NewsRadio 1330 KNSS>Audio & Video on Demand>>Sat 4/26/14 Author: The Inventor and the Tycoon: A Gilded Age Murder and the Birth of Moving Pictures by Edward Ball

Sat 4/26/14 Author: The Inventor and the Tycoon: A Gilded Age Murder and the Birth of Moving Pictures by Edward Ball

Apr 26, 2014|

The Inventor and the Tycoon: A Gilded Age Murder and the Birth of Moving Pictures by Edward Ball

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

I'm John back. This is the John -- -- Edward migrant that's one version of the name very famous but -- we'll find him. Everywhere in talking about early American art photography may bridge from my bridge Margaret Margaret is the man who comes from. The world of York the old world. And transforms himself when he comes to America especially California. My bridge is my favorite of the two characters featured in a wonderful and rich fun reading new book. The inventor and the tycoon. A gilded age murder and the birth of moving pictures. My bridges the photographer the tycoon. Is Leland Stanford. The man who along with his partners out of Sacramento -- Cisco. Get control of the central Pacific railroad the southern Pacific railroad and become the octopus. The man who led the railroad that corrupted the government that became the railroad. In the gilded age. Edward ball is the author I welcome Edward congratulations Edward and we go immediately to my -- this -- character. From small town outside of large town Great Britain London England. In that in the ages. Before. Anti -- we called it -- America and there it was before the transformation into the Victorian era. He's -- and 1830. What do we need to know about his childhood that suggests the future of this artist and -- Well thanks for having -- show. He was born Edward -- rich in 1830 in a town called Kingston. Fifteen miles. Southwest of London. Which was. Soon after his birth connected to this city by one of the first real it's. It was a remote place. But at the time that London was throwing outs telegraph and the real -- in all directions. And capturing its periphery. Into its center. And so my underage grew up. The son of a -- emergency was. Lower middle class. Kid in our. Measure these things. And has other family his mother's family were involved in. The -- trade. And goods back and forth from. The count of Kingston to -- And he grew up where. Probably an inadequate education he wasn't well healed enough to go to one of private schools he did not go to university. He seems to have been. -- interest -- in machines. And he went on. To an apprentice ship. In a printing. Factory in London. And his mid -- He seems to have been a restless. Young men. And is. Brothers. Hit a couple of Brothers. One of them died tragically. It is seen this forum. Edward brokerages altered diet under. -- forties. So he seems to have been a guy from the periphery of the London metropolis. Who. Was. Looking for some. Uh oh wait to get on board this machine age that was. Unfolding at a rapid pace. He tells his grandma that he's going to America to make a name for himself if I failed you will never hear of me again he says to his grandmother. And Denny takes sale on Liverpool for New York 1850. This is a period of time in which everyone was moving very rapidly is that as the males. As the rails are being laid in Europe and in America but it's before the war he arrives in New York he meets -- He meets a young man named Celek will become principal of overload and a thirty years. His friend and associate and a person he often communicates with any sells books in New York. Is this the climber of 1850 is that how to look at him he was selling books because he wanted to better himself. He joined the tide of immigration to America in the mid nineteenth century. The good bit of immigrants were from Ireland in the aftermath of -- 1840s and fifties. And he is a young man who was throwing himself. -- The American economy he was a bookseller. When he arrived in new York and 1850. And he changed his name once the arrived it was only dissatisfied with his name as a kind of way that he met and he tried to reinvent himself by being named himself every five or six years. Changing names dispelling the spelling of his first name on his last and to change it often. It changes frequently yeah. Right New York keep it became Edward Malloy great should. And in the it was a bookseller but suddenly something that happened that has since he arrived in New York there was. This fever on the West Coast of the United States. California -- Just entered the union and there was a gold rush going on. California and that country east and west or west hysterical. For this there's new episode. A brand new state. And that was the the birth of the American front here if you liked. And shortly after he got to new York and had begun to establish itself. As a bookseller he's got fever and decided to move to services. -- Cisco which was six years old time. -- Write it as it was a town in which anything good happen and would over the next century and a half. But is Margaret should not my bridge he's changing his name spelling all the time migration at this point. Arrives he arrives as a bookseller who means to make a name for himself in the town. I was struck senior researcher Edward how he's always putting his name in newspapers for classified ads he's very much wants to sell things and make. Oh make the world aware of him where to find -- finds -- -- calls that a book emporium on Montgomery street I think that was the main street in early salmon Cisco. So it's a joy to walk few elected detective following my bridge may -- Smart -- Through history is if he signaling you here I am this time and a bookseller in San Francisco. And as saying he's just one of many. Drivers. He's quite an American. Likes figure. Immigrant too is trying to push his way up in two society but. And he's he's not that different from the million other young men of his day and age. He becomes a moderately successful businessman as a bookseller at California is not. Digging for gold like so many of the other. Robert. What governor the other gambling sort of men who were there. He his two Brothers to dig for gold and one dies and the other one he sells its business to -- decides to go home to his mother. And I emphasize this because later in his life there is a puzzle about whether he has any human attachments whether he is. Only comfortable in his own company but that trip home to mother that was more than sentiment he it was almost some duty in the family is how I read that. I think so it has to say has has yet to Brothers who followed him to California. And and one of them died peacefully in California. And the other one stays on and my average. Has. As a kind of homesickness. So after ten years in America he decides to make triple. And so he takes off on a stage coach from California. Winding across. The great national expansive. Bumpy trip of 33. Days in duration. -- reached New York you know it's a ship back and and while he's on this stage coach. In the middle of Texas in the panhandle taxes. At night. The stagecoach which has six sources drawing its -- -- crest of the hill and begin -- distance. Down this long slope and the horses break into Alex and that coach driver cannot control them. And this stagecoach. Slips and thrown into a ditch. And Marc Rich. Thrown from the stage coach and into a tree. Or rock and he has sent into a couple. Which last for two. Yeah when he comes to. And begins to the ground and he has double vision -- Lost his memory. It's in quite bad -- And in this frail condition he's -- pretty good retreat to New York he decides to gather his energies. And frail condition comes home and. -- him on the trip home to his mother he he can't taste he doesn't remember the accident he has double vision. He goes to doctors to treat and will go now to the tight code because these two men are examples of characters that made up the gilded age and invented match of the institution that we celebrate today is California is Hollywood. Is the railroad that are now making come back but certainly international trade. The book is the inventor in the tycoon. Edward ball as the author next Leland Stanford I'm John -- this is John that system. You can. I'm John that's so this is the John bachelor show. Edward ball's new book is the inventor in the tycoon. And Edward has put together -- man who will meet each other and then separated meet each other and enjoy each others' conversations in the few years there together. One invents himself. Out of small town outside of London may bridge will run into that in the period that he's at home in 1860 when he comes back to America. After the civil war as -- 186566. Leland Stanford on the other hand is well known as the figure of central Pacific southern Pacific and Stanford. University named for -- Sunderland Stanford junior. Edward Leland Stanford comes from upstate ER modest Protestant background he does have an education -- educated in the law. And he marries and goes off to Wisconsin I've learned with surprise and always thought he'd gone to California -- to go to Wisconsin. I think that he was not quite adventuresome enough to go to California. As his Brothers -- Say it was farmer's boy from outside of Albany. He had six Brothers. He was the one selected by his parents he was born 81820. I think he was selected by his parents to have a higher education. What they could educate they have money to do. War. And he apprentices in law firm. And it becomes an attorney. And decides. Well there is different here I can't take a chance but I can't really get Gupta will go to California. His Brothers could have gone out to California to dig for gold. And two and try to make it quick -- So he moved to Wisconsin and becomes a small town lawyer in little town. A hundred miles north of Chicago. Which. Aspires to be another kind -- Chicago. And he set himself up that small town attorney handling. Small. Time criminals handling. Real estate transactions and what. And it it's a rather dull. Affair because this -- but he -- to not grow. So after. Just three years there. Something. Happens and he decides this is not quite enough as others are writing letters. Come to California -- to California. We're making thousand dollars. A week. And and so as you go. As he leaves his wife Jenny laughter of whom he married in Albany. He leaves her behind she goes back to live with her mother in town. And he travels after a fire in his books he destroyed he travels to California because his Brothers have a brilliant idea this is the way you write this novel Edward. His Brothers took a look for gold they're gonna sell things to the man who were looking for gold so they become I think at one point you say they're making 2000 a week. There are 2000 a month they become hardware and grocery store clerks to the 49ers. Yes if it was the wind it's way to make fast. Pit of money. So Stanford arrives in Sacramento. Which is the capital. California of course and Briscoe is growing city on the coast but this time. 1852. It has. I don't know and it twelfth completely come to Sacramento. It has a smaller number of a residence perhaps 7000. And he borrows money from his Brothers and set himself up at the grocer. In this very dusty very. Reckless very dangerous. -- But he prospers. Because he works all the time and he's been able fell. Bags of rice two men who needed to carry the bag right that the into the Sierras. -- -- -- -- -- And and after a few years. He decides of this this maybe. The best I can do is a very successful. Grocer but no more than that. And them about 1859. Or so. He makes. One good investment. He decides he will buy a bit of land. That is said to have gold audit. And it's called apple -- the world mine. He. Put down some money on this bit of land and and then at that altitude. Minor. And be the result is that he thinks a good chunk of change. And he becomes one of the most prosperous. -- is that in these in the capital city. -- has money to invest in this new scheme at the end of the decade in the 1860 this is right prior to war. The Republicans have on their platform that year 1860 June of 1960 when they met in Chicago convention. To build a transcontinental railroad and -- man in Sacramento his partners Huntington. Hopkins Crocker Brothers eventually and Sanford there the grocers and the hardware sellers of the talent they have cash Stanford has cash so they formed the central Pacific. Railroad -- format right then that it's the issue stock. And Edward it's one of those things where would you explain history by who's standing there when something happens. Yes it is it sort of like that. There were as saying a number of small businessmen who happened to be in the right place at the right time -- and here's something very curiously these things unfold. The civil war breaks out. 1860. -- And it's simultaneous is that congress decides. Well despite there being a war on we're going to do. Bankrupt and under writes the transcontinental railroad because we want to keep California. In the union. And Stanford and his partners. Set -- an entity without any prior experience really. In the in this kind of construction. And they call it central Pacific railroad and they've managed to. Become the beneficiaries. Of the largesse. Congress. And that they are the men responsible for the construction of the railroad from. Sentences go to Salt Lake City approximately. And another company that Union Pacific. -- comes responsibility for building line from. Salt Lake City. To Missouri. When we come back we'll put the two railroads together along with putting the inventor together with the tycoon Edward ball is the author of the inventor of the -- I'm John bachelor this conversation with the author and with all the officers are available on iTunes. Just go to iTunes and subscribe. I'm John -- And this is the John -- Russian. And John -- this is that John that's a show. Ever ball -- the author of the inventor in the tycoon and gilded age murder and the birth of motion pictures and we will get to motion pictures because neighbor that you might have guessed. Is the man who as the genius idea of how to make his pictures move piece of very enterprising photographer first hour. We have Edward Edwards a profile of Leland Stanford who becomes part of the central Pacific. The great railroad magnate. The post civil war period the -- those last spike is driven an 1868. And they become. Wealthy beyond imagination. In the latter part the nineteenth century known as the -- today meanwhile. Edward my average has been home with his mother in his family a residence. Until the war's over and he comes back to have and in that period he's been trying to invent things like washing machines but there are a lot of inventors of like good printing techniques for putting collar and -- Leo printing. And he goes off to Paris at one point. And stumbles across photography which was all the rage in Paris. Photography was the new technology there digital age any immediately takes two and Edward it was as if he'd been looking forward is aligned. Yes it's almost like an accident that way which would. With that and counters this new technology the men and embrace it he was nearly 37. Or 38 years old when he decided he was going to. Shoes set aside everything you've been doing this professionally. In books selling it to say try to. Become a small time in center for a period of time. That's 37 he changes. His career. And decide to pick up a camera and become a photographer. He returned to California. In. 1866. I believe. And with the help of friends. It's a solar -- at the Manny Matt when he got there and 1850. That's right yes with help friends pilot Selleck he's set himself up as a photographer for higher. And he's not good with people is that he's kind of the reclusive man is not socially at ease and so he's not able to. Get customers in the most conventional ways its -- -- it. As portrait subjects that was a very lucrative part. Early photography and still today. But my which which was rather bad as a portrait artist and he began to photograph the outdoors. And it just happens. That Yosemite. Valley. In central California. And become a destination for as small numbers of adventuresome travelers. Two to enjoy that the rapturous beauty of 25 -- law this seven mile long excuse me chasm in central California and -- -- some of those. Majestic. And arresting photographs of this valley and they've become. Big selling. Art objects. There there there are awarded prizes today makes a lot of money from the photographs and he certainly has is himself -- Prosperous career as it landscape photographer. So at this point if he. Is noted in the -- Cisco and central California as the man who you want to photographs. You're land property. Which is something he knows that. Do quite well and he meets this guy Leland Stanford. Who. By this time and Stanford. Has. Has quite a bit of property. One of the richest men in the west of the Mississippi. You suppose this is sometime in 1872. After he had some dealings with Crocker one of the partners in the central Pacific. Yes it's about 1871. Actually and Bruton. To Stanford. Who is that possibly richest men west of the city. The president of the central Pacific railroad. Umpires. And -- leverage to photograph his house. Just the normal. Kind of assignments for a photographer. Here away. The beautiful piece of property photographed by house -- So this. More rich who is -- rather. Uncomfortable. Somewhat eccentric man. Possibly had a injury from this stagecoach accident which affected his personality. He dresses shabbily. -- on the customs has had some. Beat up old -- and and and dusty. Black jacket and Stanford who favors. Tuxedos. Even during workday is and top -- and issues that are shines. Is the brightness of mirrors. And everything is is quite. It is in its place in Stanford -- the odd couple -- to spend time together. And into socialized together in begins talks late into the night. And become friends. And they become one of the strangest. Collaborating. -- that you can imagine in and in the history convention. And it's there friendship. That's me too what I believe. Is that the invention of motion pictures. Which ensues. Some years later. When Stanford. Gives more -- another photography site. To photograph his horses because he keeps the farm which is his race horses especially Trotter is. At a place that we now know as Palo Alto the home of Leland Stanford University the tragedy however to tuck it in here because. My average lives several lives inside and Edward notes he has distanced himself from people by dressing shabbily and staying by himself. He marries the young woman a woman almost twenty years younger than he has floor. He's fascinated assessed with very stairs center. He takes photographs of her out side. However he doesn't return affectionate she can recognize. She's a young woman he sets her up and house and he tries to give her all the money in the and the things that she wants however he doesn't giver. What she finds adequate affection and this leads to flora after the birth of their son. Falling in with another man who's invented himself. Larkin. And this was another profile of the nineteenth century inventing itself for me although Larkin will wind up a villain here. He very much could have been at the right place at the right time to and become one of the one of the gilded ages celebrated ones and not one of their -- schools that. Yes you're talking about a guy called Harriet Larkin. It was an englishman. With a polished education who decided to. Mean his prosperous family. It in London and come to the American west. Which he does. -- 187. The year so. And he is a Smart talking beautifully dressed. Men. Who. Seems to be. Adept at. Persuading people to. Give him their money. And so your -- and in San Francisco and and despite his polished outward appearance. On himself. In jail for trying to -- Another fellow out of of some of his travel money. And what he's bring himself from jail invention is going -- elections -- -- and some. And articulate gentleman and then himself as a theater critic. Becomes a writer on the -- for these -- Chronicle. And is that a man about town in taxes go when he meets Edward Moore averages young life. Florida. And he produces. Florida. Point rich and they become lovers. While that would leverage is also. On his photography assignment. Up and down the West Coast. And mortgage comes home. And it becomes quite suspicious of his wife. And one thing lease and other and he discovers that his wife had. This -- Americans for more than a year. And you decide. In the fittest because it also. Some of these of notion of western justice. That -- -- pace with his wife. So he goes at night had been made to house where he knows Larkin is spending the night. Outs in the door. Demands the Americans market presents itself to door. And more -- polls is Smith & Wesson. Revolver. And -- this and yet. And at this point average is. A well known photographer. Is well known as a friend of Cleveland Stanford. And Stanford it seems comes to averages. Aid when the murder trial in its news. And Stanford helps to get a lawyer for leverage it appears to be. And after a long in and sensational. Trial which. Filled the American newspapers. -- a month. Eight teams 34. My average is acquitted of this murder. Which is peculiar because he is it had to do -- -- quit on the basis something that was once called justifiable homicide. At the time and the place in California in frontier California. There was this notion that a man and a rights to kill his sexual rival. And he could be acquitted if he did that. It was a husband's. Right to defend the marriage. Use the language of the day and migration is acquitted of the murder. And released. And then it goes back to mr. Stanford. And Stanford welcomes him back with open arms and says. And we've got to finish this work on my horses. I've got these thoroughbred horses I really wanted to know whether courses when their Gallup. Ever leave the ground. The inventor of the tycoon when we come back the invention of motion pictures and we'll try to get Edison in this picture to gilded age murder and the birth. Moving pictures the inventor in the tycoon by Edward ball I'm John bachelor this is the John bachelor show. I'm John that services to John bachelor show Edward ball telling the story the inventor of the tycoon. The very famous Leland Stanford. The father of the Stanford university and the central Pacific railroad in the two plus. The gargantuan. Creature -- metaphorical that dominated nineteenth century politics the railroads. And Edward migrants who invented -- many times. And is now -- himself as a vindicated husband having murdered the lover of his -- he abandoned his wife here that is is child. Never much cares for the child again because he believes the child is his rivals childhood not his own. He goes on to photograph. In South America for awhile the photographs that Edward ball reproduces in his book are startling. Because it feels like you could walk into the scene at any moment. For my averages gift is to make a -- freeze so that it's timeless but we come back. -- he does a horse leave the ground when it's trotting and that is the invention of the motion picture. The problem is put to my virgin how does he respond. My average says standards. That nobody could stop. The motion of course for the camera. -- -- technically possible. And Stanford says. Price is no object. I want to know whether courses as I believe. Ever have all of their clothes off the ground in the midst of a -- And so -- says well try. And he -- standard form which is. In Palo Alto, California 35 miles south that Cisco the present their location as Stanford University. And -- with centered money. Then blow the equivalent of a million dollars. In today's money setting up -- kind of studio. With. Multiple have you set the Perot 24 cameras. Along of course track and he devises a way to set each lens off each -- off. In the absolutely precise sequence one after the next. So that's in 12 time 24 cameras. Our photographing of course galloping in front of and it's this. This breakthrough this the ability to stop. The second to split the second. It is stopped time that they too. The invention. Of movies is if you like but I think. The media. The visual media more generally which dependent on. The animation. Motion. In television and video games. All of the other media that we do. So -- today. My bridge and Stanford. Break because of who's responsible and who gets credit for my bridges not a man. To be -- to be toyed with when it comes to watch his geniuses Stanford. And his wife Jenny go on to the tragedy of losing their son Leland Stanford junior. While they're traveling in Italy a fever develops into a long malady -- fails. In Florence -- break Stanford's heart. And I reports you -- that was perhaps the hardest part of your book to read. Leland Stanford the monster himself throwing himself on the -- and frenzy and not wanting to go along because he'd lost asylum it was heartbreaking even a man is. As infamous as Stanford is. It -- it it is threatening when you see what of the loss of a child can do. Relates and so. Stanford loses his son. And experiences a kind of psychological. Breakdown. And he and his wife. Begin to consult. Medium. They begin to consult. Women and men who try to communicate with the with the and in the course of these nuances. Which is where -- not at all -- usual. Four. Millions of people in that they in time there was a quite a strong movement. Of spiritualism. Stanford and his wife. Come to the conclusion. That they want to commemorate their son. By. By establishing. A school. And this. Experiences aftermath. Of the devastating -- they decide to put there cash on the -- And and now the school in the name there's. And meanwhile my average has gone the other way because you know as it's. Former partner Stanford had that disputes over credits. For the these are two of animated photography that's -- which has created and its money. And more average becomes a kind of traveling. Showman. Who shows off his invention to anyone who rules invite him and it would -- -- yet. And I wanna feature one particular anyone. This is February. 18881. Of those moments in the history in which -- my average is given a talk and local in New Jersey. Near West Orange and he's invited into the office of Edison himself and Edison and -- sit there would you like to hear that conversation reproduced. And more average explains Edison we can get together we can do this and Margaret says we can put your photograph record mr. Edison together with my motion picture and what does Edison think of that. Edison says that's a great idea what should send me. Some of your description. Of how you did this and meet some of your photographs. And perhaps look at a chance to work. Edison is done dish command and forties who is but based on household name in the US because he invented the phonograph. As he had. Established some of the preliminary. Electrical utilities. Operations in the East Coast. And -- Rising. Capitalist if you -- Who has a compound in central Jersey. Where his laboratory. And his staff work. And -- which says all right slow here here my photographs here some ideas. Do. More with this and but my average doesn't have. The the genius was. Development of technology that's Anderson apparently. More which goes back on the road. Crisscrossing the country. And screening is. Preserve his primitive motion pictures of that it horses at a gala. -- and put the on the job to develop a movie camera. With this -- This new material -- -- -- And within twenty years Edison will dominate the movies and more virtual die. Humbly back home in England. While building in the yard where he's living a re creation of the Great Lakes Edward -- -- genius who never becomes a tycoon. And that tycoons he -- Edward ball is the author of the inventor in the tycoon is the book I'm John bachelor.

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