Source: Electrical World and Engineer
Source type: journal
Document type: editorial
Document title: “President McKinley”
Date of publication: 14 September 1901
Volume number: 38
Issue number: 11
|“President McKinley.” Electrical World and Engineer 14 Sept. 1901 v38n11: p. 413.|
|William McKinley (association with electricity); technology (impact on society).|
|The identity of Mitre (below) cannot be determined.|
It has been pathetically interesting to electrical people to note how closely President McKinley came in touch last week with electricity in some one or other of its many manifestations. In the broad-minded speech which he made the day before the attempt to assassinate him, he alluded at some length to the great work of telegraphy and telephony in the transmission of intelligence, and he closed by saying: “The construction of a Pacific cable cannot be longer postponed.” Then he saw and admired the lighting of the Pan-American that night. Next day he went to Niagara, where he found the Municipal Electricians in session, and visited the great power plant. A few hours later, struck down by the bullets of an assassin, he needed the cooling breath of the fan motor in his agony; and by long-distance telephone the best Röntgen ray outfit that could be secured had been ordered 500 miles away, to be in readiness to locate one of the bullets.
As Mr. McKinley remarked in his speech, “The same important news is read, though in different languages, the same day in all Christendom,” but he little thought that the attempt on his life would be the next great event to which this would literally and exactly apply. It is by such inventions and innovations that much of the world’s real advance comes, and it certainly never comes by any effort of anarchist or murderer. The Frenchman, Mitre, has asserted that the worst of governments is preferable to the best of revolutions, a phase which merely marks the extent of the recoil from the extreme atrocities of the Mountain and the Commune. But when all is said and done, the influence of the printing press, the telegraph, the steam engine, the trolley car and the telephone, if they could be fully determined would be found far more effectual in promoting the world’s welfare than most political movements or all the revolutionary slaughter, directed to the same object.