BABYLON ELECTRIFIED (1888) – Written by Albert Bleunard. In the tradition of his fellow Frenchman, Jules Verne, Bleunard crafted this work of science fiction with an international cast.
British magnate Sir James Badger wants to reestablish old trade routes leading from Europe eastward through Mesopotamia and the Persian Gulf. He and his associates plan a railroad but lack of coal in sufficient quantities seems to be a project-killer.
Jack Adams, one of Badger’s colleagues, recommends the new invention of a French electrical engineer and inventor named Cornille. This inventor has designed a method of generating electricity from sunlight aka solar power. He agrees to let his technology be used to construct an electric train for the railroad project.
Things get underway, with hydroelectric dams built in the mountains of Kurdistan and wind plus tidal power-stations set up in the Persian Gulf. Cornille’s solar tech will be used for the overwhelming majority of the territory to be covered. Continue reading