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Episode One: We meet the eccentric Canadian inventor Thaddeus Barnes as he and his faithful servant Whitby attempt a dangerous experiment and are visited by an old friend, in need of refuge.
The year is 1903. Wilfrid Laurier is our Prime Minister, Edward VII is on the throne of England. George Westinghouse has already built his great power plant at Niagara Falls using the brilliant patents of Nikola Tesla. The electric age is in full swing. It is a golden time for invention in Canada and around the world.
In Europe, the Great War is still a decade in the future, but its demon seeds have already been planted. The alliances of Russia, France, Germany and Austro-Hungary are being forged and tested. The secret society of the Black Hand is growing in power — a power that will be the spark that ignites the powder keg of World War One.
Here at home, inventor and gentleman scientist Thaddeus Barnes has harnessed the powers of steam, magnetism and electricity to forge remarkable devices that rival those of Bell, Marconi, Edison and even those of his friend and rival, the Serbian genius, Tesla himself.
Barnes is working with his faithful assistant, Whitby, in his secret farmhouse laboratory just outside Port Hope, Ontario. They toil in seclusion on his most ambitious — and dangerous — project to date the electron compressor.
But dark forces are on the move. They seek the compressor in order to spark a war. Can Barnes, his brilliant daughter Phillipa and his friend and rival the Serbian genius Nikola Tesla keep Barnes’ invention safe. And can they stay alive in the process. Their adventure unfolds in this six-part drama!
This podcast is a companion to The Strange Copper Cylinders of Thaddeus Barnes. It’s a Canada-wide treasure hunt. rabble.ca is delighted to be a sponsor of this Harrowsmith Now project. You can join in the hunt and learn more about the strange steampunk world of Thaddeus Barnes in our Facebook group.