Joyanna Adams

Nobody's Opinion

What Would Thomas Edison Do?

Nobody Flashes

This is going around the web, and while watching it, I was thinking of a particular story about Thomas Edison. After inventing the light bulb, he decided to light up a section of New York, so he moved there with his family. Tom took a district of one square mile right in the downtown financial section of the city to light up and make a big splash. The power station to be built, with its conductors in underground conduits running out in all directions to the outlets of consumers, took about a year to build.  He had six Jumbo dynamos built to be run by steam. (remember, this is all Edison’s inventions…he had to build the dynamos to supply the light bulbs)He also had to invent a meter to measure the current for sale.

He ran into so many problems, that most of the time he had to do put out the fires himself. For instance, they were having trouble laying some of the lines.  Edison had to run out and physically managed the work himself.

On July 6, 1882, Edison threw the switch for the first Jumbo. Here’s his own words:

“At first everything worked alright. Then we started another engine and threw them in parallel. Of all the circuses since Adams was born, we had the worst then! One engine would stop and the other would run up to a thousand revolutions: and then they would see saw. It was a terrifying experience as I didn’t know what was going to happen. The engines and dynamos made a horrible racket, and the place seemed to be filled with sparks and flames of all colors. If was as if the gates of the infernal regions and suddenly opened.”

“The Pearl Street station was the biggest and most responsible thing I had ever undertaken. It was a gigantic problem, with many ramifications. There was no parallel in the world. All our apparatus, devices and parts were home-devised and homemade. Our men were completely new and without central station experience. What might happen on turning a big current into the conductors under the streets of New York no one could say.”

“The gas companies were our bitter enemies in those days, keenly watching our every move anready to pounce upon us at the slightest failure. Success meant worldwide adoption of our central station plan. Failure meant loss of money and prestige and setting back of our enterprise. All I can remember of the events of that day is that I had been up most of the night rehearsing my men and going over every part of the system. If I ever did any thinking in my life it was on that day.”

I know it’s “hip” nowadays to proclaim Steve Jobs and Bill Gates up in the same class with Thomas Edison, but everything that Steve and Bill used to further their own inventions was invented by just one man. Tom invented our electrical system (just look at that globe) AND the phonograph AND the motion picture…

And what would Mr. Edison think, if he saw this video…to see, his invention of the motion picture camera, taking a picture of his electrical contributions to humanity?

Nobody Thinks, he would be inventing something else.

(Thanks to amfortas)


November 15, 2011 - Posted by | science, Uncategorized | , ,


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  9. Edison, yes. A Great Man and a Great American. He invented a New Age of Power for Humanity.


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