You Can Thank Inventor Thomas Edison!

Posted by Big Universe on Oct 31, 2011 7:53:54 AM

I’ve been thinking a lot about Thomas Edison this year – not because I am a great history buff, but because I like my comfort. We live in a rural setting, but have all the urban amenities – that is, until the wind picks up, the rain pours …or a butterfly goes by and the power goes out!

We live amid the trees. Apparently trees and power lines don’t mix. The boom of an exploding transformer is something that shakes a house – even a home on a solid foundation. The sound of a wailing woman shakes the house too, especially when there are writing deadlines on the line!

I don’t need fancy clothes, or TiVo, or even fine jewelry. Just give me one working power outlet for my computer modem and I’ll muddle through the rest. I’ve learned to find my toothbrush in the dark, locate matching shoes by feel, and light a kerosene lamp with one hand tied behind my back, but…been there, done that. Sixteen times this year, in fact!

I like the convenience of electrical lighting. In-home power is truly remarkable. It’s made my life quite comfortable, and it and the Internet have made my work as a freelance writer possible. So thank you, Thomas Edison.

It’s been more than 130 years since Edison filed Patent No. 223,898 for his incandescent light bulb on that day in early November. Never one to sit on his laurels, he and his inventive cohorts forged ahead, designing generators, fuses, batteries, a prototype of today’s power grid and hundreds of other inventions like the phonograph and the motion picture camera. Edison was an incredible thinker – the “Genius of Menlo Park” – with 1093 patents to his name.

You can read more about this remarkable man and his peers on, which features “Thomas Edison and the Pioneers of Electromagnetism,” a picture book by Elizabeth R.C. Cregan and published by Teacher Created Materials Publishing. (F&P GR: Q Lexile: 690 Grade Level: 3-4. Interest Age: 6-12).

Mr. Edison was not only scientifically minded, but was also a wise man that knew his way around language. To read a collection of his pithy quotes, visit the website.

Thomas Edison said, “There is no substitute for hard work.” My WASP upbringing has me nodding my head in agreement. And so, Duke Energy, I implore you to keep searching for the bug-a-boo in the power lines that is making it hard to write, but easy to wail (and rail). There are no more trees for your workers to trim, so perhaps it’s time to put on your thinking caps and channel your forefather, Edison, who said: “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.”

Thomas Edison Links for Kids:

*NOTE: To read more about the great thinkers, who invented the modern conveniences that are part of our everyday lives, read Saddleback Publishing’s “Machines and Inventions,” a book in the Sciencesection on Big Universe.

Or, in Spanish read:

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