EdisonCelebrating New Year’s Eve in his laboratory in Menlo Park, New Jersey on December 31, 1879, America’s Inventor, Thomas Alva Edison, unveiled the future, making today


Consider the light bulb, that household item we take for granted and buy by the dozens to light our homes and everywhere else where humans tread.

Before Thomas Edison got busy, it was either open flames or sit in the dark, and history reminds us of many Great Fires that destroyed entire cities when our light sources leaked.

The light bulb transformed earth’s night from a murky shadow world dotted alternately with dimly lit buildings and smoking ruins to a wonderland of bright lights that illuminate our homes and public buildings, even our thoroughfares.

Life was suddenly different, and mankind’s scope of activities became a round-the-clock affair because all of a sudden we could see well enough to do something other than just sit there without setting the joint on fire.

With all this light we built our buildings bigger and higher, and our highways longer and broader, our electric wires running everywhere we possibly could put them.

All that electricity for lighting, of course, led directly to electric guitars, so we can call Thomas Edison the Father of Rock & Roll too if we like.

We kept on lighting up everything until the world looks like it does today, glowing like a hot coal when viewed from outer space, to the point that we travel hundreds of miles to find places we have not yet bathed in perpetual daylight in order to find some peace and quiet.

Naturally we bring our flashlights and lanterns along, equipped with Edison’s bulbs. You know, in case it gets too dark.

•Suggested Activities: Telling “how many people does it take” light bulb jokes.

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