Thomas Alva Edison (February 11, 1847 – October 18, 1931) was an American inventor and businessman. He developed many devices that greatly influenced life around the world, including the phonograph, the motion picture camera, and a long-lasting, practical electric light bulb. He is credited with numerous inventions that contributed to mass communication and, in particular, telecommunications. These included a stock ticker, a mechanical vote recorder, a battery for an electric car, recorded music, and motion pictures. Edison originated the concept and implementation of electric-power generation and distribution to homes, businesses, and factories.
In 1931 the US. Population was 122 million; because of the Wall Street Crash, 2500 banks failed in the US; the Empire State Building, the tallest building in the world at the time, was completed; the George Washington Bridge in NY opened; Japan invaded Manchuria in China; the number of cars produced world wide was 36 million (we’re approaching a 1,000 million today).
In 1931, Thomas Edison was 84 and said, in conversation with Henry Ford and Harvey Firestone (1931); as quoted in Uncommon Friends: Life with Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Harvey Firestone, Alexis Carrel & Charles Lindbergh (1987) by James Newton, p. 31:
“We should be using Nature’s inexhaustible sources of energy–sun, wind and tide. I’d put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don’t have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that.”
Okay. So we’re 81 years late, but are we too late? Perhaps. Perhaps not. Let’s at least try to ween ourselves from this horribly destructive addiction.