Edison and Westinghouse Battle It Out Again!

This year, George Westinghouse (played by Jordan Camenker) and I had the privilege and high honor of performing at ABB's annual Automation & Power World Exposition in Orlando, FL. ABB (www.abb.com) is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in around 100 countries and employs about 130,000 people. The company's North American operations, headquartered in Cary, North Carolina, employ about 20,000 people in multiple manufacturing, service and other major facilities. Its global headquarters is in Zurich, Switzerland.

2012 National Cherry Blossom Parade

A few weeks prior to performing as Thomas Edison at the 2nd Annual USA Science & Engineering Expo in Washington D.C., Ben Franklin and I were honored to be invited to participate in the 100th Annual National Cherry Blossom Parade in D.C.

We were originally cast to accompany one of the Grand Marshals; Buzz Aldrin. Unfortunately, Mr. Aldrin was taken ill, so we accompanied a huge robotic spider instead. Well, a little disappointing, but still great fun, non the less! Our entry was sponsored also by the USA Science & Engineering Expo.

2012 Edison Awards Opening Video

April of last year (2013) I had the honor to portray Thomas Edison at the 25th Annual Edison Awards in New York City. One of the events that I was involved in was the "Meet the Innovators Forum" at the New York Academy of Sciences. This video is an incredibly produced overview of the great innovators and innovations both past and present! For one of my programs while there, see "My Greatest Invention".

Thomas Edison's Greatest Invention

This clip was taken from an hour-long Q&A session following a recent program. The audience was one of the most astute and intelligent I have ever had. In this video you may be surprised to learn what Thomas Edison credited as his greatest invention.The question posed was not his 'favorite', but rather what he considered his 'greatest'. His favorite was the Phonograph. See if you can think of what he might have said before you play the video. Clue: It wasn't the light!
Thomas Edison and the Electric Light
USA Science & Engineering Expo
Last October I had the great privilege of portraying Thomas
Edison before over a half-million visitors to the inaugural
USA Science & Engineering Expo on the National Mall and
Smithsonian in Washington D.C. Here is a mini-documentary
of sorts, that I filmed to give you a glimpse of some things
being done to inspire students to become scientists and
engineers to help restore America's leadership in technology

Edison on Thinking

"All progress, all success, springs from thinking." -Thomas Edison

To do much clear thinking a person must arrange for regular periods of solitude when they can concentrate and indulge the imagination without distraction.

The brain can be developed the same as the muscles can be developed, if one will only take the pains to train the mind to think!

The hours which I have spent alone with Mr. Edison have brought me the real big returns of my life; to it I attribute all I have accomplished.

The first requisite for success is to develop the ability to focus and apply your mental and physical energies to the problem at hand - without growing weary. Because such thinking is often difficult, there seems to be no limit to which some people will go to avoid the effort and labor that is associated with it.

I am of the opinion that only about five percent of people think. About ten percent think they think; and the other eighty-five percent would rather die than think.

It is astonishing what an effort it seems to be for many people to put their brains definitely and systematically to work.

The best thinking has been done in solitude. The worst has been done in turmoil.

Somewhere between the ages of eleven and fifteen, the average child begins to suffer from an atrophy, the paralysis of curiosity and the suspension of the power to observe. The trouble I should judge to lie with the schools.

Our schools are not teaching students to think. It is astonishing how many young people have difficulty in putting their brains definitely and systematically to work.

Our system of education is a relic of past ages. The trouble with our way of education as generally followed is that it does not give elasticity to the mind. It casts the brain into a mould. It insists that the child must accept. It does not encourage original thought of reasoning, and it lays more stress on memory than observation. It breeds fear and from fear comes ignorance. - This a compilation of quotes from Thomas Edison.

The Real Wizardry of Edison's Menlo Park Lab
Why Thomas Edison?

In 1997 Life Magazine began a search to select the 100 most important people of the millennium. To get on this team a person had to change more than just a corner of the world—he or she had the divert the course of human history. On the list were such expected luminaries as Susan B. Anthony (#83), Florence Nightingale (#41), Abraham Lincoln (#35) Albert Einstein (#21), Thomas Jefferson (#10), and Leonardo da Vinci (#5). The person listed at number #1…Life’s "Man of the Millennium", was Thomas Alva Edison, arguably the world’s greatest innovator.
The historian, Thomas Hughes writes; "Only Leonardo da Vinci evokes the inventive spirit as impressively. But, unlike Edison, Leonardo actually constructed only a few of his brilliant conceptions." Historian, Ruth Cowan writes; “Edison from the beginning wanted to build a technological system and a series of businesses to manage that system. By the time he applied for any patent, Edison had already envisaged how he could translate the invention into a tangible, commercial product; indeed, he would not begin the research otherwise. Still, he was a classic innovator.”

If you desire to investigate this great man for yourself I would like to direct you to the ‘Edison Papers’,’ which is a work of Rutgers University. I know of no greater authority on Edison as they have been archiving over five million pages of documents found from Edison’s life of invention.