The Edison Seminar (fwd)

Thu, 23 May 1996 11:54:05 -0400 (EDT)

DATE: April 23, 3096

Nearly 2,000 years ago, there was a fellow named Thomas Edison. We've
decided to review the many texts about him to discover the "historical
Edison." Our conclusions:

1. Edison couldn't have been a close personal friend of Henry Ford. It's
far too unlikely that two men of such stature would have known each
other. It's a common literary tradition to link great figures who in
reality never met. This friendship was a literary creation of Edison's

2. Edison obviously didn't have hundreds of inventions and patents. He
probably had one or two good inventions, and it then became a literary
tradition to ascribe good inventions to him. Edison's followers obviously
encouraged this, because it increased their power base.

3. Edison was not "hard of hearing" or "deaf." This is a melo-dramatic
touch added by a later redactor or editor of the Edison story. The irony
is too great, that a deaf man invented the modern phonograph record. This
is clearly a literary touch added at a later date to increase the
dramatic effect of Edison's inventiveness.

4. Having established that Edison was not deaf, it is clear that the
story about how he lost his hearing (being thrown from a moving train) is
also a pure fiction. This must have been added at a very late date by the
last generation of redactors/editors.