Saturday, November 1, 2008

Edison Museum

Spent the day at the Edison Lab & Museum. Thomas Edison was an extremely interesting guy. I knew he was interesting but I seriously underestimated the degree of interestingness. I had a little over an hour and it wasn't nearly enough time. I need to go back with I have more time and do it again.
The first thing you notice as you walk up from the parking lot is the most incredible Banyon Tree I've ever seen! It's huge! I later found out that Edison like exotic plants. A friend took a cutting from a Banyon Tree in Calcutta as a gift. That cutting was replanted here. It is now the largest Banyon Tree in the Continental US spanning a full acre. It could be larger accept its prevented from growing anymore by the parking lot and the original buildings. It is often trimmed back to control the growth. The tree in Calcutta that the cutting was originally taken from now spans 14 acres. I love Banyon Trees.

The Museum portion was full of fascinating displays. Most of it original stuff. I've included some of the better pictures I took. Because most things were behind glass, I ended up with some not-so-great pics. Usually I can compensate pretty good with that but there was usually glass in the display case or glass in the back or glass as part of items on display. I couldn't compensate enough and many of the pictures just aren't that good. Most of the pictures can be clicked on for enlargement if you want to read the info card that is included with the picture.

This lightbulb is huge at is 75,000 watts. Perfect for the torch in the Statue of Liberty!

Because Edison was nearly deaf as an adult, he had to find non-traditional ways to tune his phonograph. He built a frame around it and would set his teeth in the frame and listen to the photograph based on the vibrations!
The big cabinet is the first primitive Juke Box. Instead of records or CDs they used a system of cylinders similiar to that use in modern day music boxes.

The picture to the right is of a couple of the first electric toasters. They are missing a number of those lovely safety features most of us have never seen a toaster without.
To the left is a primitive form of hair curling. Times haven't changed much in this department. If you look close, they look almost exactly like the ones still sold at Walmart!

1 comment:

kenan and tree said...

Awesome banyon tree!! Looks like a very interesting place.