Edison, Tesla, electrocuted elephants, and the hiding place beneath the stairs

I spent the day with my parents at the Henry Ford museum, experiencing secondhand the hero worship that the great automotive entrepreneur felt for Thomas Edison. We listened to recordings of Edison speaking, contemplated his dying breath under glass and saw the spot under the stairs of hisMenlo Park laboratory (which had been moved from New Jersey to Dearborn, Michigan by Ford in the 1920s) where, we were told, he hid when bill collectors came calling.

Now, out of respect for Topsy the elephant, whom Edison killed to discredit his scientific adversaries, and the underpaid muckers, who kept his scientific sweatshop afloat, I’m steeping my grey matter in all the anti-Edison stuff I can find… And, in the process, I came across this short video on his nemesis, the brilliant, obsessive compulsive inventor Nikola Tesla.

Speaking of Tesla, I hear that his Wardenclyffe facility, including the tower, which was to provide free power for the entire planet, is up for sale.

Here’s a thought… As it seems unlikely that anyone at Ford is going to step in, buy the lab, and move it to Michigan, where it can sit alongside Edison’s Menlo Park lab, how about asking the guys at Google to get involved, before the tower is torn down and sold for scrap metal? If anyone has the money and resources to do something with the facility, it’s Brin and Page. And, as they’ve indicated a willingness to consider crazy ambitious projects in the past, maybe it’s not that out of the realm of possibility.

I’ve never said this before, but, if I could bring one dead person from the past back to life, it would be Tesla. Jesus, Mark Twain, and Thomas Jefferson would be in the running too, but I think I’d have to go with Tesla.

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  1. kristin
    Posted May 11, 2009 at 5:21 am | Permalink

    When I was growing up I thought Edison had done all his inventing in Menlo Park, which was part of Dearborn. Why else would his lab be there? I associated all of it with the industry of Henry Ford.

  2. Anonymatt
    Posted May 11, 2009 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    Bring back Jesus from the dead, then he can bring back anyone else, including Tesla and Kurt Vonnegut. It’s like wishing for unlimited wishes.

  3. James Madison
    Posted May 11, 2009 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

    Mark, I am deeply hurt that of all the residents of the Realms of the Dead, you don’t even put me on your runners up list of people to bring back from Death. That’s not a very kind way to acknowledge your most devoted Reader in the Realm. This Mr. Tesla hasn’t even heard of you, let me assure you.

  4. Patrick
    Posted May 12, 2009 at 4:43 am | Permalink

    Mr. President, are you sure you are not just in purgatory? If you do something very nice for Mark, he could pray you and Twain, and Jesus and Jefferson and even Peter Falk back from the brink.

  5. Posted May 12, 2009 at 6:47 am | Permalink

    Good point, Anonymatt, I’ll bring back Jesus and force him to do my bidding. After bringing back Patrick McGoohan and Tesla, I’ll have him turn Lake Michigan into a nice merlot. Then I’ll set him loose on the money lenders… This could be fun.

  6. Posted May 12, 2009 at 6:48 am | Permalink

    I’m going to update my Facebook status to, “this morning I feel like Topsy the elephant.”

  7. Paw
    Posted May 12, 2009 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    Didn’t Tesla build the Orgasmatron?

  8. Posted May 12, 2009 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    A man of your word.

  9. Posted May 12, 2009 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    I’d bring back Bob Ross.

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