Thomas Edison Goes to Washington

Yes he is, riding on a wave of support from his home state of Ohio. The great inventor was born in Milan, Ohio on February 11th, 1847. His state sponsors selected him for the honor by voting at various selected historic sites throughout the state.

Edison’s destination is National Statuary Hall in the United States Capital-home to state sponsored famous Americans. Each state may host two statues for the Hall. Mr. Edison’s statue shall join that of President James Garfield, and replace that of Governor William Allen. Following six years of voting, planning, and a matching grant from the Charles Edison Fund, the ETA for the lovely bronze statue is September 21st. John Keegan, President and CEO of the Charles Edison Fund, had the honor of becoming an Honorary Board Member of the Ohio Statuary Hall Commission, and will be in attendance at the placement of the statue.

Edison Statue Unveiled to Citizens of the Ohio Statuary Hall Commission

Edison Statue Unveiled to Citizens of the Ohio Statuary Hall Commission

Often referred to as the world’s greatest inventor, Thomas Edison gave us the electric light bulb and the electric power industry, recorded sound, and motion pictures. Arguably one of the greatest inventions of all time, Edison perfected the invention factory or commercial R&D Lab….which has become the focus of all team-based, new product development efforts worldwide.

So great were his accomplishments that many after his death, this Man of the Millennium as Life Magazine once exclaimed, is still responsible for about 10% of the annual U.S. economy, about $1.6 trillion a year. Even more astounding are estimates that claim his inventions and innovations are today responsible for one-fourth of all the jobs on the planet!

Edison-Inspiration to Ohio Youth

Edison-Inspiration to Ohio Youth

The great inventor will be formally welcomed to Statuary Hall in a bipartisan, bicameral ceremony comprised of: House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).

Thomas Edison on Time MagazineThomas Edison said, “If we all did the things we are really capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves …”

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Thomas Edison Intellectual Property–Ready to Work for You!

What do two auto companies, a big name chip manufacturer, a Korean steel company and a Wall Street brokerage company have in common?

They all license Thomas Edison’s name and image, (Edison Intellectual Property [“I.P.”]), for use in advertising their products and services. Edison’s iconic I.P. has promoted many things including the popular educational paradigm known as STEM. Thomas Edison is perceived as “smart” and “entrepreneurial” so his name is selected for marketing innovative and disruptive new products. The world’s greatest inventor lives on not only in his inspiration to future generations, but also in his linkage to popular culture and advertising. Check out the licensing parameters.

Thomas Alva Edison Signature

Charles Edison, the famous son of Thomas Edison, created a non-profit entity, Charles Edison Fund (“Fund”) which is responsible for licensing the intellectual property of Thomas Alva Edison.

Thomas Alva EdisonThe cost for a license is dependent on numerous factors including Geography (national or worldwide), Time Period (6 months to a year or more), Media (print, TV or Internet) and Size of Audience (“eyeballs”). The Fund and its affiliate, Edison Innovation Foundation, continue to diligently promote and protect the Edison Legacy and build the Edison “Brand” for advertising.

The license royalties received by the Fund are used to support the second part of its mission, promoting science and technology education. Examples include creating and sponsoring an alternative energy (solar, wind, etc.) contest for grades 6 to 12. Also collaborating on an animated children’s TV show (on Netflix) called Thomas Edison’s Secret Labs. The Fund also gives a “Tommy Award” (see below) for successful applications of its licensee clients innovative products.

Thomas Edison is alive and well in the modern world. Many years after his death he excites us still!

For assistance in learning how you can use Edison I.P.:
John P. Keegan
Chairman & President
Charles Edison Fund

Tommy AwardThomas Edison said, “I have more respect for the fellow with a single idea who gets there than for the fellow with a thousand ideas who does nothing.”


Thomas Edison–Twisting Solar Panels

RECIPE: How to make a twisting solar panel that follows the sun:

  • Blend in equal parts of solar engineer, material scientist and kirigami expert
  • Simmer at moderate heat in creative collegiate laboratory
  • Add dashes of Thomas Edison, a solar advocate from way back in 1910
  • Serve in full sunlight

This delightful recipe comes out of the University of Michigan, where researchers twisted, folded and cut thin film panels (kirigami style) already mounted on a sheet of Kapton plastic.

Twisting Solar Panels

Edison at his Chemistry tableBecause of the unique design of these panels, they are able to track the sun as it moves through the daytime sky. Pull both sides of the panels and do this in synch with the sun’s motion and the panels follow the sun! Check it out.

With this twisting capability, the gallium arsenide based solar panels are able to capture 20-40% more energy per year than the traditional fixed-in-place flat panels. To equip solar panels to track the sun with traditional, mechanized tracking hardware is often prohibitively expensive; but this flexing design is certainly going to change the game for the economics of solar system tracking.

Stay tuned all you photovoltaic enthusiasts … this proof-of-concept technology has a very bright future indeed!

Thomas Edison on Time MagazineThomas Edison said … “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. I wish I had more years left.”

Time ® is a registered trademark of Time Inc.