Thomas Edison Smiles Down on His Son Charles

Charles Edison was the son of Thomas Edison, the famous inventor and entrepreneur. In 1948 Charles established the Charles Edison Fund, created to maintain the legacy of his father, Thomas Edison, and to meet his own philanthropic goals, including being a patron of the arts in New York City. The fund promotes education, specifically careers in science and technology, medical research and historic preservation. Check out our newly renovated website at CharlesEdisonFund.org.

A young man at work in his father’s labs.

A young man at work in his father’s labs.

The Fund also engages in licensing the Edison Intellectual property, including the name, image, quotes and artifacts of Thomas Edison ( “Edison IP”). The extra revenues generated support educational programs run by its sister foundation, Edison Innovation Foundation.

President Roosevelt appointed Charles Edison as Assistant Secretary of the Navy in 1937, then as Secretary in early 1940. During his time in the Navy, he advocated construction of the large Iowa-class battleships, PT boats and a streamlined system for implementing shipbuilding contracts–of great help during WWII.

Charles-Secretary of the Navy / Gov. of New Jersey

Charles-Secretary of the Navy / Gov. of New Jersey

America’s greatest battleship, an Iowa-class beauty, the USS New Jersey, was launched on December 7, 1942 by Charles’s wife, Carolyn, and in honor of Charles’ work in the Navy. Resigning from the Navy, Charles campaigned and won election as Governor of New Jersey, serving from 1941-1944.
Charles was president of his father’s company Thomas A. Edison, Inc. in 1927, and ran it until it was sold in 1957, when it merged with the McGraw Electric Company to form the McGraw-Edison Electric Company.

Thomas Edison on Time MagazineThomas Edison said, “I find out what the world needs. Then I go ahead and try to invent it.”

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Consider Making a Donation to the Edison Innovation Foundation

We teach how Thomas Edison, thru his work and project teams, exemplified STEM. We support STEM education programs for teachers and students like:

  • Holding special education programs and tours for teachers at the legendary Thomas Edison National Historical Park in West Orange, NJ.
  • Conducting our annual Thomas Edison Invention Challenge where student teams from across the nation compete with their designs in various technology areas.

2nd Place “Team Tesla” New Providence HS Invented an emergency shelter for disaster relief

Car Exhaust Charger Team

High School

  • Developing a new “pitch contest” where student teams develop a new product and compete for the funding of their products in front of a panel of business and industry judges.

Help us to continue to influence the thousands of teachers and students we reach through our programs! Donate Now.

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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Edison Likes “Sun to Vehicle” Technology

Elon Musk has done it again with a trifecta of technology he has dubbed solar to vehicle technology. This not the first time such an ambitious plan has been tried, but this effort is well thought out.

Here it is in a nutshell: incredibly tough solar cells that can last for decades; an improved lithium-ion storage battery pack in the home; and, lots of electricity to run the home, and re-charge that Tesla electric vehicle. As Elon Musk muses … it’s sweet. And it is. Check it out.

Garage roof with glass solar panels

Garage roof with glass solar panels

The solar panels are encapsulated in a tough tempered glass, with a quartz-like coating that is virtually indestructible. The panels come in a variety of designs and styles to make home roofs both highly functional and aesthetically pleasing; and capable of generating decades of electric energy.

Tesla says the tempered solar panel glass is “tough as steel,” and can weather a lifetime of abuse from the elements. It can also be fitted with heating elements to melt snow in colder climates. “It’s never going to wear out,” Musk said, “It’s made of quartz. It has a quasi-infinite lifetime.” The typical lifetime of today’s conventional solar panels is about 25-30 years. Imagine if your roof can last for decades. New conventional roofs are expensive, so a solar roof that can last a homeowner’s lifetime and generate electricity could be very economic; and give the home high re-sale value.

Tesla’s Powerwall battery pack is highly improved from the original model. Version 2 is a much different product. It packs more than twice the capacity—14 kilowatt hours versus 6.4 kilowatt hours—for a cheaper price after installation. It includes a built-in Tesla-brand inverter and comes with a ten year, infinite-cycle warranty.

Powerwall batteries

Powerwall batteries

The business deal goes like this–Panasonic will produce the solar cells and Tesla will put together the glass tiles and everything that goes along with them. SolarCity, the biggest U.S. rooftop installer, will put the whole system together at your home.

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.

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