Thomas Edison and Christmas

Our beloved national holiday bears quite a relationship with Thomas Edison. He being the originator of Christmas lights; first at his Menlo Park labs in 1880 as a publicity stunt; and as a way to get the visiting aldermen of New York City interested in having Edison electrify their Wall Street area (which he ultimately did in 1882). At Menlo Park, Edison strung decorative lights around the facility at night to bedazzle his visitors.

Later in 1882 with a friend and business partner, Edward H. Johnson, the first formal Christmas tree light string was shown on a tree at Johnson’s home. Today, we would not even think about a Christmas tree without lights.

First electric tree lights decorate the 1882 Christmas tree at the home of Edward H. Johnson . The walnut-size red, white and blue bulbs were specially made by Edison’s staff.

First electric tree lights decorate the 1882 Christmas tree at the home of Edward H. Johnson . The walnut-size red, white and blue bulbs were specially made by Edison’s staff.

Every holiday season, Edison’s beautiful home at Glenmont is filled with happy grown-ups and kids who take tours through the mansion, re-living the Victorian-era Christmas season. Curatorial staff also display some vintage Christmas cards sent to the Edison’s.

Enjoy the photos below…and Merry Christmas!

Looking from the dining room into the family den where the main Christmas tree was normally located--with original children’s gifts shown under the tree. Dinner for family & friends-30 folks could be seated for the festive feast.

Looking from the dining room into the family den where the main Christmas tree was normally located–with original children’s gifts shown under the tree. Dinner for family & friends-30 folks could be seated for the festive feast.

Is that vaulted ceiling above the big tree angelic or what!

Is that vaulted ceiling above the big tree angelic or what!

This view greets all visitors to Glenmont at Christmas- the incredible main staircase to the second floor; and to the right the dining room and Christmas tree. It’s a showstopper for all who like to “Ohhhh” and “Ahhhh”.

This view greets all visitors to Glenmont at Christmas- the incredible main staircase to the second floor; and to the right the dining room and Christmas tree. It’s a showstopper for all who like to “Ohhhh” and “Ahhhh”.

The first floor tea room / visitor’s room decked out in holiday color.

The first floor tea room / visitor’s room decked out in holiday color.

The Edison bedroom fireplace and mantle colorfully decorated.

The Edison bedroom fireplace and mantle colorfully decorated.

Thomas Edison said, “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”

Left: Intel-Edison module now available world-wide for developers. Right: The “Tommy” award given by the Edison Innovation Foundation.

Left: Intel-Edison module now available world-wide for developers. Right: The “Tommy” award given by the Edison Innovation Foundation.

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Thomas Edison Supports Innovative Charitable Giving

So…riddle me this. What is the commonality between mitigating PTSD and improving heart health? These are two programs that exist today because of seed funding from the Charles Edison Fund, the mother foundation of the Edison Innovation Foundation.

Mitigating PTSD
Serenity Stables From Combat to Calm is a Middletown, NJ horse farm-turned –equine- therapy program aimed at helping veterans suffering with disabilities and
post-traumatic stress disorder. Here, therapy horses provide an extra measure of treatment for veterans. The horses act as a spiritual reflection for the 200 veterans who have visited Serenity Farms and experienced some measure of healing through interaction with the beautiful and gentle animals.

Seeking Calm and Peace with Therapy Horses at Serenity Farms. Check out Serenity Stables at www.serenitystablesfcc.org/.

Seeking Calm and Peace with Therapy Horses at Serenity Farms. Check out Serenity Stables at www.serenitystablesfcc.org/.

Charles Edison created his non-profit fund to support the legacy of his father Thomas Edison, and to promote education, specifically careers in science and technology. The programs which focus on the legacy of Thomas Edison, medical research and education at the grammar, high, college and graduate school levels, are the best in the country. Serenity Farms fit into this funding philosophy.

The Living Heart Foundation 
The Living Heart Foundation, public/private collaborative, initially began with a Charles Edison Fund grant, and now with generous support from others, delivers a unique brand of education and health features to diverse communities in need. This is achieved through the creation of mutually beneficial partnerships that include healthcare providers, educators, schools, hospitals, industry and active/retired professional athletes.

The Living Heart Foundation’s mission is fivefold:

  • Generate intense awareness of the importance of CV disease;
  • Perform early detection of CV abnormalities through screening;
  • Create a health stratification database;
  • Track the health data longitudinally;
  • Develop website education and lifestyle programs to empower people to counter adverse effects of persistent health problems;

The results of early detection and intervention through the Foundation’s integrated-preventative approach significantly decrease medical costs compared to persistent, uncorrected abnormalities and increase compliance related to achieving healthcare goals. State-of-the-art technology to deliver information and create interactive programs can be customized as needed.

“Anything that won’t sell, I don’t want to invent. Its sale is proof of utility, and utility is success.”

Left: Intel-Edison module now available world-wide for developers. Right: The “Tommy” award given by the Edison Innovation Foundation.

Left: Intel-Edison module now available world-wide for developers. Right: The “Tommy” award given by the Edison Innovation Foundation.

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Thomas Edison Pitch Contest–Jan. 12, 2018

Since 2011, thousands of middle and high school students across the nation took the challenge and competed for honors and prizes … all in the spirit of the world’s greatest inventor … Thomas Edison. On January 12, 2018, the 8th annual pitch contest begins.

Check out the happy faces of student teams honored over the years in this sampling of photos shown below. Can you see your students standing to receive honors when the pitch contest concludes in the Spring of 2018!

Check out the video containing contest rules/timeline at www.thomasedisonpitch.org.

Our other social media sites will also announce the big contest at:

Give your students a chance to experience team based innovation, just like Edison pioneered in his invention factory and R&D lab. This is exactly what STEM is all about. Stay tuned and get those young minds primed and ready to show their stuff. Make Edison proud … join in the fun! Put January 12th on your calendar in big bold letters. Start the countdown. It will be here before you know it.

Thomas Edison said, “The world owes nothing to any man, but every man owes something to the world.”

Left: Intel-Edison module now available world-wide for developers. Right: The “Tommy” award given by the Edison Innovation Foundation.

Left: Intel-Edison module now available world-wide for developers. Right: The “Tommy” award given by the Edison Innovation Foundation.

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