Giveaway: Take your family on a tour through Thomas Edison’s Glenmont, New Jersey home … ON US!

Are you looking to take a trip this winter? How do you feel about taking a trip into history with Thomas Edison. Take a walk through the halls where he imagined some of his most fantastic inventions, climb the staircase to his private office, walk through his kitchen, imagine yourself having tea with his wife in his dining room, look out the stained-glass windows out onto his greenhouse, and see first hand some of his original inventions. Tom’s Glenmont home has something for everyone: art, glorious architecture, science, history, interior design and more.

Thomas Edison's Glenmont Home

Thomas Edison's Glenmont Home

Thomas Edison's Glenmont Home

Thomas Edison's Glenmont House

If you would like to tour this historic and amazing Glenmont, New Jersey house – for free – entry is as easy as 1, 2, 3 …

How to enter:

  1. Leave a comment here on this post telling us what you love about Tom
  2. Follow @edisonmuckers on twitter and retweet about this contest
  3. Become a fan of EdisonMuckers on Facebook

PS> That means you have THREE chances to win!! Remember, you only have to do ONE of these things to enter, but if you do all THREE you have more chances to win.

* The contest provides entry and a guided tour into Thomas Edison’s home for two adults {children under 16 are admitted free}. Transportation to and from the site are the responsibility of the contest winner. There will be five winners chosen.  The contest will end on Friday, January 31, 2011 at 10pm. The winners will be announced the following Monday.  Good luck to all! and remember …

“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.”


Desalination and Clean Water from GE and MIT

Hands down….chemistry was Thomas Edison’s favorite subject. So enamored with its seemingly magical processes, he once said….“I believe that the science of chemistry alone almost proves the existence of an intelligent creator.” Were he here today to see what is being done with chemistry, especially reverse osmosis and its application to desalination, Edison would be very happy indeed.

We think nothing of it every day as we routinely open the sink faucet and draw a glass of water. It is just another aspect of our high standard of living. However, the availability of clean, fresh drinking water is a problem for over one billion people on our planet, a serious impediment to economic development. Sadly in Africa alone, over 50,000 people a year die because they ingested contaminated water.

GE engineers are helping to remedy this problem and have implemented a high-tech desalination plant in Algeria. Using reverse osmosis, a technology stemming directly from GE’s pioneering work in the 1950’s with membrane based water purification technologies, the Hamma Desalination Plant is completely functional, providing millions of gallons of clean, fresh water. Take a look at the recently operational GE Hamma Desalination Plant below, a 53 million gallon per day facility, and enjoy the short video about GE’s work. GE chose reverse osmosis technology because it is energy, cost, and space efficient compared to other desalination methods.

General Electric's Desalination Plant

The technological magic of reverse osmosis occurs along the length and cross-section of the long, white tubes pictured here below. This is a typical reverse osmosis stage in a desalination plant. After the salt water enters the tubes, high pressures are applied to it. This forces the fresh water through openings in a special membrane filter that inhibits the passage of dissolved salt and other minerals in the raw sea water—so only fresh water is collected on the other side. The clean water flows out of the center of each tube assembly and is then collected and stored. [see Editor’s Deep Dive below]

Reverse osmosis stage in a desalination plant

The central electric generating stations and distribution systems originally envisioned by Thomas Edison in the 1880s is what today provides the large amounts of electricity needed to operate desalination plants. Now as the world looks toward natural energy sources like the sun and wind, we will no doubt see desalination plants powered by solar panels and maybe even land and offshore wind turbines. Clean water, courtesy of the sun.

Speaking of the sun, an MIT team just announced a design [below] for a solar-powered reverse osmosis desalination system that could be rapidly deployed in crisis situations to produce drinking water; or used in small scale applications like farms, villages and remote hamlets in developing countries.

Solar-powered reverse osmosis desalination system

A prototype built by the Departments of Mechanical and Aeronautics and Astronautics can produce 80 gallons of water a day in a variety of weather conditions. A larger version is estimated to be able to provide about 1,000 gallons of water per day. The MIT team envisions such units delivered in quantity via large transport planes.

Tom Edison would like all this innovation a great deal. He always felt the sun’s power should be tapped; and he believed that…. way back in 1929.

Editor’s Deep Dive {Links & More}

“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.” – Thomas Edison