Incandescent Bulbs, 135 Years Ago and Today

On January 27th, 1880, Thomas Edison was awarded a patent for an incandescent lamp. It was still two years before his first power grid would flicker to life in NYC, and Edison was living on the precipice of a new age. Oh, how things have changed. » 1/27/15 7:20pm 1/27/15 7:20pm

The Forgotten Story of NYC's First Power Grid

Lower Manhattan of the 1880s was a wonderland of futuristic technology and engineering: The city's first cable car arced over the harbor. A spindly new steel bridge was forming to connect Williamsburg to the city. And on the Lower East Side, Edison was tearing up the streets to build the first permanent power… » 1/26/15 4:13pm 1/26/15 4:13pm

Happy Birthday Nikola Tesla

Nikola Tesla was a legendary futurist before the term futurist even existed. He made all kinds of predictions about the way that world would and should operate — some of them accurate, and some of them controversial. And guess what? It's his birthday! » 7/10/14 3:03pm 7/10/14 3:03pm

Remember Intel's Edison from CES, the SD card-sized computer that would run Linux and also sounded too good to be true? Well it was! Intel has admitted that the device will now use an Atom processor and be larger as a result. Shame. » 3/31/14 7:14am 3/31/14 7:14am

Making Edison's Batteries Charge 1000 Times Faster

Over a century ago, Thomas Edison developed a rechargeable nickel-iron battery, designed to power cars. Remarkably, the technology is still used by some people to store energy from solar panels and wind turbines—but now, Stanford engineers have tweaked it to charge 1000 times faster. » 7/02/12 12:40pm 7/02/12 12:40pm

Thomas Edison's Oddest Inventions

Thomas Edison is an inventor known for great things. We also know he had a pretty good sense of humor. Some of these er, lesser known contributions from Mr. Edison were ahead of their time; others are just plain twisted. » 11/26/10 2:00pm 11/26/10 2:00pm

Video: Thomas Edison Crossing the Brooklyn Bridge in 1899

The bridge was only 16-years-old when Edison shot this video from a BMT train crossing to Manhattan. It may not be HD, or 3D, or whatever fancy-format you kids like these days, but it takes me right back. [KottkeviaBoingBoing] » 11/05/10 8:20pm 11/05/10 8:20pm

How Thomas Edison Pranked the 1920s With His "Dead People" Phone

You can't blame the people of 1920 for falling for Edison's practical joke. After all, this was the man who invented the light bulb! When he told a magazine he'd invented a phone that communicates with spirits, hysteria understandably ensued. » 10/29/10 2:40pm 10/29/10 2:40pm

A Brief History of Tesla and the AC/DC Wars

Today is inventor extraordinaire Nikola Tesla's 154th birthday. To celebrate, someone made this gushing video overview of Tesla's life, including a lengthy digression on how Thomas Edison was a "jerk." Is this, I wonder, our very first Tesla fanboy? [Reddit] » 7/10/10 3:00pm 7/10/10 3:00pm

Remainders - The Things We Didn’t Post: Tell Me Something I Don’t Know…

In today's remainders: Apple hints at an LTE iPhone, augmented reality finds a new niche, Thomas Edison brings down the house, and Microsoft comes clean about its cryptic ads. » 3/26/10 5:55pm 3/26/10 5:55pm

This May Be The Only Existing Video of Mark Twain

There's little action, no sound, and the footage is grainy. But this brief clip may be the only existing video of writer Mark Twain and his daughters Clara and Jean. It was captured in 1909 by inventor Thomas Edison. » 3/18/10 7:00pm 3/18/10 7:00pm

Retromodo: Electric Light is Strange and Terrifying

You know, I thought electric light here in the 19th century was the devil's work. In fact, I must say that when I walked into this room filled with the strange candle-less fire I almost soiled my pantaloons. Thankfully, Mr. Edison's disclaimer on the wall put my mind at ease. [ NextNature » 11/05/08 6:20pm 11/05/08 6:20pm via ]

Plastic Cup Gramophone Kit: Edison's Invention Reproduced

Those of you amused by the Edison recording outrage will love this: a toy gramophone kit that lets you record and play back your voice from a plastic cup. Made by Gekken, a Japanese company that produces educational toys, it uses exactly the same principle as Edison's, with the neat use of a plastic cup as the audio… » 3/28/08 8:51am 3/28/08 8:51am

Earliest Audio Recording Resurrected, Scares the Genitals Off Us

Audio historian David Giovannoni and scientists at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have discovered and brought back to life the first audio recording ever made, 17 years before Edison's patent. The ten-second snippet was made on a phonoautograph, a device that only recorded sounds but didn't play them back,… » 3/27/08 1:35pm 3/27/08 1:35pm