If energy needs to be saved, there are good ways to do it.
                                                               Government product regulation is not one of them

Monday, October 15, 2012

"You Buy its little Brother for a Dime":
The Original Edison Light Bulb Memorial

Continuing on the ongoing "memorial" theme, as per recent posts, how about the memorial to the man himself: the incandescent bulb also being known as the Edison bulb at least in America.

1941 Corning Glass on its in involvement in the Edison Memorial Bulb
"You buy its little Brother for a Dime"
Posting large image to allow text to be read...can also be clicked on for larger version in separate window.

source  amazon

.... having been announced in the local press, February 1938

The Edison Memorial Tower that displays this giant bulb is in the Menlo Park Museum of what is now Edison, New Jersey.
Formerly known as the Raritan Township, after the name change proposal came a vote on November 2, 1954, which was close but the name change to Edison Township was selected by a small majority....

More on the Menlo Park Museum website:

Thomas Edison was an unknown young inventor when he moved his experimental facilities to the tiny village of Menlo Park, New Jersey, in 1876. Then, in a six-year burst of astonishing creativity, he patented approximately 400 inventions, and he revolutionized the process of invention itself. Known around the world as the Wizard of Menlo Park, Edison made himself and Menlo Park famous, and to this day, both names are synonymous with the spirit of invention.

More than any other inventor in history, Thomas Edison is responsible for the technologies that make modern life modern. By the time of his death in 1931, he held 1,093 patents covering the creation or refinements of devices in telegraphy and telephony, electric power generation and lighting, sound recording, motion pictures, storage batteries, and mining and cement technology.

However, his most important invention was one that couldn't be patented: the process of modern invention itself. By applying the principles of mass production to the 19th-century model of the solitary inventor, Edison created a process in which skilled scientists, machinists, designers, and others collaborated at a single facility to research, develop, and manufacture new technologies.

On the memorial tower, with the light bulb... extracts from a website page
(images here from the site unless stated)

Two memorial tablets and two towers have been erected since 1925, the second of which is the iconic Thomas Alva Edison Memorial Tower, built in 1937. Topped by an enormous light bulb, the Art Deco Tower has quite literally been a beacon for the community for decades, and every year on the Sunday afternoon before Edison’s birthday, on February 11, members of Menlo Park’s volunteer fire department lay a wreath at its base.

(Designers) Massena and duPont chose the Art Deco style for the Tower shaft, which tapers upward to the monumental replica of Edison's first practical incandescent bulb. The effect is to focus attention upward to the light at the top, as well as enhance the sense of height and monumentality. A brochure, published in 1938, the year of completion and dedication of the Tower, contains the following description:

In designing and selecting materials to be used in the construction of the Tower, great care was taken to use masses and lines which should be as effective in sunlight as at night in the rays of the floodlights. The effect retains the monumental bulb as the main feature of the Tower. A group of eight buttresses rising from the ground to the bulb emphasizes its dominant importance and catch the beams from the floodlights concealed at the top of the dark columns.

A further comment, as from the Ledhut.co.uk blog post Dec 2011, slightly edited:

The largest light bulb in the world can be found atop the Thomas Edison Memorial Tower in Edison, USA. Built in 1937, the light bulb weighs a staggering eight tons
The tower and the Menlo Park Museum were dedicated to Edison on February 11th 1938, the date which would have been the inventor’s 91st birthday. The tower is on the site of Thomas Edison’s Menlo Park laboratory, where he and his staff developed the version of the light bulb for which he became famous.
The Thomas Edison Memorial Tower rises a whopping 301’9” and is topped by the 25’1” monumental bulb which is constructed from Pyrex segments.

The light is as seen illuminated at night.
The town of Edison wish to renovate the building, raising the tower to a height exceeding 400’! The project will cost a whopping 25 million dollars! The plan is to also add more historical objects to the museum and to add a visitor centre to the complex.

The park's website menloparkmuseum.org is rather poorly updated, but it seems most if not all changes have been done...

seems some others are on the way, with a different idea of how to restore and rejuvenate the tower ;-)

mark paciga via  atlantic wire


Rob said...

The largest light bulb in the world can be found atop the Thomas Edison Memorial Tower in Edison, USA....

I wonder if this is still the case? I maybe wrong but isn't there another one now somewhere in America?

Lighthouse said...

Thanks Rob - guess it's not a "real" incandescent bulb as such in being a composite
There are some museum bulbs the size of large footballs I have seen online - thought I had posted such an image, but can't find it now.