Friday, March 29, 2013

The Wizard of Menlo Park



Most people today recognize Thomas Alva Edison, the  famed Wizard of Menlo Park, as one of the greatest inventors in history.  Few know that late in life he sought to develop a  means of transferring electrical power from one object to the next without the use of wiring or any tangible connection whatsoever. 

Edison arranged an experiment in his kitchen centered around two small electrical lights in glass tubes. He switched on the first light and then turned his rapt attention to the second. Then he waited.

Nothing happened.

"Failure!!!" he cried. "I thought for sure the energy of the two lit lamps would travel through the air to the sink and do my dishes!"

Few people today recognize that in his last days Thomas Alva Edison, the famed Wizard of Menlo Park, went stark raving mad.

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Picture prompt above, story below, and at 137 words I've invented 37 words too many. But if the inventor of the phonograph and the motion picture camera doesn't merit a few extra words, who does? 

This is my weekly contribution to the Fabulous Friday Fictioneers and Menlo Park Mothers of Invention Institute. Click the link when you're ready to check the patents on the literary inventions of many of the Mothers in our group, and I mean "Mothers' in its most favorable sense. 


Hope you have an innovative week!

30 comments:

nightlake said...

Wish someone discovered something to travel by air and clean dishes:)this was imaginative

Perry Block said...

About the only thing that will do that is a house sitter. Thanks for writing!

silentlyheardonce said...

I love this. Your imagination really created a unique twist. Nice writing. :-)

Tom Poet said...

I tell you who deserves those 37 words...TESLA! Edison was a creep!

Tom

EL Appleby said...

Maybe he was just impatient!

Beth said...

The Jetsons back in the day. Nice.

Linda Palund said...

Clever story - considering that someday we would have dishwashers - although we still plug them in. Being ignorant, I was confused in the beginning, since Menlo Park is in Silicon Valley, Ca - I guess they named a lot of towns Menlo Park. I wonder who Menlo was?

Perry Block said...

Thank you, but also give credit to good ol' nutty Edison!

Perry Block said...

Exactly why he went BANANARAMA late in life ....

Perry Block said...

No, I understand the dishes aren't done even yet!

Perry Block said...

Beth, stop this crazy thing!

Perry Block said...

Study this carefully, Linda. Next week there will be a quiz! http://bit.ly/Xiub7p

zookyworld said...

Nice try, Edison, and too bad about the experiment. Lots of failures happen before a success. This was certainly worth going 37 words over!

worksbyclaire said...

Great idea for the prompt. Perhaps he should have invented the dishwasher instead.
Claire

Perry Block said...

In thinking it over, maybe it was worth 30, 35, or so. No way was it worth 37!

Perry Block said...

Now there's an idea. Did they invent that yet, maybe you and me could get on it!

Brudberg said...

what a great take on the prompt... Science id sometimes futile against weird ideas.

Rochelle Wisoff-Fields said...

Dear Perry,
Now that was a most unique take on the prompt. Very clever. Poor Mr. Edison. I'll run my dishwasher by candlelight in his honor.
shalom,
Rochelle

bridgesareforburning said...

Hi Perry,
Did you know that Nicola Tessla actually thought you could transmit electricity through the air like radio and waves and experimented to try to make it happen. Actually, you can. It's called lightning. Thought you might have based your story on that, even though it was Tessla instead of Edison. As per usual, you have a unique take on the photo. Ron

theeclecticeccentricshopaholic said...

hahaha lighting up two lamps and expecting the dishes to be done, that's like, really lazy. lol ^^ great story

Sandra Crook said...

And so we saw the birth of the dishwasher concept... Nice one!

Russell said...

I think it was more a Frank Zappa story, you Mother of Invention. Let me know if you get this to work, I've got several chores lying around the house just waiting to be done.

Perry Block said...

Not so weird. I just finished doing the dishes and I'm not attached to any electrical wiring whatsoever either!

lingeringvisions said...

I'm waiting as well. Sitting here typing away, waiting.

Perry Block said...

I think it's probably Mr. Kitchenaid in whose honor you should run your dishwasher. Thanks, Rochelle!

Perry Block said...

Thanks, Ron. Didn't know much about Tessla before but now I definitely owe him a post. Maybe we'll all be paying our lighting bill to Con Tessla, or something like that, we'll see!

Perry Block said...

I am, like, really lazy!

Perry Block said...

Kind of like a virgin birth in this instance, however. Thanks, Sandra!

Perry Block said...

I think just plain Mother may be more like it. I got very little to work, including a lot of my stories.

Perry Block said...

Well, at least you're getting some typing done!