Thomas Edison Inventions and his musings about Solar Energy

Thomas Edison Inventions are still influencing our life today. And so it is important to know that Edison had a clear opinion about the need to go solar. He is cited with saying:

Someday, man will harness the rise and fall of the tides, imprison the power of the sun, and release atomic power.

Thomas Alva Edison’s Homepage

One of the greatest minds of the last – the 20th. – century was Thomas Alva Edison. He was a genius, an inventor, and he is cited with other pro-solar energy quotes as early as 1931 (the year of his death):

We are like tenant farmers chopping down the fence around our house for fuel when we should be using Nature’s inexhaustible sources of energy — sun, wind and tide. … 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.

In conversation with Henry Ford and Harvey Firestone (1931); as quoted in Uncommon Friends : Life with Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Harvey Firestone, Alexis Carrel & Charles Lindbergh (1987) by James Newton, p. 31

Thomas Edison Inventions

He should know. Thomas Edison held many patents. He invented a lot of things that we built our society upon. Like the lightbulb or the record-player (which many of you probably don’t know anymore). Industrial tycoons like Henry Ford or Harvey Samuel Firestone – the founder of the tire company – he called his friends. Henry Ford even bought a part of Edison’s winter residence in Florida close to Fort Myers, where many of the Thomas Edison inventions were made. A beautiful place to visit and a beautiful spot to spent your winter.
Henry Ford was the billionaire of his days. He could probably have bought half of Florida in those years. But he asked Edison to sell him a part of his estate to spent the winters with him. When you visit the estate, you can easily imgaine how these two great minds have spent the evenings on the porch, looking over the Gulf of Mexico and discussed life, business and even spiritual things.
So Henry Ford actively was so attracted to the great genius of Edison, that he searched his company. I think he also was hoping for some of the Thomas edison inventions for the Ford Motor company, but more it seems that this great mind was a fantastic discussion partner.
So this great openly hopes that man will not sacrifice Earth by wasting her richess (like oil, gas and wood), but that man will use the natural forces like solar power.  And he told a man like Ford about this hope, a man who singlehandedly created the most oil consuming product (the car) in known human history.
If you look into Edison’s dealing with another genius like Nicola Tesla, we see that Edison was also only human. And he admits so, by saying that he more started where others had given up. He is quoted with saying that “innovation is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration”. He was a very hard working innovator, not a dreamer. And so his warnings about switching to Solar (and wind) energy are to be taken very seriously.

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