What do you notice about this photograph of Thomas Edison in his lab?

Thomas Alva Edison is one of the luminaries of the twentieth century and American history. His inventions, which included x-rays, incandescent light bulbs, phonographs, rechargeable batteries, harnessing the power of electricity and providing it to the masses, and the Vitascope (to film movies), transformed the whole world.

There’s a lot to say about America’s most famous inventor, but today I have just one thing to share about him. The Henry Ford Archives has this interesting photo of Edison standing in his West Orange laboratory around 1910.

Does anything strike you as curious about this photograph? I wonder if anyone else had the same thought I did about this photo.

Thomas Edison in the West Orange Laboratory, circa 1910
Credit From the Collections of The Henry Ford
Object ID 84.1.1630.P.B.99552

9 Comments

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  1. There’s so much here! He obviously had electrical lights working in his shop and probably, his home/dining room in the background. He is holding his famous version of the lumens or whatever it was called lightbulb. Also, look at how high up all the “electrical appliances” which I wouldn’t have imagined existed then are placed above his head, maybe he converted them all as well? Who knows, mysteries abound.

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