Take The Intelligence Test That Thomas Edison Gave to Job Seekers

Today tech companies are infamous for asking silly questions at job interviews. How would I move Mount Fuji? If I knew that I probably wouldn't be sitting here for this job interview, would I, Microsoft? » 3/12/15 12:40pm 3/12/15 12:40pm

J.J. Abrams Is Making A Thomas Edison Movie, But What About Tesla? 

J.J. Abrams' production company Bad Robot is secretly working away on a Thomas Edison biopic. But will it show him electrocuting an elephant? » 2/18/15 4:52pm 2/18/15 4:52pm

Maybe Thomas Edison's Worst Idea Ever

Thomas Edison had some brilliant ideas. He also had some truly awful ones. One example: this rather eldritch-looking talking doll, the voice of which Leonard DeGraaf, an archivist at the Thomas Edison National Historical Park, says was "just ghastly." Visit Smithsonian for six more examples of the most "epic" Edison… » 12/03/13 1:26pm 12/03/13 1:26pm

That Time Thomas Edison Almost Invented the Radio Telescope

In 1890, Arthur Kennelly, an electrical engineer working for Thomas Edison, wrote a letter to the director of the Lick Observatory. He described an interesting experiment being undertaken by the great inventor that may have been the first radio telescope — forty years before its official invention. » 9/23/13 8:00am 9/23/13 8:00am

The Great Phenol Plot is another reason to hate Thomas Edison

When does procuring ingredients for basic medicine make for a scandalous plot? When it can also be turned into an explosive. The Great Phenol plot is one of the biggest conspiracies that no one remembers. » 9/10/13 10:57am 9/10/13 10:57am

Tesla gets his revenge on Thomas Edison through the "power" of rap

Epic Rap Battles of History has finally gotten around to the most important scientific feud of all time. I was afraid Edison's savvy business sense and promotional skills would lead him to having the doper rhymes, but I feel like Tesla really pulled it out at the end. Oh, if only the real Tesla had been so lucky! » 3/12/13 11:30am 3/12/13 11:30am

The only existing video footage of Mark Twain, as filmed by Thomas…

What happens when the father of American literature and the pioneer of American cinematography meet up for a little video shoot? Silent movie magic, that's what, starring the one and only Samuel Clemens (aka Mark Twain) as himself. » 8/04/12 11:00am 8/04/12 11:00am

Thomas Edison's car battery is back, and it's better than ever

In 1901, Thomas Edison developed the recharcheable nickel-iron battery, a technology he hoped to see implemented in electric cars. But a slow rate of energy output and slower charging time saw it superseded by lead-acid and lithium-ion batteries in standard and electric cars alike. » 6/28/12 9:10am 6/28/12 9:10am

Thomas Edison's lengthy to-do list called for phonographic clocks and…

Thomas Edison may not be everyone's favorite inventor, but it's hard to argue that he wasn't always working, trying to figure out what the next engineering innovations would be. These excerpts from a 1888 to-do list offer some insight into Edison's ideas for the next big thing. » 6/03/12 10:15am 6/03/12 10:15am

One of the earliest films was a boxing match between cats

Here's some more fodder for your retro feline obsession. One of the earliest short films ever recorded was a boxing match between cats shot in July 1894 by Thomas Edison and his motion picture technicians. And according to a synopsis of this narrative tour de force, boxing was the least of the cats' worries: » 5/22/12 6:40am 5/22/12 6:40am

One of the best tributes to Nikola Tesla we've ever read

Nikola Tesla was a brilliant (if sometimes misunderstood) scientist, tinkerer and genius. Thomas Edison was kind of an exploitative creep. You may already know these things, but The Oatmeal's Matt Inman really drives both points home in his latest webcomic, and does so with the twisted mix of hilarious visual aid and… » 5/17/12 9:10am 5/17/12 9:10am

Could you have passed Thomas Edison's job interview test?

Some companies are known for their legendary job interview questions — brain teasers, trivia questions, moral thought problems. In the 1920s, Thomas Edison was himself famous for the interview exams he administered to eager job applicants. But could you have passed Edison's test? » 2/19/12 8:00am 2/19/12 8:00am

The only known recording of Otto von Bismarck's voice has been…

This is absolutely amazing. Audio archeologists have uncovered a wax cylinder phonograph record that bears a lost vocal recording of Prussian statesman Otto von Bismarck. » 2/01/12 5:10pm 2/01/12 5:10pm

Watch the first kiss in the history of cinema, filmed by Thomas Edison

In 1896, the famed inventor, futurist, and elephant electrocution archivist made history yet again by recording the first kiss in cinema history. This clip, which featured a mustachioed fellow leering over Canadian actress Mae Irwin, was considered scandalous at the time, but Edison was no stranger to courting… » 1/20/12 8:00am 1/20/12 8:00am

Gambling Horses And The Soviet Mars Colonies: 20 Retro-futuristic…

Now that the Mars Science Laboratory has begun its journey, let's step back and remember those depictions of Martian living from years gone by. According to certain past dreamers, Mars is occasionally occupied by nefarious sentient automobiles. » 11/26/11 10:30am 11/26/11 10:30am

Check out Thomas Edison's (phony) experiments to contact ghosts

Thomas Edison had a reputation as a no-nonsense rationalist, but the inventor once pretended he wished to build a device that would allow him to contact the great beyond. John Ptak of Ptak Science Books notes: » 2/02/11 1:17pm 2/02/11 1:17pm

The year 2011, according to Thomas Edison in 1911

100 years ago, a newspaper published Thomas Edison's musings on the far-off future of 2011. According to the famed inventor, we should be driving around in solid gold taxis. » 1/23/11 8:00am 1/23/11 8:00am

A brief history of Nikola Tesla (a.k.a. Thomas Edison was a creep)

It was Tesla's birthday on Saturday, and the Facebook group Team Tesla has made this cheeky short in his honor. Also, the unfortunate story of Topsy the elephant, a pachyderm who received the electric chair. » 7/12/10 7:00am 7/12/10 7:00am

Drunk History Reveals The Great Battle Between Tesla And Edison

Earlier this month Crispen Glover explained all about remaking history as Thomas Edison with John C. Reilly, who played Nikola Tesla, on Drunk History. Watch the first clips from this segment, and learn about why Edison was such a dick. » 4/08/10 3:30pm 4/08/10 3:30pm

Thomas Edison's 1910 Frankenstein Movie Coming To DVD At Last

This Thursday marks the 100th anniversary of Thomas Edison's ground-breaking Frankenstein movie, and it's finally coming out on DVD in a restored print. Frankenstein's actors were paid $5 a day and hid the fact that they were slumming in movies. » 3/15/10 9:30am 3/15/10 9:30am