Air Date: Week of January 17, 1997
Facts about... Thomas Alva Edison.
CURWOOD: This year marks the 150th birthday of the man who seems to have single-handedly invented the 20th century. It's darned near impossible to overstate the importance Thomas Alva Edison has had on our lives. There are of course the inventions. The electric light, alkaline batteries, the phonograph, motion picture cameras and projectors, the mimeograph machine, and a thousand more. Edison was also responsible for the generators and wiring that brought electricity into our homes and workplaces. It was 105 years ago that the Pearl Street central power station in Lower Manhattan went on line, initiating the electrical illumination of the world. The environmental impact of these products has been incalculable. For example, without Edison's inventions, there would be no need for power plants. The ones run by coal, gas, or oil foul our air. Electricity from nuclear power comes with troublesome waste and the threat of contamination. Even the large dams used in hydropower have devastated ecosystems. But without electric light human activity would be largely limited by the setting and rising of the sun. And for this week that's the Living on Earth Almanac.
Living on Earth wants to hear from you!
P.O. Box 990007
Boston, MA, USA 02199
Donate to Living on Earth!
Living on Earth is an independent media program and relies entirely on contributions from listeners and institutions supporting public service. Please donate now to preserve an independent environmental voice.
Sailors For The Sea: Be the change you want to sea.
Innovating to make the world a better, more sustainable place to live. Listen to the race to 9 billion
The Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment: Committed to protecting and improving the health of the global environment.
Energy Foundation: Serving the public interest by helping to build a strong, clean energy economy.
Contribute to Living on Earth and receive, as our gift to you, an archival print of one of Mark Seth Lender's extraordinary wildlife photographs. Follow the link to see Mark's current collection of photographs.
Buy a signed copy of Mark Seth Lender's book Smeagull the Seagull & support Living on Earth