The January, 1932 issue of Modern Mechanix invited us to weep for poor Thomas Edison, who allegedly bankrupted himself with dumb real-estate deals before dying, going to his grave a poor man. Edison was a notorious rip-off artist (he once told Nikola Tesla that the money he'd been promised would never come to him, and that Tesla just "didn't understand American humor) and liked to electrocute animals for kicks, so a pauper's death sounds like pretty reasonable karma to me.
Mr. Edison secretly expressed to me the hope that some day I would write just this kind of a story so that it might form a sort of guidance to inventors who would pick up the threads of science where he left off.
During our last meeting I distinctly remember how he placed his arm around my shoulder and said, “I have told you all. Be discreet. Do not tell everything until after I am gone. Then, after I have departed, you can do inventors and scientists a great duty by telling the rest..."
Mr. Edison replied, in his own handwriting: “Would not like to do this for many reasons. At present my income has nearly disappeared on account of the depression in business.”
Edison electrocuted an elephant 105 years ago today
Edison and the music biz: nothing's changed
Edison's mistakes recapitulated by RIAA
Matthew Borgatti, purveyor of such Boing Boing favorites as the Guy Fawkes Bandanna, the War Boy Bandanna, and the Lockpick Earrings, offers you your choice of his wares at at 20% discount, with the coupon code “jackhammerjill.”
Boing Boing readers already know about MakieLab, the startup where my friends and I make 3D printed, customizable dolls called Makies.
Sgt Crispy writes, “XKCD creator Randall Munroe, has made a spiffy little hoverboard game. Looks to be small, however, when you realize that boundaries are made to be broken, A massive world opens up to be explored.”
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This minimalist multi-tool will see to it that instead of rocking a tool belt, you’ll carry just one. It’s shaped slightly like a key and weighs less than an ounce, so it plays nice with your keychain. The strong surgical-grade stainless steel blade will last, and is handy for everyday tasks like opening boxes and […]
The Code Black is our top-selling drone of all time—and for good reason. This powerful, palm-size drone is not only insanely fun to fly, but can capture some serious video footage from up above. With a flight time of about 10 minutes and an ultra-smooth ride, it’s a great introductory drone for anyone looking to […]