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Syndication

In Episodes 43 & 44, I had the privilege of interviewing Lois Wolfe (Director) & Board of Trustee members Robert Wheeler, John Blakeman & Don Gfell, who help operate the Thomas Alva Edison Birthplace Museum in Milan, Ohio of the Edison Birthplace Association, Inc., a private, non-profit organization.

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After the death of Thomas A. Edison from complications of diabetes on October 18, 1931, opening his birthplace to the public as a memorial and museum became the private project of his wife, Mina Miller Edison, and their daughter, Mrs. John Eyre Sloane. The Edison Birthplace Museum opened on the centennial of the inventor's birth in 1947.

 

Here are some of the highlights from our conversation:

  • the history of the Edison family in this house
  • what brought the Edison family to Milan, Ohio, "the Silicon Valley of the Midwest" during its heyday
  • how Thomas Edison was shaped by the environment of the town and diversity of the people present
  • background on Edison's "formal" and "informal" educations, and the influence of his mother and sister in his development
  • some of the mischief Edison got into as a child
  • how Thomas Edison is the personification of the American Dream, and why learning about his achievements is so needed in America today
  • how Thomas Edison considered the greatest invention to be "the mind of a child" and how he used his "child-like" curiosity to solve problems and connect the dots through invention and improvements
  • how Edison combined an inventive spirit with the sense of the marketplace, and how he learned this lesson
  • his greatest invention should be considered creating the first Research and Development Company to serve mankind.
  • his leadership ability with his team and ability to mastermind with other prominent businessmen/inventors
  • how adults and children alike can promote an environment and mindset of innovation 

Some resources to learn more about Thomas Edison or mentioned in the interview:

To contact the Edison Birthplace Museum, you may do the following:

Thank you for listening.


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