Top Ten Things Not to Do If You Were with Edison in 1879

Thomas Edison

This is a continuation of the Top Ten on a historical backdrop. On October 21st after 14 months of testing, Thomas Edison first demonstrates his electric lamp, hoping to one day compete with the gaslight.

Top Ten Things Not to do if You were with Edison in 1879

10 If you were with Edison in 1879, do not say, “Watson come here I need you.” If you do, at best no one will answer. At worst, you will be escorted from the room and your 100 shares of Edison stock revoked. (You somehow got Alexander Graham Bell mixed up with Edison, Frici.)

9 If you were with Edison in 1879, do not elbow Tiny the WWF champ out of the way for a better view. If you do, at best Tiny will ignore you. At worst, Tiny, who has an aversion to being touched will use his hips to body check you out the door. (You didn’t think a big guy could move that fast huh, Friduwulf? Too bad the door was closed when you went through it.)

8 If you were with Edison in 1879, do not touch anything before the demonstration. If you do, at best you’ll avoid the live wire. At worst, you will inadvertently disconnect the main lead. (The test was a failure, Frisco. Thanks to you we are all living with gas lamps today.)

7 If you were with Edison in 1879, do not tell him how to improve his speech. If you do, at best he will do the speech the way he wrote it. At worst he will take your suggestions. (Thanks to you, Fynbar, the electric light bulb was named by Edison as “the better mousetrap of gas lamps.”)

6 If you were with Edison in 1879, do not mention to bystanders that the British had toyed with incandescent bulbs since the 1830’s. If you do, at best Edison won’t hear you. At worst, you’ll be talking with a reporter from the Wall Street Journal. (Well now you’ve done it, Fernando. The headline reads “Edison steals British Idea.” Good luck with your future stock options.)

5 If you are with Edison in 1879, do not make jokes about the Edison Screw. If you do, at best you better hope he doesn’t hear you. At worst, the joke carries a big laugh, and now you are unemployed. (You had no way of knowing, Francisco, that the Edison Screw is the standard set up for light bulbs and sockets. The joke was pretty funny though.)

4 If you are with Edison in 1879, do not trip and let the only bulb fall to the floor. (If you do, at best the carpet will prevent a disaster. At worst, the lab floor is made of concrete. (Well, there goes the demonstration, Franklin. Future generations of those who do not have General Electric to work for salute you.)

3 If you are with Edison in 1879, do not suggest naming the company. If you do, at best Edison will choose his own name. At worst, he will call the company after a significant advantage of the bulb. (Somehow the Less Gas Light Company doesn’t sound too good when you say it out loud, Frankie. Let’s hope he comes to his senses.)

2 If you are with Edison in 1879, do not try to talk him out of his idea about motion pictures. If you do, at best he will avoid you on the subject. At worst, you will be successful, and he will abandon the idea. (So where are you going with that tub of buttered popcorn, Freddy?)

1 If you are with Edison in 1879, do not suggest that he read from the newspaper on the first recorded conversation. If you do, at best he will choose his own literature. At worst. He will listen to you and select the classifieds. (So now the first recorded voice puts everyone to sleep, Fletcher. Mary Had a Little Lamb is so much better.)

44 comments

  1. I love that you did an Edison list without bringing up Tesla. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was hard not to.

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  2. Inventive list, John.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “Watson come here I need you.” LOL! This was great, John. Happy Monday!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Than you, Jill.

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  4. This was a great one, John!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Gwen Plano · ·

    A ” tub of buttered popcorn”? Too funny, John. 😀 Have a fantastic day.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Gwen. You as well

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I would have been tempted to elbow Tiny out of the way so I could get a better look. Those big guys always stand in front of 5 foot me!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Or sit tall with a hat. Thanks, Darlene

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Me too, Darlene! Another triumph, John.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Sarah.

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  7. If you are with Edison in 1879, do not ask “How many inventors does it take to screw in a lightbulb?”
    At best, he’ll have heard the joke. At worst — well, I can’t imagine.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha ha ha. At worst he will bust a gut laughing. Thanks, Linda.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. John, I have been meaning to comment on this long line of what not to do. Have you considered that what a person should not have to do is memorize what not to do? My gosh, the list is endless, and given my rapidly diminishing ability to remember things, I fear that sooner or later, I will inadvertently do what I am not supposed to do – and probably offend Tiny.

    Have you considered a list of optional things to do? This would easier on your readers.

    Regards, Greg.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have not but will keep it in mind. I’m not sure there are options when it comes to Tiny. My advice is to stay clear of him. Thanks, Greg

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  9. John,

    I love your list, and it begs a question. Which came first? The buttered popcorn or the movie?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Given the indians taught the pilgrims how to pop popcorn I would say popcorn. I think the yellow colored oil was a theater invention

      Liked by 1 person

      1. But it’s that ‘buttered’ fascination that I love most of all. I’m going to see Halloween tonight and do you know what I’m most looking forward to? Yup . . that glorious bucket of buttered popcorn.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I love popcorn. Good for you.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. D.L Finn, Author · ·

    The less gaslight company…lol. Another great list!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Denise. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  11. That man never could take a joke. Edison, not Tiny. Tiny is fine. I got no problems with Tiny.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Inventors seem to be short on humor.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Great list, John! Wouldn’t poor Edison have a fit knowing how hard it is today to find a lightbulb … one that’s not LED?! Funny, my mom’s house has bulbs put in when it was built (circa 1960) that have NEVER been changed — yet the replacements seem to last maybe a month. Planned obsolescence, I guess.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think planned obsolescence is the right answer.

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  13. Amazing set, dear John! It is even more than historical. It is already scientific! Great!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, very science oriented. Thaks, Maria.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. A enlightening list today, John. 🙂 Definitely wouldn’t want to drop the only light bulb on a concrete floor! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know right. Be just my luck. Thanks, Jan

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  15. I like the history you conveyed. I learned a thing or two … and for a genius like me … that’s sayin’ somethin’!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I try to keep information on the alreay known level so I’m flattered that one as smart as you felt you had learned something. 😀

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  16. History lessons with humor! We always learn from these posts or at least want to check them out for facts.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you could pick up a few facts.

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  17. I’ve read about the British working on the lighbulb before Edison, yet that’s not what is taught in the classroom. Funny how history books favor the few. Thanks, John, for the educational and humorous blog!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There were some words said about Edison stepping on the patent. In the end the British company and Edison joined up.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Reblogged this on Author Don Massenzio and commented:
    Check out this illuminating post from John Howell’s Fiction Favorites blog with Top Ten Things Not to do if You were with Edison in 1879

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Brilliant, John. You have to love [and thank], Edison.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We all do for sure, Robbie. Thank you. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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