Thomas Alva, D. Sc., L.L. D., P.H. D. (1847-1931).
the apparatus of Edison remained imperfect for the Subtle World, because the energy of Agni was not applied; because of personal
unbelief. It has been said that even a candle is not lit without faith. FW1 251.
tasimeter adjusted to its utmost degree of sensitiveness and attached to a large telescope may be of great use when perfected.
When so attached the "tasimeter" will afford the possibility not only to measure the heat of the remotest of visible stars,
but to detect by their invisible radiations stars that are unseen and otherwise undetectable, hence planets also. The discoverer,
an F.T.S., a good deal protected by M. thinks that if, at any point in a blank space of heavens -- a space that appears blank
even through a telescope of the highest power -- the tasimeter indicates an accesion of temperature and does so invariably,
this will be a regular proof that the instrument is in range with the stellar body either non-luminous or so distant as to
be beyond the reach of telescopic vision.
tasimeter, he says, "is affected by a wider range of etheric undulations than the eye can take cognizance of." Science will
hear sounds from certain planets before she sees them. This is a prophecy. Unfortunately I am not a Planet, -- not even a
"planetary." Otherwise I would advise you to get a tasimeter from him and thus avoid me the trouble of writing to you. I would
manage then to find myself "in range" with you. Mahatma Letters. Also TCF.
group of scientists will come into incarnation on the physical plane during the next seventy-five years who will be the medium
for the revelation of the next three truths concerning electrical phenomena.
formula of truth concerning this aspect of manifestation was prepared by initiates on the fifth Ray at the close of the last
century, being part of the usual attempt of the Hierarchy to promote evolutionary development at the close of every cycle
of one hundred years.
parts (two fifths) of that formula have worked out through the achievements of such men as Edison and those who participate
in his type of endeavor, and through the work of those who have dealt with the subject of radium and radioactivity. Three
more parts of the same formula have still to come, and will embody all that it is possible or safe for man to know anent the
physical plane manifestation of electricity during the fifth subrace. TCF 456.
as the average man may realize it, great thinkers, such as Edison and others, arrive at a solution of their problems along
the line of meditation. By a brooding concentration, by a constant recollection, and by strenuous application to the particular
line of thought which interests them, they produce results, they tap the inner reservoirs of inspiration and of power, and
bring down from the higher levels of the mental plane results which benefit the group. CA 114.
want to point out to you what Edison is reported by an interviewer as having said in Harper's Magazine for February 1890,
and which is enlarged upon in the Scientific American for October 1920. In the earlier instance he is quoted as follows:
do not believe that matter is inert, acted upon by an outside force. To me it seems that every atom is possessed by a certain
amount of primitive intelligence. Look at the thousands of ways in which atoms of hydrogen combine with those of other elements,
forming the most diverse substances. Do you mean to say that they do this without intelligence? Atoms in harmonious and useful
relation assume beautiful or interesting shapes and colors, or give forth a pleasant perfume, as if expressing their satisfaction...
gathered together in certain forms, the atoms constitute animals of the lower order. Finally they combine in man, who represents
the total intelligence of all the atoms." "But where does this intelligence come from originally?" asked the interviewer.
"From some power greater than ourselves," Edison answered. "Do you believe, then, in an intelligent Creator, a personal God?"
"Certainly. The existence of such a God can, to my mind, be proved from chemistry."'
the long interview quoted in the Scientific American, Edison laid down a number of most interesting surmises from which I
have culled the following:
like matter, is indestructible. Our bodies are composed of myriads of infinitesimal entities, each in itself a unit of life;
just as the atom is composed of myriads of electrons. The human being acts as an assemblage rather than as a unit; the body
and mind express the vote or voice of the life entities. The life entities build according to a plan. If a part of the life
organism be mutilated, they rebuild exactly as before... Science admits the difficulty of drawing the line between the inanimate
and the animate; perhaps the life entities extend their activities to crystals and chemicals... The life entities live for
ever; so that to this extent at least the eternal life which many of us hope for is a reality." CA 39.
are constantly being made to corroborate the statement thus boldly put forth. Since we began to write this part of our book,
an announcement has been made in a number of papers of the supposed discovery of a new force by Mr. Edison, the electrician,
of Newark, New Jersey, which force seems to have little in common with electricity, or galvanism, except the principle of
conductivity. If demonstrated, it may remain for a long time under some pseudonymous scientific name; but, nevertheless, it
will be but one of the numerous family of children brought forth from the commencement of time by our kabalistic mother, the
Astral Virgin. In fact, the discoverer says that, "it is as distinct, and has as regular laws as heat, magnetism, or electricity."
The journal which contains the first account of the discovery adds that, "Mr. Edison thinks that it exists in connection with
heat, and that it can also be generated by independent and as yet undiscovered means."
of the most startling of recent discoveries, is the possibility of annihilating distance between human voices -- by means
of the telephone (distance-sounder), an instrument invented by Professor A. Graham Bell. This possibility, first suggested
by the little "lovers' telegraph," consisting of small tin cups with vellum and drug-twine apparatus, by which a conversation
can be carried on at a distance of two hundred feet, has developed into the telephone, which will become the wonder of this
age. A long conversation has taken place between Boston and Cambridgeport by telegraph; "every word being distinctly heard
and perfectly understood, and the modulations of voices being quite distinguishable," according to the official report. The
voice is seized upon, so to say, and held in form by a magnet, and the sound-wave transmitted by electricity acting in unison
and co-operating with the magnet.
whole success depends upon a perfect control of the electric currents and the power of the magnets used, with which the former
must co-operate. "The invention," reports the paper, "may be rudely described as a sort of trumpet, over the bell-mouth of
which is drawn a delicate membrane, which, when the voice is thrown into the tube, swells outward in proportion to the force
of the sound-wave. To the outer side of the membrane is attached a piece of metal, which, as the membrane swells outward,
connects with a magnet, and this, with the electric circuit, is controlled by the operator. By some principle, not yet fully
understood, the electric current transmits the sound-wave just as delivered by the voice in the trumpet, and the listener
at the other end of the line, with a twin or facsimile trumpet at his ear, hears every word distinctly, and readily detects
the modulations of the speaker's voice."
in the presence of such wonderful discoveries of our age, and the further magical possibilities lying latent and yet undiscovered
in the boundless realm of nature, and further, in view of the great probability that Edison's Force and Professor Graham Bell's
Telephone may unsettle, if not utterly upset all our ideas of the imponderable fluids, would it not be well for such persons
as may be tempted to traverse our statements, to wait and see whether they will be corroborated or refuted by further discoveries.
Only in connection with these discoveries, we may, perhaps, well remind our readers of the many hints to be found in the ancient
histories as to a certain secret in the possession of the Egyptian priesthood, who could instantly communicate, during the
celebration of the Mysteries, from one temple to another, even though the former were at Thebes and the latter at the other
end of the country; the legends attributing it, as a matter of course, to the "invisible tribes" of the air, which carry messages
for mortals. The author of Pre-Adamite Man quotes an instance, which being given merely on his own authority, and he seeming
uncertain whether the story comes from Macrinus or some other writer, may be taken for what it is worth. He found good evidence,
he says, during his stay in Egypt, that "one of the Cleopatras (?) sent news by a wire to all the cities, from Heliopolis
to Elephantine, on the Upper Nile."
is not so long since Professor Tyndall ushered us into a new world, peopled with airy shapes of the most ravishing beauty.
"The discovery consists," he says, "in subjecting the vapors of volatile liquids to the action of concentrated sun-light,
or to the concentrated beam of the electric light." The vapors of certain nitrites, iodides, and acids are subjected to the
action of the light in an experimental tube, lying horizontally, and so arranged that the axis of the tube and that of the
parallel beams issuing from the lamp are coincident. The vapors form clouds of gorgeous tints, and arrange themselves into
the shapes of vases, of bottles and cones, in nests of six or more; of shells, of tulips, roses, sunflowers, leaves, and of
involved scrolls. "In one case," he tells us, "the cloud-bud grew rapidly into a serpent's head; a mouth was formed, and from
the cloud, a cord of cloud resembling a tongue was discharged." Finally, to cap the climax of marvels, "once it positively
assumed the form of a fish, with eyes, gills, and feelers. The twoness of the animal form was displayed throughout, and no
disk, coil, or speck existed on one side that did not exist on the other."
phenomena may possibly be explained in part by the mechanical action of a beam of light, which Mr. Crookes has recently demonstrated.
For instance, it is a supposable case, that the beams of light may have constituted a horizontal axis, about which the disturbed
molecules of the vapors gathered into the forms of globes and spindles. But how account for the fish, the serpent's head,
the vases, the flowers of different varieties, the shells? This seems to offer a dilemma to science as baffling as the meteor-cat
of Babinet. We do not learn that Tyndall ventured as absurd an explanation of his extraordinary phenomena as that of the Frenchman
about his. Those who have not given attention to the subject may be surprised to find how much was known in former days of
that all-pervading, subtile principle which has recently been baptized THE UNIVERSAL ETHER.
proceeding, we desire once more to enunciate in two categorical propositions, what was hinted at before. These propositions
were demonstrated laws with the ancient theurgists. I. The so-called miracles, to begin with Moses and end with Cagliostro,
when genuine, were as de Gasparin very justly insinuates in his work on the phenomena, "perfectly in accordance with natural
law"; hence -- no miracles. Electricity and magnetism were unquestionably used in the production of some of the prodigies;
but now, the same as then, they are put in requisition by every sensitive, who is made to use unconsciously these powers by
the peculiar nature of his or her organization, which serves as a conductor for some of these imponderable fluids, as yet
so imperfectly known to science. This force is the prolific parent of numberless attributes and properties, many, or rather,
most of which, are as yet unknown to modern physics. IU1 128.
Born on February 11th at Milan, Ohio.
Moved to Port Huron, Mich.
Set up a chemical laboratory in the cellar of his home.
Became a newsboy and "candy butcher" on the trains of the Grand Trunk Railway, running between Port Huron and Detroit.
Printed and published "The Weekly Herald," the first newspaper ever to be typeset and printed on a moving train. The London
Times features a story on him and his paper, giving him his first exposure to international notoriety.
Saved - from otherwise certain death in a train accident - the young son of J. U. Mackenzie, station agent at Mount Clemens,
Mich. In gratitude, the child's father taught him telegraphy.
Strung a telegraph line from the Port Huron railway station to Port Huron village and worked in the local telegraph office.
Obtained his first position as a regular telegraph operator on the Grand Trunk Railway at Stratford Junction, Canada. Later,
is resigned by them to help develop a duplex system of telegraphy
Spent nearly five years as a telegraph "tramp operator" in various cities of the Central Western states, always experimenting
with ways to improve the apparatus.
Entered the office of Western Union in Boston as a telegraph operator. Becomes friendly with other early electricians - especially
a later associate of Alexander Graham Bell named Benjamin Franklin Bredding - who was much more knowledgeable than both himself
and Bell on the state-of-the-art of telegraphy and electricity. Entered the private telegraph line business on a very modest
scale. Resigned from Western Union - was about to be fired anyway - in order to conduct further experimentation on multiplexing
Came up with his first patented invention, an Electrical Vote Recorder. Application for this patent was signed 0n October
11, 1968. Because the invention was way ahead of its time, it was heartily denigrated by politicians... He now becomes much more oriented towards making certain there is a strong public demand and associated
market for anything he tries to invent.
Landed in New York City by way of a Boston steamship, poor, penniless, and in debt. While seeking work, chanced being in the
operating room of the Gold & Stock Telegraph Company when their ticker apparatus broke down. No one but he was able to
fix it, As a result, he was given a job as superintendent at the remarkable wage of $300 per month.
Went into partnership with Franklin L. Pope as an electrical engineer. Radically improved stock tickers and patented several
associated inventions, among which were the Universal Stock Ticker and the Unison Device.
Received the first cash payment for one of his inventions, a $40,000 check. Sent money back to his financially desperate parents.
Opened a manufacturing shop in Newark, where he made stock tickers and worked on developing the quadruplex telegraph.
Assisted Sholes, the inventor of the typewriter, in making the first successful working model of that device.
Worked on and patented several of his most important inventions, including the motograph and automatic telegraph systems such
as the quadruplex, sextuplex and multiplex telegraph which saved Western Union many millions of dollars in wiring. Also invented
paraffin paper (which was first used for wrapping candies), the electric pen, the forerunner of the present day mimeograph
machine, the carbon rheostat, the microtasimeter, etc.
Invented the carbon telephone transmitter "button", which finally made telephony a commercial success. Significantly, this
invention not only led to the development of the microphone, which made early radio possible, but the solid state "diode"
or transistor which makes so many of today's electronic devices possible. Invented the phonograph. (The patent on which was
later issued by the United States Patent Office - within two months after its application - without a single reference.)
Continued to improve the phonograph. Later in the year, went with an astronomical party to Rawlins, Wyoming for rest and to
test his new microtasimeter during an eclipse of the sun. Associates key him in to the world-wide need for a workable incandescent
light bulb. Upon returning, he began to investigate the "electric light problem in earnest."
Became the first to apply the term "filament" to a fine wire that glows when carrying an electric current. In a prophetic
article in the North American Review he foreshadowed ten prominent uses for the phonograph - all since accomplished - including
its combination with the telephone, which became a reality in 1914 with the perfection of the Telescribe.
Invented the first commercially practical incandescent electric lamp. The lamp itself was perfected on October 21st, 1879,
on which day there was put into circuit the first bulb embodying the principles known as the "Edison modern incandescent lamp."
This bulb maintained its incandescence for over 40 hours.
Made radical improvements on the construction of dynamos, including the mica laminated armature and mica insulated commutator.
Also constructed the first practical generators for the systems of distribution of current for lighting. Invented and improved
upon numerous systems of generation, distribution, regulation and, measurement of electric current and voltage. Invented sockets,
switches, insulating tape, etc. (Meanwhile, he also invented gummed paper tape now commonly used in place of twine or string
for securing packages.)
Constructed the first electric motor ever made for a 110 to 120 volt line at Menlo Park, N. J. This device is still in existence
and operative, and is located in the Edison Historical Collection in New Jersey. On December 31, gave the first public demonstration
of an electric lighting system in streets and buildings at Menlo Park, N. J., utilizing underground mains.
Invented further improvements in systems and details for electric lighting and laid the first groundwork for introducing them
on a commercial basis. Established the first incandescent lamp factory at Menlo Park, N. J.
Invented a magnetic ore separator. Invented and installed the first life-sized electric railway for handling freight and passengers
at Menlo Park, N. J.
Opened business offices at No. 65 Fifth Avenue, New York City. Established his second and improved commercial incandescent
lamp factory at Harrison, N. J. Also organized and established shops at 104 Goerck St., 108 Wooster St., and 65 Washington
St. in New York City, for the manufacture of dynamos, underground conductors, sockets, switches, fixtures, meters, etc.
On September 4th, he commenced operation of the first profit oriented central station in the United States in New York City,
for the distribution of current for electric lighting.
Designed and contracted for the first three-wire central station for distributing electric light, power, and heat - in standardized
form - in Brockton, Massachusetts. By October, had completed construction of that station. Discovered a previously unknown
phenomenon that later came to be known as the "Edison effect," but he called "Etheric Force." Specifically, determined that
an independent wire, grid, or plate placed between the legs of the filament of an incandescent lamp acted as a "damper" or
valve to control the flow of current. The associated Patent No. 307,031 was issued to him later that year. Twelve years later
these previously unknown phenomena were recognized as electric waves in free space and became the foundation of wireless telegraphy.
Most significantly, this discovery - along with his carbon button - involved the foundation principles upon which the diode
was later invented, and upon which radio, television, and computer transistors
are based. Moved from Newark to a new laboratory at Menlo Park...
Constructed the first, relatively crude, three-wire central system for electric lighting in a simple wooden structure in Sunbury,
Underwent his most strenuous years of invention as he extended and improved greatly upon his electric light, heat, and power
systems. Took out over three hundred patents, many of which were of extraordinary and fundamental importance. The most were
those relating to "dividing" electric power and standardizing the three-wire system and improving its associated generation
and feeder system.
- 1887 Invented a system of wireless telegraphy, (by induction) to and from trains in motion, or between moving trains and
railway stations. The system was installed on the Lehigh Valleys R. R. in 1887, and was used there for several years. Invented
a wireless system of communication between ships at sea, ships and shore and ships and distant points on land. Patent No.
465,971 was issued on this invention, the application having been filed May 23, 1885 - two years prior to the publication
of the work of Hertz. Most significantly, this patent was eventually purchased from Edison by the Marconi Wireless Telegraph
Moved his center of experimentation to the laboratory at West Orange, New Jersey.
Made major improvements on the brown wax and black wax cylinder phonograph. Obtained over eighty related patents, while establishing
a very extensive commercial business in the manufacture and sale of phonographs and records, including associated dictating
machines, "shaveable" records, and shaving machines.
Made a number of inventions associated with improving electric railways.
Invented and patented the motion picture camera. This mechanism, with its continuous tape-like film, made it possible to take,
reproduce, and project motion pictures as we see and hear them today.
Developed his great iron ore enterprise, in which he did some of his most brilliant engineering work. One of his most important
inventions of this period was a giant roller machine for breaking large masses of rock and finely crushing them. Invented
the Fluoroscope...realizing the necessity and value of a practical fluorescent screen for making examinations with X-rays,
he made thousands of crystallizations of single and double chemical salts and finally discovered that crystals of Calcium
Tungstate made in a particular way were highly fluorescent to the X-ray. Also made many several improvements on the X-ray
- 1910 Invented and perfected the steel alkaline storage battery and made it a commercial success.
-1909 Established his once famous Portland Cement Co. and made many important inventions relating to the processes involved
in the production of pre-cast buildings. In 1907, he introduced the first concrete mold
for making one-piece houses called "single piece cast concrete homes." The unique type of kiln he developed for making
these houses proved to be of great importance in the cement industry.
Worked on improving the Edison Primary Battery. Continued to invent improvements to his phonograph - his favorite invention
- and associated cylinders.
Introduced a revolutionary new type of dictating machine, which enabled the dictator to hear repetitions and make paper scale
Introduced the Universal Electric Motor which made it possible to operate dictating machines etc. on all lighting circuits.
Worked on - and much improved - the disc phonograph, resulting in the production of records and playing instruments which
reproduce vocal and instrumental music with overtones that had relatively "extraordinary
fidelity and sweetness." Introduced the diamond point reproducer and the "indestructible" record, thereby commencing a new
era in phonographs.
Having spent many previous years in its general development and perfection, finally introduced the Kinetophone or talking
Introduced an important automatic correction device for the dictating machine.
Being the largest individual user in the United States of carbolic acid (for making phonograph records), he found himself
at the onset of World War One in danger of being compelled to close his factory by reason of a related embargo placed on exporting
said substance by England and Germany. The basic issue was that carbolic acid was in great demand for the purpose of making
explosives. He now devised an alternative method for making carbolic acid synthetically, and finally put crews of men to work
twenty four hours a day to build a related plant. By the eighteenth day, was producing carbolic acid, and within four weeks
was turning out a ton of it per day.
On the night of December 9th his great plant at West Orange, N. J. was the scene of a spectacular fire. As soon as he saw
the scope of this conflagration he enthusiastically sent word to several friends and members of his family, advising them
to "Get down here quick.... you may never have another chance to see anything like this again!" Within hours after the fire
had been extinguished, he had given orders for the complete rehabilitation of the plant. Early the next morning he arrived
with a gang of men and began to supervise the task of clearing the debris. Hundreds more workers were added throughout the
day, and the project continued around the clock for several months until an even larger and more efficient facility than the
original had been completed.
Invented the Telescribe, combining the telephone and the dictating phonograph, thus permitting - for the first time - the
recording of both sides of a telephone conversation.
Because military conflicts in Europe had created an enormous demand for phenols, and supplies were uncertain, he invented
the first synthetic form of carbolic acid (C6H6O). Next, after evaluating all of the literature available on the erection
and operation of benzol (C6H6) absorbing plants, he drew up plans for
facility that could be readily installed. Although it had previously taken nine
months to a year to install such a facility, his first such structure was put into operation in just forty five days. A larger
plant designed for the Woodward Iron Company at Woodward, Ala., was completed in only 60 days. At about this time, he also
built two other large benzol plants in Canada, each of were was put into operation in less than sixty days. All these plants
became highly successful commercial operations, producing benzol, toluol, solvent naphtha, xylol, and naphthalene.
In the early months of this year, he conceived the idea of helping out the struggling textile and rubber industries of America
by making myrbane, aniline oil, and aniline salt, which, are still important commercial substances, and which had been previously
imported from Germany. Following his usual procedure, he first exhausted the literature on the subject, and then laid out
the plant. By bringing great pressure to bear on his workers - and by working day and night himself - he constructed the plant
in just forty five working days, commenced deliveries in June, and was soon turning out over 4,000 pounds of these products
During World War One, the dyeing industry was suffering from a great scarcity of paraphenylenediamine, formerly imported from
Germany. Since he was using the chemical in the manufacture of records for his Diamond Disc Phonograph and was no longer able
to procure it, he experimented until he found a way to synthesize it. Much pressure was now brought to bear upon him to supply
some of it to fur dyers and others. He equipped a separate plant for this purpose and ultimately manufactured over a ton a
The great scarcity of carbolic acid in America now brought innumerable requests to him to sell some of this product. His first
such plant worked well, producing about 7,000 pounds a day. This, however, soon proved to be insufficient to supply the demand.
He now projected and installed another plant with a capacity of about 7,000 pounds additional per day. As he devised improved
processes for use in the latter plant there were a vast number of difficult problems to overcome. However, with his usual
energy and dogged perseverance - involving many weeks of strenuous work - he finally prevailed.
Worked several months making important improvements in the manufacture of disc phonograph records and new methods and devices
for recording. Worked on improved methods and processes producing his chemical products. Worked out processes for making a
paramidaphenol base, hydrochloride benzidine base, and sulphate and constructed new plants for their manufacture. As President
of the Naval Consulting Board, he did a great deal of work connected with national defense.
Worked on special experiments relating to defense for the United States Government. See below.
Locating positions of guns by sound ranging.
Detecting submarines by sound from moving vessels.
Detecting, on moving vessels, the discharge of torpedoes by submarines.
The faster turning of ships.
Strategic plans for saving cargo boats from harm by enemy submarines.
Development of collision mats for submarines and ships.
Methods for guiding merchant ships out of mined harbors.
Oleum cloud shells.
Blocking torpedoes with nets.
Increased power for torpedoes.
Coastal patrol by submarine buoys.
Destroying periscopes with machine guns.
Cartridges for taking soundings.
Sailing lights for convoys.
17 Underwater searchlights.
High speed signaling with searchlights.
Water penetrating projectiles.
Observing periscopes in silhouette.
was awarded 1,368 separate and distinct patents during his lifetime. He passed away at age 84 on October 18th, 1931 - on the
anniversary date of his invention of the incandescent bulb.
Jeremy Condick. email@example.com