Thomas Edison provided us with a lifetime legacy of highly creative invention. He and his staff kept project details in the 4,000 lab notebooks they left behind. Edison may have spent a great deal of time in his labs, but he did not create all his prototypes himself. He personally handpicked his very capable staff, and worked with them to transform his ideas into three-dimensional models for testing. Hiring the right people was a hallmark of his most inventive mind.
August’s free e-book for members, Thomas Edison—Man of the Millennium—Volume 1: The Legacy, by author Harry T. Roman, kicks off a three-volume series exploring the man, the myth, and the legend.
Many people consider Thomas Alva Edison to be the world’s greatest inventor. And since childhood, Roman has considered Edison his hero. Edison’s genius inspired Roman to get an engineering degree, and spend 36 years in PSE&G’s (New Jersey’s largest utility) research and development group. His second career as a prolific educator and writer allows Roman to dig deep into Edison’s life and times.
“In this series of three e-books, I want readers to really take a look at the man, and what he did,” Roman says. “In writing this first volume, I wanted it to be different than just a re-telling of Edison’s accomplishments. Instead, I wanted it to be introspective, reflective about his life and eccentricities, something to make Edison seem less mythic and more human.”
Roman says nothing seemed to appeal more to Thomas Edison than being the “breakthrough guy,” the one who always did something new and unusual. He wrote that for Edison, “the thrill was in the chase, the pursuit of the process to inventive victory— his mind against the problem, racing to be there first.”
For the past 12 years, Roman has served as a seasonal park ranger at the Thomas Edison National Historic Park, in West Orange, N.J. He also became a special volunteer and docent at the same park site, as well as an educational advisor and author for the Edison Innovation Foundation. These activities have allowed Roman behind-the-scenes access to all things Edison — with the opportunity to see and learn from Edison’s original writings, artifacts and lab notebooks.
The chapters of this book reflect what people have been most interested in, and asked Roman about, or commented upon, when they heard his weekend lectures on Edison. Roman also included what he finds most interesting about Thomas Edison. Each chapter stands on its own merit.
From August 1 through September 15, IEEE members can download a free copy of Thomas Edison, Man of the Millennium, Volume 1: The Legacy by going to: https://ieeeusa.org/shop/views/thomas-edison-vol-1/
Sign in with your IEEE Account, add the book to your cart, and add Promo Code AUGFREE19 at checkout.
The book is regularly $2.99 for members and $4.99 for non-members. Don’t miss this great free gift to you from IEEE-USA. Download your copy today!
Georgia C. Stelluto is IEEE-USA’s Publishing Manager; Manager/Editor of IEEE-USA E-BOOKS; InFocus Department Editor for IEEE-USA InSight; and Co-Editor of the IEEE-USA Conference Brief.