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Thomas Edison, from Martian Dreams
Famous inventor Thomas Edison (1847-1931) was one of the members of the original 1893 expedition to Mars.
When the Avatar met him in Martian Dreams, Edison had been working for some time to find a way to restore power to the human settlement of Olympus, in case it was needed to build the new space cannon. He'd heard about the lens towers north of Argyre that his rival, "that whippersnapper," Nikola Tesla said were supposed to broadcast power. Robert E. Peary had actually seen them; Edison, however, was convinced they wouldn't work, and might have even been responsible for destroying the Martians to begin with.
Edison had also seen much of the Martian machinery, and knew that some of it was powered by Radium. He'd also been fascinated by the dream machine there at Olympus, but it was ordered destroyed by Jack Segal before he could seriously study it. Edison seemed fairly certain that, if a working control panel was found elsewhere and rewired to replace its smashed-up one, he could rewire it to get the machine functioning again. He seemed to recall seeing such a panel in the underground access tunnels beneath Olympus.
The Avatar was able to procure the correct control panel, and Edison was indeed able to rewire the device to work with the dream machine. He was also called upon later to repair a broken motor from one of the broadcasting towers. "Fascinating technology," he remarked upon returning it. "Not too bright, though."
At the adventure's end, Edison returned with the others to Earth in the space bullet.
America's most prolific inventor, and the first entrepreneurial scientist, Edison was issued over 1,000 patents in his lifetime. He is popularly credited with inventing such history-making devices as electric lights, the phonograph, and the motion picture. I was quite taken aback by the animosity between Edison and Dr. Tesla. Friendly competitors they most assuredly were not. I can only assume Edison saw in Tesla's alternating current motor the demise of direct current, of which he was a leading proponent. One can only wonder what these two geniuses could have accomplished had they been able to work together. Still and all, Edison's engineering expertise proved invaluable in our attempts to understand and repair a variety of Martian machines.
See Also Edit
- Thomas Edison on Wikipedia.