Thomas Edison

A black and white photo showing three scientists in an old looking laboratory.

Why history’s most famous scientists are usually a bit weird


Obsessed with work, insensitive, socially detached, and neglectful of family and friends — these may not be the most endearing qualities in a person, but they are just a few of the common characteristics a researcher found when studying some of the world’s most famous and prolific inventors.

Serbia's 100 dinar bill features inventor Nikola Tesla.

Nikola Tesla changed the world — so why did we forget him?

Electric Studebaker

The battle between gas and electric cars isn’t new

Mars Orbiter

If you have ever failed, this show is for you


America’s earliest recordings preserved and remastered

Arts, Culture & Media

American Icons: Lincoln Memorial

Arts, Culture & Media

How the Lincoln Memorial became America’s soapbox and how it speaks to the better angels of our nature.

How Thomas Edison Illuminated Modern America

The 1893 Columbian Exposition introduced the United States as an industrial power on the world’s stage.  Americans flocked to Chicago to ride the world’s first Ferris Wheel, to hear Frederick Jackson Turner lecture on his frontier thesis and, perhaps most of all, to see electric light for the first time. As the exposition opened on May […]

The World

Tesla vs. Edison

Global Politics

Tesla’s biggest innovation was introducing alternating current as the standard for modern electric power, breaking Thomas Edison’s monopoly on DC power. Author and monologist Mike Daisey performs.

The World


Arts, Culture & Media

Did you know there are audio recordings that predate Thomas Edison’s phonograph by almost 20 years? The phonautogram was invented by a Frenchman named Ã?duoard Léon-Scott and patented in 1857.

The World

Preserving America’s earliest recordings

Arts, Culture & Media

Richard Martin and Meagan Hennessey are the husband-and-wife team behind Archeophone Records in Chicago. Archeophone has rescued and preserved some of America’s richest recording history.