Portrayed by Bob Gleason
American inventor, scientist, and businessman Thomas Edison developed many devices that greatly influenced life around the world, including the phonograph, the motion picture camera, and a long-lasting, practical electric light bulb. Edison was dubbed “The Wizard of Menlo Park.” Less known is his brilliance as a business pioneer. By aligning multiple businesses to bring innovation to the marketplace, he laid the path for today’s General Electric, the company that continues to ask the question: “Why predict the future when you can create it.” Edison’s inventions changed the world. His story is the American Dream.
From humble beginnings, Thomas Edison worked as a salesman selling candy and newspapers on trains running from Port Huron to Detroit. He began his first entrepreneurial venture selling vegetables to supplement this income. His knack for invention initially included making improvements to the telegraph, but his invention of the phonograph in 1877 was the beginning of a technology-based empire. His business acumen eventually led him to found 14 companies, including General Electric, which is still in existence and is one of the largest publicly traded companies in the world. He modestly once said that his inventions were “one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.”
Bob Gleason completely engages the audience with his portrayal of Thomas Edison. In addition to learning about the inventor’s life, inspirations and inventions, a visit with Thomas Edison will make anyone believe that with a little imagination, ingenuity, and a lot of hard work, great things are possible.