Man who gave us light had dark side

Tom Jackson
Mar 17, 2014


Glenn Beck, the talk show host and author, says he is planning to make a major motion picture that will expose inventor and Milan native Thomas Edison as a “bad man.”

Beck revealed his movie plans in an interview with National Review, posted on March 10 at the magazine’s website. The piece says,

“Another film will ‘expose the truth’ about Thomas Edison, a villain Beck thinks has gotten a break from historians and whose real story demonstrates our flawed understanding of the 20th century.

Though remembered as ‘this nice, kind of, good old Thomas,’ Beck explains, ‘he was really a bad man who was electrocuting animals.’ Edison,’was absolutely on the wrong end, and luckily for him the story ended happily with his name being taken off his own company and given to GE,’ he says. ‘And all the people he tried to destroy and screw — he was screwed.’ Beck is getting animated. ‘In the end, he was screwed, and with the same tactics he used on everybody else. I think that’s the story that needs to be told about Thomas Edison: He was a bad man.’ “




Glenn Beck is a nut case that needs to be shut up by anyone who can unplug his microphone. This guy is a menace to society and is in love with the sound of his own voice.

From the Grave

Glen who?

From the Grave

So what he's saying is that Edison invented the ruthless ashole too.


I agree, he is truly delusional in every sense of the word. He sickens me to watch him....


If it wasn't for Mr. Edison's inventions: light bulb, movie projector, power plants, et. al, Glenn Beck would still be a drunk, sitting in the dark, playing with himself.

Lord save me from the "saved."




Edison did not invent power plants...


he didn't have AC power plant that we use today Tesla made them, Edison's was DC power plant which we don't use. then i think screwed Tesla out of the business


Re: "Tesla,"

An egotistical genius with lousy business skills.

Point: Edison created the first power plants for his bulbs.

"The first public power station was the Edison Electric Light Station, built in London at 57, Holborn Viaduct, which started operation in January 1882"

Why so much work to tarnish a great man's name?

John Harville

Power plants, appliances, etc. run on ALTERNATING CURRENT discovered and developed by Tesla. Edison only had Direct Current.

Like Abraham, Moses and Noah, Edison had great PR.


Agree with Contango's assessment of Glenn Beck. :)


With 1,093 inventions....Glenn Beck is no match for Thomas Edison's intelligence let alone capable of writing any commentary worth my reading time.


At the time of his death, Mr. Edison had over 2000 notebooks with ideas that occurred to him and that he wrote down.

Tour his Milan boyhood home if you haven't.

looking around

Tour his winter estate and laboratory museum in Ft. Myers Fl as well it's a day well worth spending.

JMOP's picture

Everyone has their own perspective and opinions on people past and present. I've only heard/known about Edison's accomplishments, and boy are they amazing!
Possibly there is more to the story about Edison.

John Harville

Use your AC-powered computer and do a search on TESLA.
Then search the elephant Edison executed... predecessor of the electric chair.

JMOP's picture

How sad.

I never even gave it a second thought about Edison's personality. I knew how he grew up, and with all his inventions, I figured he was just busy creating one after another to be doing any wrong.


all my computers are dc powered. they plug into ac power, but they contain some type of rectifier, probably diodes, to convert the current to dc. much like the alternator on a car. it makes ac power and converts it to dc power using diodes..


I remember seeing a program that said edison invented the electric chair. Anyone?


Yes, and he insisted on having an audience for that too. So that everyone could watch the man being brutally tortured by a slow death. It was so repulsive that one witness vomited on site.


akin to the scene in 'The Green Mile'.


Let the guy alone. No one is perfect plus he's dead. Get a life GB!


As much as I would hate to agree with Glenn Beck, he is correct. Edison was not what our sanitized history books represent. One needs to look no further than what Edison did not Nikola Tesla to see examples of what a cheat and fraud Edison was.

Stop It



Didn't Tesla sing "Edison's Medicine"?

John Harville

So somebody reputable needs to write the story and give Edison and Tesla their entitled place in history.

The Big Dog's back



Thomas Edison killed innocent dogs, just to prove a point. Not only did he electrocute these poor animals, but he invited audiences to come and watch! He advertised the killing of the abused and villanized elephant, so that 1,500 people could witness the horrific event. The guy got off on seeing the current go through them and put them to death, just to prove his point.

Edison was a narcissist he!l bent on being right, no matter who or what stood in his way. His mother went crazy, and he didn't fall far from that tree.

From the Grave

We just gas them now...


Using our current morality in order to judge historical figures and events leads to the fallacy of recency.

In 200 yrs., some of our ignorant ancestors will undoubtedly use the same mental stupidity to condemn us and our actions.


You're right. At one time, slavery, the marriage of young teenaged girls, wife-beating, etc. wasn't frowned upon and was sometimes actually upheld as the proper example! Actions MUST be judged in context — and that includes the time period — for there to be anything meaningful to come of it.

That being said, I remember hearing long ago that "history is written by the victors." Indeed!

Thomas Edison is, in this instance, the victor. It's unfair to suggest that he WASN'T a genius, and that he DIDN'T patent thousands of items, many of which we'd be hard-pressed to do without today. At the same time, it's JUST as unfair to "sanitize" history. Just because Edison did good things doesn't mean he didn't do bad things, and just because some of those good things are worthy of admiration, so, too, are some of those bad things deserving of condemnation.

If Beck presents a) the truth, and b) both ends of the spectrum of the facts, then good for him. If he puts out what proves to be just another propaganda piece, well, that says a lot more about Glenn Beck than it does about Thomas Edison, doesn't it?


Re: "Actions MUST be judged in context — and that includes the time period — for there to be anything meaningful to come of it."


Having a Minor in History and still being a student of the subject, it's important that one mentally put oneself in their place and time in order to help understand their motivations and actions.

Pterocarya frax...

You and SamAdams are correct. If there are humans on this planet in 200 years (Unlikely though it is), they will judge us severely for stances on things like gay rights, closed borders, war, etc.


Some of us don't need to wait 200 years, Contango. Most of the current Republican platforms on social issues are deplorable by today's standards. Racism, discrimination and ignorance are unconscionable in any era.

By the way, ancestors come BEFORE us. I think you meant to use the word Descendants.


Re: "current Republican platforms on social issues,"


William Jeffers...

Exactly! We already joke around about as kids we rode in the front seat with no seat belt and when dad slammed on the breaks, he reached his arm out to keep us from flying through the windshield. Today he would get charged with child endangerment.


Does this mean George Washington never chopped down the cherry tree? Or did he chop it down and lie about it?
Glenn speaks the truth rarely.


Don't even get me started about Christopher Columbus......

From the Grave

What a waste of time. Hey Glen, invent something instead.


Glenn Beck invented Thomas Edison. Thomas Edison was a power forward who played for the Boston Celtics in 1918. The Boston Celtics was a cover name for the N.R.A. in Europe. The N.R.A. were responsible for hatching a plan to overthrow the king of Rome before the Great Crusades. The Great Crusades was a religious attempt to eliminate all Gypsies east of the Niger River north of line south of the east side but a little more northerly in a place called Western Eastland. Western Eastlanders disliked their name so they called Chis Columbus who stopped at the home of the queen of Spain for a loan so he could sail a canoe towards the sunset where he hoped to find them a them new name or...the Golden Arches of Estonia. After many weeks of paddling his dugout he alas hit land at 3:28 am. Thinking he had landed at WalMart he went inside to buy some chips and Glenn Becks' book about Thomas Edison which blew his theory on electroshock therapy which Glenn had performed on himself during a drinking binge. Now distraught with this new revelation he sailed back to Spain only to be imprisoned by Ralph Nader, son of Atilla the Hun. After having read this narrative in the N.Y. Times...Sir Lance A. Lot, a mere squire at the time, wrote, "The Theoretical Aspects of Evolution" (illustrated by Thomas Kinkade). Mr. Lot became very wealthy because the printing press had just been invented by Moa Sa Dung, a speech writer for Miley Silas. With his newfound resources Mr. Lot began a quest to formulate rudimentary life forms by combining different materials such as cow excretions, human flesh and a dash of salt peter. That combination proved successful and with it he created Howard Cosell. Howard spent his time calling people, "Little Monkeys" and often dined with Cassius Clay, the founder of the Black Panthers, who were the antithesis to the K.K.K. Soon Malcom X, son of X-ray, began to blow up buildings in and around the home town of Knute Rockne. So enraged was Knute he called up the likes of Humpty Dumpty, Paul Revere and the Raiders, Rand Paul, George Wallace, Donald Duck and Newt Gingrich to form the Tea Party.
*Note; I must pay homage to this data as I translated it from Glenn Beck's first book titled, "In My Mind", sub-titled "An Electrical Primer for Dummies".

Pterocarya frax...

That Irish whiskey is flowing good already, I see!


Just one question PB & J-- Did he get the girl at the end of the story?


Reading Signs the 1rst human eliminated in the Electric Chair got it from Alternating Current. Edison stated something like, "see I told Tesla's AC is dangerous!" While Edison & Tesla were brilliant, Edison did not like Nickola. JP Morgan was not nice to Tesla either.


Tesla was a better man, Edison did electrocute peoples pets, under the ruse, bring me your pets for my scientific study, no one expected he was going to torture them, yes, he was brilliant, but quite cruel. The truth , we can take it.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

Who won? You decide!

Epic Rap Battle of History: Thomas Edison vs. Nikola Tesla (this one is PG but some of the others could bump it for language)


Edison lied stole and cheated his was to the top he was a "bad man" but he's now worse than the politician and CEOs we have in America now. If it was up to Edison we would have had a power plant in every neighborhood. Tesla was the real thinker. The crap we learn in school is 50% true 25% false and 25% up for debate or speculations

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

While it isn't necessarily about the Edison vs. Tesla battle, I'd recommend the movie "The Prestige" which uses it as a major backdrop.

EDIT: I was a bit ashamed I didn't hear of/watch it until late last year. It was made in 2006 and is directed by Christopher Nolan and features, among other: Christian Bale, Scarlett Johansson, Hugh Jackman, and Michael Caine.


I liked the movie, too. And when I got home, I hit the Internet to find out just how much of the wireless current was factual (in the context of Tesla's claims/inventions). The vast majority of answers I got suggest that it was legit and that Edison (among others) effectively screwed Tesla over. Whether that was because they were protecting their OWN inventions/investments, or because they just didn't like the guy, is immaterial. For the record, it appeared to be some of both...


Re: "Edison (among others) effectively screwed Tesla over."

Reminds me of quotes from the movie: "The Right Stuff."

"You boys know what makes this bird go up? Funding."

"No bucks, no Buck Rogers."

Ya need to ask yourself why N. Tesla died penny-less.

Stop It

Because he wasn't good with money or patents. Edison stole his stuff and put his patent on it. Tesla needed an accountant and lawyer. His genius was headed in one direction only. That was his downfall.


Re: "Edison stole his stuff and put his patent on it."

When you're employed by someone and you're working on a project, your contributions become your employer's intellectual property.

N. Tesla was part of a team, employed by Mr. Edison.

Edison is not the devil and Tesla ain't a saint.

Stop It

He quit Edison over the AC vs. DC BS. Tesla proved to be right. Which of the two runs your household?

Edison was backed by the oil and railroad robber barons, not to mention his best buddy, Ford. Yes he was the devil.


Re: "Yes he was the devil."

Lots of hostility directed toward a man who lived and died decades ago and that you never personally knew.

I trust it makes you feel better about yourself.


Re: "robber barons,"

And through anti-trust laws, they've been effectively replaced with the power-hungry, paper-pushing Washington bureaucrats.

Guess our country is a whole lot better off with those taxpayer supported bozos in charge eh?

Stop It

It could be all the King's horses and all the King's men...Humpty Dumpty never existed, and still doesn't today. I dislike power and corruption. Yes.


When it came to science and technology, Edison was a genius, but that doesn't mean he was a good person. Just because someone excels in one field of endeavor doesn't mean they are good, or moral, or even fit to excel in other fields.

High achievement does not equal goodness - just consider that genocide is always committed by high achievers, because only they have the power necessary.

looking around

Glenn Beck has a lot of balls talking about anybody! Even most right wing bloggers here say he's nuts.


Stop it check on JPMorgan/Tesla also. Morgan reminds me of Dick Chaney. While legit, ($$ /300) Morgan avoided Civil War Service. Big money? Who knew? Tesla was about helping everyday people as his lack of interest in business deals historically validate this. (Too nice) JPMorgan was an azzz. History proved that also.


Well Edison sure did leave a legacy of amazing inventions that have changed all our daily lives. There have been a LOT of historical figures who have brought us great things who may have been less than desireable people in real life. Big deal. The fact that Glen Beck is on the "anti-Edison" bandwagon only inspires me to defend Edison more. The irony is that I agree that Edison screwed over Tesla, so defending Edison isn't the most natural thing for me.


All we posters could assemble "anti-Beck" materials and produce a book about him. Any input?


I'm an old man, and I don't like the way that things are, as opposed to the way they used to be!
Edison is demigod. Own it already!