World’s Strangest

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Happy Birthday, Nikola Tesla!

Nikola Tesla was born in Croatia on July 10, 1856, which is 155 years ago today. It’s a good day to take a little time and find out more about this extraordinary man. Few inventors contributed more to advances in science and engineering in the early 20th century than Nikola Tesla. As one of the Fathers [...]

Weird Inventions of Edison

One of Edison’s weirdest inventions: The Edison Talking Doll Perhaps you thought of the lightbulb, the phonograph, or even direct current when you think about Thomas Edison, but those aren’t the only things he invented (or technically, improved), as shown by this Oobject list: Link Previously on Neatorama: 10 Fascinating Facts About Edison

Thomas Edison’s 1911 Predictions for 2011

The 23 June 1911 issue of the Miami Metropolis featured predictions by Thomas Edison about life in America one hundred years hence. Here’s a selection from of prophecies of “the Wizard”, as the author refers to Edison: But the traveler of the future, says a writer in Answers, will largely scorn such earth crawling. He will [...]

Photographs and Audio Recordings from Mecca in 1885

Dutch adventurer Christiaan Snouck Hurgronje traveled to the Muslim holy city of Mecca in 1885, photographing what he saw and recording sounds using an invention of Thomas Edison: Snouck’s extraordinary collection of sepia-tinted images of Mecca in a bygone age have gone on display in Dubai ahead of the annual Hajj pilgrimage that originally drew him [...]

The Ultimate Audio Format War: Records vs. Wax Cylinders

Mac vs PC, VHS vs. Betamax, and Blu-Ray vs. HD DVD are famous format wars, but they’ve got nothing against those fought by Thomas Edison. Here’s one that lasted 20 years: The most famous audio format war was between Thomas Edison and Emile Berliner, both of whom invented competing types of records for the phonograph. Edison [...]

The Brief and Strangely Interesting History Of Christmas Lights

First, there was the Yule Log to light long winter nights. Then candles illuminated Christmas tree. Thomas Edison hung the first electric Christmas lights in his laboratory in 1880, which replaced the dangers of candle-lit trees with the dangers of electrical fires. Even the Great Depression couldn’t stop people from buying Christmas lights. The tradition of [...]

The Voice of Florence Nightingale

(YouTube link) Pioneering professional nurse Florence Nightingale {wiki} was already 70 years old when she recorded this snippet for Thomas Edison and posterity in 1890. This recording has been redubbed to different formats and speed-corrected at least once, so the legibility after 119 years is due to Nightingale’s slow and overdramatic delivery. -via the Presurfer