Thomas Edison, a/k/a Thomas Johnson, shed some light on a few historical facts about his inventions with Fair Haven’s Knollwood School students recently; and, by all accounts, the reception was electrifying.
The portrayal of the inventor by the actor with Mobile Ed Productions offered fourth graders an up-close and personal look at Edison’s inventions and how they have changed lives.
Dressed as the famous inventor, Johnson described the motivation and process behind breakthrough creations such as the electric light bulb, the wireless telegraph, the generator, the microphone, the phonograph, and the first motion picture camera and film projector.
“Most likely you believe the movie business began in Hollywood, California,” said Johnson. “But the first movies were filmed right here in New Jersey, using my invention and my movie studio.
“I later sold my studio and it was moved to California — you know it today as MGM.”
Johnson demonstrated real-life examples of Edison’s many inventions, including an early phonograph that played black wax cylinders etched with music.
“There are very few people who are famous forever, and Thomas Edison has been famous for well over one hundred years,” said Johnson. “That is because we use his inventions every single day, whether we realize it or not. Every time you click on a light switch, you have Thomas Edison to thank.”
The lesson laced with entertainment continued after the assembly ended. Students spent quality time with the Edison impersonator and his inventions during morning and afternoon “funshop” sessions — one for each individual fourth grade class.
The assembly was arranged and funded by the Fair Haven PTA.
— Edited press release from the Fair Haven School District