Edison and Innovation Blog

Learning Innovation from Thomas A. Edison
December 20, 2013

Christmas with Thomas Edison 2013

Author: Don Mangum, Jr. - Categories: Thomas Edison - Tags:

Edison’s impact on our Christmas celebrations through his innovations is amazing. The following blog was originally posted December 14, 2010 and is one of the most popular we have ever drafted. Why has it been so popular? Because the celebrations at this time of year were enhanced by Edison. We hope you enjoy this blog as you celebrate the season and learn more about innovation.

Merry Christmas,

Norwell Consulting


You probably did not realize this, but in addition to all of his other inventions, Thomas Edison also innovated the way we celebrate Christmas. Three particular Edison innovations enhanced the holiday.

During the Christmas season of 1880, a year after he invented the light bulb, Edison hung the first Christmas lights. Visitors to the laboratory that year were treated to the light display. Two years later Edison’s colleague, Edward H. Johnson, put the first red and green lights on a Christmas tree. It would be another forty years until outside lighting would become popular.

This time of year you cannot go anywhere without hearing Christmas music. We hear the familiar sounds of Christmas music in stores, in our cars, when we’re on hold for a phone call, and in our homes and churches. Not only did Edison invent the phonograph but he recorded and sold Christmas music. (To listen to some of these original Edison recordings click here)

Christmas movies have become a staple of the holiday and Edison created some of the earliest. Some of Edison’s early silent movies were made for the holidays including “The Night Before Christmas” and “A Christmas Carol.”

Below is Edison’s production of “A Christmas Carol.” It has been restored this year with sound to be just as it would have been if viewed in 1908. The special effects are really quite amazing for its time. Enjoy and have a Happy Holidays from Norwell Consulting.


December 10, 2013

Innovation at ESPN

Author: Don Mangum, Jr. - Categories: Become More Innovative, Innovation Quotes - Tags:

I want to spread the word about innovation.  I want to help people see that whatever industry or area that they are working in, the key to growth and success is to innovate.  Wherever you are, you can help to foster an innovative culture in your business or organization.  The principles of innovation can be applied across all industries and areas.

In my search for innovative areas I came across a video from ESPN that addresses innovation in their organization.  With the continuous progress that has occurred within the media industry, such companies have had to innovate or die.  ESPN is an excellent example of an organization that has flourished in this ever-changing environment.  The ESPN video helps explain why.  Near the end of the video, you will hear a very good definition of innovation that may help you understand how to be more successful in your innovation.

December 4, 2013

The Words of Thomas Edison

Author: Don Mangum, Jr. - Categories: Innovation Quotes, Thomas Edison - Tags: ,

Today, I have included a video of two speeches directly from Thomas Edison. He talks about the creation of the light bulb and the electrical distribution system.  He also speaks of the advances in electronic communications and continuing improvements in electrical systems. He encourages future innovators. The video is about six minutes long.   It is fascinating to look back through time and be able to see him and hear his voice, neither of which would be  possible except for his remarkable innovations.  I understood his perspective better by watching and listening.  Take time to watch and you may learn a litte from the master of innovation.