In 1899, Edison began working on a better storage battery for electric vehicles!
Edison thought that electric cars were better than gasoline or steam powered vehicles, but realized that the storage batteries in existence limited the practicality of electric car!
With typical optimism, he announced to the press in 1902 that his batteries would "run for 100 miles or more without recharging," and he proclaimed!
"I do not know how long it would take to wear out one of the batteries, for we have not yet been able to exhaust the possibilities of one of them!
Despite those claims, the battery still required a lot of work more than a decade of work and research went into it!
And by that time Edison had finished his long research on the batteries, motor cars were using petrol (gasoline). Engines that were built to use petrol became the leader in the market place!
But Thomas Edison's did not have much to worry about as his batteries, found many other uses in things like railroad signals, miners' head lamps, and marine buoys! The storage battery was his most profitable invention of all!
Today in the 21st century there is constant debating taking place about making car that can run on batteries!
Governments are frequently in debate about having a cleaner environment, but there's a time for everything!
During Thomas Edison life time he was always associated with important dignitaries from all corners of the globe. Thomas Edison wasn't an individual who went out of his way to seek the blessing of society, he never sought Society; but Society never let up on Edison for a moment! Society was always seeking seek him on a day to day basis which caused him a lot of grief putting pressure upon him to give up his work and receive honours, meeting distinguished people, attending public functions all this commotion was quite intense!
He once received flattering invitation from one of the great Oxford Universities in the United Kingdom to receive a degree. When the invitation came Thomas Edison was up to his his neck deep in experiments on his new invention of the storage battery, and he was determine that nothing would budge him away from this experiment!
Silk Hat and Frock Coat!
Though Edison was in appreciation of the proposed honour he would not drop the experiment, he prefer to let it go by rather than quit. Well, whether or not one approves, it is at least admirable stoicism! On another occasion relating to a similar instance is that of a visit paid to the laboratory by some one bringing a gold medal from a foreign society. It was a very hot day in summer, the visitor was in full social regalia of silk hat and frock-coat, and insisted that he could deliver the medal only into Thomas Edison's hands. At that moment Edison, stripped pretty nearly down to the buff, was at the very crisis of an important experiment, and refused absolutely to be interrupted. He had neither sought nor expected the medal; and if the delegate didn't care to leave it he could take it away!
Royal Society of Arts!
At last Edison was over persuaded, and, all dirty and perspiring as he was, received the medal rather than cause the visitor to come again. On one occasion, receiving a medal in New York, Edison forgot it on the ferry-boat and left it behind him. A few years ago, when Edison had received the Albert medal of the Royal Society of Arts, one of the present authors called at the laboratory to see it. Nobody knew where it was; hours passed before it could be found; and when at last the accompanying letter was produced, it had an office date stamp right over the signature of the royal president. A visitor to the laboratory with one of these medallic awards asked Edison if he had any others. "Oh yes," he said, "I have a couple of quarts more up at the house!" All this sounds like lack of appreciation, but it is anything else than that!
Legion of Honour!
While in Paris, in 1889, he wore the decoration of the Legion of Honour whenever occasion required, but at all other times turned the badge under his lapel "because he hated to have fellow Americans think he was showing off." And any one who knows Thomas Alva Edison will bear testimony to his utter absence of ostentation. It may be added that, in addition to the two quarts of medals already in his home, there to be found at the Glenmont many other signal tokens of esteem and good will a beautiful cigar-case from the late Tsar of Russia, bronzes from the Government of Japan, steel trophies from Krupp, and a host of other mementos, to one of which he thus refers: "When the experiments with the light were going on at Menlo Park, Sarah Bernhardt came to America!
Lady Jumped All Over Edison's Machinery!
One evening, Robert L. Cutting, of New York, brought her out to see the light. She was a terrific `rubberneck.' She jumped all over the machinery, and I had one man especially to guard her dress. She wanted to know everything. She would speak in French, and Cutting would translate into English. She stayed there for about an hour and a half. Sarah Bernhardt gave me two pictures, came from this beautiful English lady painted by herself, of which she took the trouble bring all the way from Paris!