Edison said; "I suppose he thought there was going to be a death." But the broker lived, and left the following day! I have never seen nor heard of him since, either. Another time we experimented with a tub full of soapy water, and put hydrogen into it to make large bubbles. One of the boys, who was washing bottles in the place, had read in some book that hydrogen was explosive, so he proceeded to blow up the tub up! There was about four inches of soap in the bottom of the tub, fourteen inches high; and he filled it with soap bubbles right up to the brim! Then he took a bamboo fish pole, put a piece of paper at the end, and touched it off. It blew every window out of the place!
When I started at Menlo Park, I had an electric furnace for welding rare metals that I did not know about very clearly. I was in the dark room, where I had a lot of chloride of sulphur, a very corrosive liquid. I did not know that it would decompose by water. I poured in a beakerful of water, and the whole thing exploded and hurled a lot of stuff into my eyes. I ran to the hydrant, leaned over backward and I opened my eyes!
Electrical Junction Boxes
Upon opening my eyes after leaning backwards, I ran the hydrant water right into them. But it was two weeks before I could see again. The next afternoon, after our Pearl Street station had started, a policeman rushed in and told us to send an electrician at once up to the corner of Ann and Nassau streets someone is in trouble! Another man and myself went up to the street corner as we got there we found an incalculable crowd of men and boys gathered in the adjoining streets, a perfect jam of living beings. There was a leak in one of our electrical junction boxes, and on account of the cellars extending under the street, the top soil had become insulated. Hence, by means of this leak, powerful currents were passing through the thin layer of moist earth. When a horse went to pass over it he would get a very severe shock. When I arrived I saw coming along the street a ragman with a dilapidated old horse, and one of the boys!
The Incandescent Lamp
They told him to go over on the other side of the road! On the other side of the road was the place where the current leaked. When the rag man heard this he took that side at once. The moment the horse struck the electrified soil he stood straight up in the air, and then reared again; and the crowd yelled, the policeman yelled; and the horse bolted away! The congregation got so restless, that we had
to get the policeman to clear the crowd; and we were notified to cut the current off! We got a gang of men, cut the current off for several junction boxes, and fixed the leak. One of the men who had seen the whole che-bang came to me the following day and wanted me to put the current at a place where they sold horses. "The man said, he could make a small fortune using the method, because he could get old nags in there and make them act like thoroughbreds!" The next time we just about saved ourselves. Thomas Edison himself, was not really aware of the incident in Pearl Street! He was making some stuff to squirt into filaments for the incandescent lamp and he ended up making about a pound weight of the stuff!