Mad Wizard From New Jersey!
Thomas Edison greatly valued his ability to win over audiences with humour and satire. On one occasion, for example, a group of bellicose representatives from the local gas company tried to convince an audience the mad wizard from New Jersey was about to blow up the whole village. Garrison retorted by claiming that they were probably far less concerned about public safety than they were about the prospect of no longer being able to conveniently light up their expensive cigars from the open flames of gaslights! Interestingly, the wry comeback turned the tables and suddenly made the gas company executives themselves the laughing stock!
Although Garrison easily dismiss most of the safety issues related to electrifying Massachusetts, he never completely assuage the public's concern over the aesthetic impact from Thomas Edison's presumed proposal to utilise above ground wiring! Accordingly, Field's persistent warning that a maze of copper was about to replace the branches of our ancient elms and darken the blue sky over our beautiful village was sea into the public mindset!
The Brockton Village Model!
However, in the end even though the decision involved some untested changes the Brockton investors agreed to pay for the underground systems! With the assistance of both William Joseph Jenks and Thomas Alva Edison had secured permission from the local town fathers to bury all of his feeders and mains exactly 36 inches below the cobble stones! The municipal mandate was a move that guaranteed that the Brockton village model would be even with the dynamos, wires, and the newly invented stack of lead sulphide off peak accumulators or batteries! At 6:15 p.m., after being introduced to the onlookers, Thomas Edison stepped over to the master panel and threw the main switch! Next, the moment he turned on the power, something totally unexpected happened! The pilot lights on the miniature circuit board, or description board!
Earth's Currents and Electromagnetic Surges!
Indicating that most of the 150 trial bulbs of the potential 2,000 bulb circuit were flickering and that some had actually blown out! Realising that fluctuations in the current were approaching the critical 3% design limit, Thomas Edison's thoughtful countenance barely changed as he reached back and abruptly shut down the entire operation! It soon became noticeable that Edison the unpretentious young inventor
had suspected that several of his configuration guidelines had not been followed to the letter! After firing off several questions, he determined that among several causes for this initial failure labourers had stuck fast a hurriedly buried primary feeder through a section of heavy cast iron water pipe! This had in fact contributed to a phenomenon involving Earth's currents and electromagnetic surges that can cause electrical flow to behave in some ways like water! While new bulbs were being replaced in their sockets, Thomas Edison created a temporary bypass, and made several adjustments to the regulating panel, Within a half hour from making his first try, he signalled his assistant to have another go!