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Thomas Edison and the Literary Imagination

Thomas Edison, in a dark three piece suit, is sitting in a chair reading a book.
Thomas Edison sitting in a chair reading a book

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News Release Date: February 25, 2020

Contact: Leonard DeGraaf, 973-736-0550 x22

Thomas Edison and the Literary Imagination
Edison Book Club Meeting
2 pm., Sunday, March 1, 2020

"Oh, I read everything. Not merely scientific works, but anything that helps the imagination."
 Thomas A. Edison, quoted in Century Magazine, July 1911

From The Future Eve, an 1885 French science fiction novel to the recent motion picture The Current War, the life and work of Thomas Edison has inspired the imagination and creativity of novelists, playwrights and filmmakers. In a program that evokes this tradition, award-winning playwright Ben Clawson will discuss his own creative work on Thomas Edison at the fifth meeting of the Edison Book Club, Sunday, March 1, 2020 at 2 pm. 

Mr. Clawson, who received his B.F.A. from Montclair State University and co-founded the StrangeDog Theater Company, is the author of The Dangers of Electric Lighting, which deals with the rivalry between Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla during the infamous 1880s Battle of the Currents. His other plays include King of the Mountains, about Theodore Roosevelt and John Muir's 1903 camping trip in Yosemite National Park, and commissioned works for the Luna Stage Company, the Montclair State University School of the Arts, and the Contagious Drama Theatre Workshop.

The Edison Book Club is a series of programs designed to engage readers with Edison, the recently published biography of Thomas Edison by Edmund Morris (Random House, 2019). The discussion for this meeting will focus on portrayals of Thomas Edison in literary works, bu questions and conversation about other aspects of the Morris book are also welcome. Electronic copies of the script for Ben Clawson's The Dangers of Electric Lighting are available on request by emailing e-mail us

The Edison Book Club is free and open to the public. Reading the Edmund Morris book is encouraged but not required. The meeting will be held at the Laboratory Complex, 211 Main Street, West Orange, New Jersey.

Thomas Edison National Historical Park is a National Park Service site dedicated to promoting an international understanding and appreciation of the life and extraordinary achievements of Thomas Alva Edison by preserving, protecting and interpreting the Park's extensive historic artifact and archival collections at the Laboratory Complex and Glenmont, the Edison family estate. The Visitor Center is located at 211 Main Street in West Orange, New Jersey. For more information call 973-736-0550 extension 11 or visit our website at Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Last updated: February 25, 2020

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