The Wizards of Menlo Park
It's time to set the record straight: Thomas Edison's greatest achievement was not the lightbulb. In fact, he wasn't even the first to invent it. The unrecognized master stroke of Edison was he brought together some of the brightest minds to collaborate, exchange ideas, and work in creative ways to change the world as we knew it. In the first episode of Teamistry, host Gabriela Cowperthwaite journeys to late-19th century Menlo Park, where a team of unsung heroes is hard at work setting up an electricity grid that could light up a New York city block. There's a lot at stake: financial ruin, countless hours of labor, and Edison's very reputation. We hear from David Burkus, author of The Myths of Creativity and Jill Jonnes, author of Empires of Light. We also get the insights of Robert Friedel, University of Maryland history professor and coauthor of Edison's Electric Light, Kathleen Carlucci, Director of the Thomas Edison Center, and Paul Israel, Director of the Thomas Edison Papers at Rutgers University.