On this day in 1877 Thomas A Edison made the first sound recording, reciting Mary Had a Little Lamb into his phonograph machine.
Edison had been fascinated by science and nature since childhood. As an adult he became that rare thing, a brilliant scientist and a clever businessman. Among his inventions are the light bulb, the sound recorder and the movie camera. He also patented many industrial processes.
He had a strong belief in a higher power in the universe saying: “I do not believe in the God of the theologians; but that there is a Supreme Intelligence I do not doubt.” Non-violence was key to Edison’s moral views. When asked to serve as a naval consultant for the First World War, he specified he would work only on defensive weapons saying later: “I am proud of the fact that I never invented weapons to kill.”
Today’s poem is entitled Discovery by Edwin Arlington Robinson:
We told of him as one who should have soared
And seen for us the devastating light
Whereof there is not either day or night,
And shared with us the glamour of the Word
That fell once upon Amos to record
For men at ease in Zion, when the sight
Of ills obscured aggrieved him and the might
Of Hamath was a warning of the Lord.
Assured somehow that he would make us wise,
Our pleasure was to wait; and our surprise
Was hard when we confessed the dry return
Of his regret. For we were still to learn
That earth has not a school where we may go
For wisdom, or for more than we may know.
Today I give thanks for all discoveries that help mankind and ask for wisdom in their use.