Environmental Protection

Thomas Edison Descendants Support Choice in Bulbs: "Technology Changes. Embrace It"

Everything that can be said about the benefits of more energy-efficient light bulbs has been said. But not everyone has said it.

And we certainly have not heard--until now--from four direct descendants of Thomas Edison, the man who invented the incandescent light bulb 132 years ago.

They all strongly oppose a House vote seeking to limit consumer choice and block progress on more modern, more energy efficient bulbs. Here’s what they are saying, in comments provided to NRDC:

"I am appalled that any legislative body would be so narrow-minded as to discourage new and advanced technology. If my great-grandfather were alive today…he would have already moved on to the better, cleaner, sustainable technology well before certain legislators put their opinions into the mix…It is ironic that the very people who are supporting the legislation…are the ones who espouse free markets. Edison would certainly have recognized that the wave of the future-- profits--is to make it better, cheaper and, yes, cleaner and more efficient." – Barry Edison Sloane, great-grandson of Thomas A. Edison.

"Thomas Edison was a keen observer of the state of things around him, and was prolific with innovations to make the things around him better. He encouraged people to improve on his work, just as he improved on it himself. He would have thought inventing and commercializing substantially more efficient ways to provide light was long overdue… Edison would think that those who would manipulate this issue, this late in the game, to score ideological points, are misguided at best" – Heywood Sloane, great-grandson of Thomas A. Edison.

"Edison would be inventing a better bulb right now, and he would plan to generate a lot of new jobs and big profits as well as better light." – David Edison Sloane, great-grandson of Thomas Edison.

"The technology changes. Embrace it." – Robert Wheeler, grand nephew of Thomas A. Edison and president of the board of the Edison Birthplace Association.

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