Mr. Edison and the Spirit World

Hey all…


The holidays are gone and past and it is time for me to get my nose back to the grindstone. Thanks to everyone for being patient with us (myself especially) the past month or so as we have been getting our Ps and Qs in order, as well as spending quality time with our families. So as we ease back into the groove for 2019, I figured that we could go with something a little more lighthearted and nowhere near as preachy this week.


I thought about it and went digging through some old article ‘clippings’ and came across a folder I had flagged as ‘Electronic Séances’, which is my collection of things writ about ITC (Instrumental Trans- Communication) Research through the ages and how the spiritual and the scientific can work in a harmonious fashion. To quote the find folks over at, who have explained it in about the clearest way possible, ITC is this:

"ITC is the use of tape recorder, TVs, radios, computers, telephones, and other technical devices with the intent to get meaningful information from beyond in such forms as voices, images, and text."

ITC is used to define a field of research in which people, many referred to simply as "experimenters", use a variety of electronic devices and technology to communicate with spirit. The most common medium through which this is expressed today is audio, in the form of EVP (electronic voice phenomena). Generally, if it was recorded or collected in any fashion whereby an electronic device was used or helped to facilitate the contact, it is labeled ITC.


Inside of these articles there was a good chunk of info on everyone’s favorite inventor (or thief depending on what version of history you subscribe to) Thomas Alva Edison. This man, regardless of your stance, is admitted one of the most respected people in scientific history and with all that he is done and quoted for accomplishing has a history rife with the unexplained and supernatural. A fair number of his inventions were actually spin-offs from his work trying to find ways to communicate with the dead. He was quoted in 1920 for Scientific American in an interview by Bertie Forbes (who went on to found Forbes Magazine) as saying:

If our personality survives, then it is strictly logical and scientific to assume that it retains memory, intellect, and other faculties and knowledge that we acquire on Earth […] I am inclined to believe that our personality hereafter will be able to affect matter. If this reasoning be correct, then, if we can evolve an instrument so delicate as to be affected, moved, or manipulated […] by our personality as it survives in the next life, such an instrument, when made available, ought to record something.b b

Pretty hard words for someone as praised as a hard-nosed scientist as he, huh? As wild as it is to hear him say that now, back then it was just as crazy as the editor got over 600 letters from readers asking about the machine and if it was already in use but nothing more was printed about it during Edison’s lifetime. There were bits here and there that were put into print talking about various projects being worked on by Edison but most were from anonymous authors with little to references.


There were some journal entries that were discovered that shed a little more insight into his thoughts into the matter, such as the below:

 I have been at work for some time building an apparatus to see if it is possible for personalities which have left this earth to communicate with us […] I am engaged in the construction of one such apparatus now, and I hope to be able to finish it before very many months pass.

There was talk of him developing both a Spirit Phone and a Spirit Telegraph but no such prototypes or blueprints have been found to substantiate those claims. To further paint this into a drab color, there was tale that after the original article ran, that Edison tried to recant his quote to Forbes. It was never revealed as to why or what pushed him to spin on his heels but publicly he tried to distance himself from that interview ever since he did it…but those that worked with him claim that his original story was the true one and that he never stopped working on trying to communicate with the other side.


And not to go out on a complete dour note, 2 tales about post-mortem Edison that you may find interesting. The first was that Henry Ford (yes that one) convinced Edison’s son to capture and seal Edison’s last breath in glass vacuum tube and it is stored at the Henry Ford Museum. The second story is about a séance that was performed in 1941 that Edison himself claimed to come forward in. This spirit was about to name the others that ‘secretly’ worked with Edison on his ITC experiments, where they lived, and where to find the missing plans. Story goes is that these plans were finally discovered and wound up in the hands of a researcher at General Electric by the name of Gilbert Wright. Wright supposedly spent the rest of his life trying to perfect the machine. It was said that he was known to contact Edison’s spirit by regular séances to get his advice on how the machine might be improved. When Wright finally passed away in 1959, any trace of the machine or its original plans were said to have vanished.


Hope you all enjoyed these little bits and hope you have a great start to the new year…catch you all again soon.