Thomas A. Edison was an inventor and experimenter savant. An astute businessman with over 1000 US patents to his name, Edison may be singlehandedly responsible for more advancements to the creature comforts of mankind than all of the inventors before him combined.
Step back in time, as Edison (portrayed by Showdown at Unobtainium 2012’s much lauded Mr. Edison; Daniel G. Benes) explains how these inventions worked and demonstrates actual working models at his mini-Menlo Park Lab at Maker Faire!
On display will be lots of printed patents and schematics. Live demonstrations will include a miniature D.C. (Direct Current) Dynamo Power Generation & Distribution system (with working miniature steam engine!), a 120 year-old hand-wound D.C. Electric Motor, and several Edison Light Bulbs (including one of the world’s largest working incandescent bulbs, a 1500 watt monster!). Also on hand will be a working antique Quadraplex Telegraph system complete with keys, induction repeaters, and Telegraph sounders. Plus, take a look inside at the motor of an authentic hand-cranked 1905 Thomas A. Edison “Standard” model Cylinder Phonograph while it plays one of several 100 year-old cylinder records. There are enough gears inside to make a Steampunk’s knees weak! Get a dropper sample of Edison’s newest bottled olfactory concoction, “Old West Leather”, fresh from the Lab! Mr. Edison will make appearances throughout the day in the Steampunk area, and will walk the Faire in typical 19th century meet-and-greet fashion.
Daniel G. Benes’s improvisational depiction of Thomas A. Edison represents the spirit of a more innocent era in American scientific history and discovery—before industrial brutality, Patent and Current Wars, and the passage of time clouded the scientific timeline. Daniel’s recent role as Edison, opposite Nikola Tesla (played by Make Magazine writer, Edwin Wise) in the production of Showdown at Unobtainium 2012; Tesla vs. Edison, was featured twice at KOOP radio in Austin, and made the pages of Texas Monthly and the New York Times. ~
Bio: Daniel G. Benes has been called a “modern Thomas Edison” so many times, he finally turned into one! A living vintage Maker savant, Daniel has tried most hobbies once and has the scars to prove it! His passions range from building and hacking electronics, high-voltage and chemical reactions (mostly of the “vigorously energetic” type), and collecting and restoring antiques, to soap-making, flint-knapping, primitive and Pioneer skills and weaponry. Daniel is a passionate antiques collector and amateur scientific historian, with a vast array of scientific, radio, medical, and electrical antiques. Some of his collection has been on display in museums, including an Edison museum in Chicago. Daniel's Right-Brain gets a workout too... He's an award-winning music composer, contemporary Native American Flute/World Flute recording artist, and award-winning photographer. Daniel has worked in live radio twice in Austin; as host and producer at KNLE, and recently as technical producer/broadcast board operator for the morning show at KFMK Spirit 105.9. He has worn numerous hats in the movie and special FX industries; including producer, location sound engineer, stuntman, and pyrotechnician. He has also worked in the aerospace industry as an avionics/gyroscope technician. Daniel is the social media admin/webmaster and a performing member of The Lone Star Flute Circle. He is the co-creator and co-owner of Living Garden Botanicals™ brand Natural Soaps & Lotions (sold publicly when available), and the wand maker behind The Custom Wand Co.. He also works part-time as an outdoor school instructor/product specialist for REI (in Round Rock). It's been said that if you were to lay Daniel's interests and experiences end-to-end, they would equal more years than he's been alive. That's something only science can explain! ~