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Thomas Edison in John Hancock Advertisement
April 29, 1950 - The Saturday Evening Post

The Saturday Evening Post
April 29, 1950April 29, 1950 The Saturday Evening Post Cover - RF Cafe

[Table of Contents]

These articles are scanned and OCRed from old editions of the The Saturday Evening Post magazine. Here is a list of the The Saturday Evening Post articles I have already posted. All copyrights are hereby acknowledged.

Presenting yourself or your company as being modeled after a person of great accomplishment has been a common promotional tactic for as long as there has been print media. The John Hancock insurance company chose in this 1950 issue of The Saturday Evening Post magazine to suggest, albeit by an indirect approach, to elicit the admiration Americans had for Thomas Edison's lust for innovation and desire to make people's lives better in hopes that readers would associate Edison with the insurance company. While the juxtaposition is strained, I do like one line in particular, "He lured electricity into a bottle and taught it to glow with good cheer." This short tribute to one of the world's greatest engineers is worth a few moments of your valuable time. By the way, "Seidlitz powders," in case you don't know, were marketed as laxative and indigestion medicine. Part of its composition was sodium bicarbonate, probably the reason for alluding to young Tom's employment of it in attempt to cause his friends to float into the air.

Thomas Edison in John Hancock Advertisement

Thomas Edison in John Hancock Advertisement from the April 29, 1950 The Saturday Evening Post - RF CafeHe couldn't let well enough alone

He was a mop-haired boy of seven when he carried a basket of goose eggs to the hayloft and tried to hatch them with the warmth of his own body.

He was eight when he stuffed two other little boys full of Seidlitz powders in the hope that he might see them rise gently into the air.

Tom Edison never could let well enough alone.

His mind leaped and tumbled and scampered among ideas like a nosey pup in an attic, peering behind what was for what might be.

The telegraph was miracle enough when Tom Edison set out to make it better. It could send a message over a wire. Tom taught it to send two messages over the same wire. It could chatter fifty words a minute. Tom taught it to rattle off a thousand words a minute.

Gas lamps seemed good enough when Tom sat down to think about a sunnier kind of light. He lured electricity into a bottle and taught it to glow with good cheer. Soon Tom Edison's little electric suns were brightening the homes and the lives of people all over the world.

Tom thought up the machine that talks and sings, and the pictures that move, and trains that roll on electric energy, and houses that are poured out of a concrete mixer. Much that was good he made better, much that was lacking he created for us. America is a happier place today because Tom Edison wouldn't let well enough alone.

But it was America, in the first place, that wouldn't let Tom Edison alone. Something got into him, as it gets into all of us here-some tingling energy from the air he breathed. He was touched by that mysterious electricity of freedom that makes every young American feel the best is yet to be discovered ... and that he's the boy to do it.



April 29, 1950 - Saturday Evening Post



Posted April 30, 2024
(updated from original post on January 7, 2013)

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