Edison, Electricity, and the End (Almost) of an Exhibit

Edison Mazda light bulb display, ca. 1925
Edison Mazda light bulb display, ca. 1925

This lamp display and tester is decorated with a design by the artist Maxfield Parrish, who was hired by General Electric for its advertising campaign. The display allowed customers to evaluate and compare various light bulb styles.

This is one of many fascinating items on display in our current museum exhibit, Wired! How Electricity Came to Maine, that highlights treasures from the Central Maine Power Collection. The physical exhibit closes in two months–on May 26–but, fortunately, the online exhibit version is always accessible on Maine Memory, featuring most of the content displayed in our museum.

EdisonBkIf you can travel to Portland, however, this week is an especially electrifying time to visit. On Thursday you can explore the exhibit and stay for a keynote talk related to the exhibit’s theme. Ernest Freeberg, University of Tennessee historian and author of the newly published Age of Edison: Electric Light and the Invention of Modern America, will speak about Thomas Edison, the history of electricity, and how it shaped American culture.

Professor Freeberg was profiled in Sunday’s Portland Press Herald. Today, tune in to the following programs to hear him discuss his book:

  • MPBN’s radio program Maine Calling, at Noon, with MHS Executive Director Steve Bromage
  • WCSH’s television program 207 at 7PM

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