Kids today get together with a Ouija board. They put their hands on the planchette, and they ask a question. When the planchette moves to different letters, the kids follow to they know what the “spirits’ are trying to say. Most people don’t believe in these spirit boards, but they are still very popular. This isn’t the first thing ever invented to help people connect with the dead. Thomas Edison invented a supernatural ‘telephone’ that still stumps scientists today.
Two Bright Minds
Two of the brightest minds in history, Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla were very competitive men. They crossed paths when Tesla emigrated to New York to work for the Continental Edison Company. It wasn’t long before he rose through the ranks and became an engineer. For some reason, Edison didn’t see the promise in Tesla that his colleagues did. When Edison offered Tesla $50,000 for 24 of his designs, Tesla didn’t know that it was a joke. When he found out, he left ConEd. He had only been there for six months. He decided to start his own utility company, and in April 1887, the Tesla Electric Company was born.
Tension and Attention
It wasn’t long before Tesla’s reputation as a brilliant inventor continued to grow. Soon, Edison heard about his accomplishments. The two men were competitors by this point, but Edison was more established in the scientific community.
War Of Currents
The rivalry came to a head with the War of Currents. Tesla had a revolutionary alternating current, and Edison had a direct current. They were fighting for supremacy in the age of electricity. In the end, Tesla won out, and his victory haunted Edison until he died.
By the 20th century, Tesla was dabbling in a field that was unfamiliar to Edison. He was trying to use currents to prove that ghosts really exist. He created a crystal powered radio that was powered by electromagnetic waves. While in his lab, he began to pick up strange readings. When he translated the audio, he couldn’t believe what he was hearing. In his diary, he wrote, “My first observations positively terrified me as there was present in them something mysterious, not to say supernatural, and I was alone in my laboratory at night.”
It would be a few years before Tesla would run more tests with a more advanced model of the radio. This time, he heard voices. He wrote, “The sounds I am listening to every night at first appear to be human voices conversing back and forth in a language I cannot understand. I find it difficult to imagine that I am actually hearing real voices from people not of this planet.”
Thomas Edison’s Attempt
When Edison caught wind of his rival’s attempts, she set out to work on a similar invention of his own. He was working on building an apparatus to see if it was possible for spirits that left the Earth to communicate with the living. He called it the “spirit phone.” He put his hypothesis to the test by inviting scientists and spiritual mediums to his lab. There he presented them with a projector-like machine that shines a thin beam of light onto a photoelectric cell. He hoped to see something supernatural in the beams. Hours passed, and nothing happened. He worked on the spirit phone until he died in 1931.
Tesla thought that his radio worked, but it turns out he was picking up low-frequency radio signals given off by household appliances, electrical storms in the distance, and the lights in the room. When converted into audio, they sounded like low, rumbling voices.
When Edison was alive, he couldn’t communicate with the dead. However, a group of inventors claims that Edison tried to reach out from the grave in 1740. A group of researchers claimed that Thomas Edison reached out to them during a séance. They claimed that he reached out to them with instructions on how to build a spirit phone that would work. Unfortunately, the machine that they claim Edison told them to build from the grave was just as ineffective as Edison’s first spirit phone. For some, this experiment caused them to write off the existence of ghosts altogether.
While many people in the scientific community don’t believe that ghosts exist, there are many people who do believe. According to a Gallup poll, 37 percent of Americans believe that spirits inhabit and haunt houses. Unfortunately, no technology has been invented to prove that ghosts exist. There has also been no technology invented to prove 100 percent that ghosts don’t exist. For now, nobody knows whether or not ghosts do exist. Some claim to have seen ghosts, but nobody knows for sure.