Edison's famous quote

In 1931, Thomas Edison supposedly told his friend Henry Ford:

"I’d put my money on the sun and solar energy.  What a source of power!  I hope we don’t have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that."

Although solar enthusiasts like to use that quotation to show that visionary people have been advocating for the cause for a long time, you won't find it in my book.

It is certainly possible that Edison presciently said that to Ford at that time, but I decided not to use the quote because it comes from James D. Newton's memoir Uncommon Friends, published in 1987.   Newton was indeed friends with Edison and Ford, but he was 82 years old when he published the book, recalling a conversation from age 26.  There must be a statute-of-limitations for a personal historical memory.  Nobody else quoted Edison talking about solar energy in the 1930s.

In any case, Edison made no contribution to the history of the solar house as far as I know.  I'd be happy to hear from any Edison scholars about this issue.