Thomas Edison’s highly coveted last breath
One of New Jersey’s most famous citizens died on October 18, 1931. Thomas Edison passed away from complications of diabetes at age 84 in West Orange.
Edison, while being known these days for the Turnpike rest area that bears his name, was also an inventor of some repute. One of the noteworthy aspects of Edison’s death is the capture of his last breath. According to Atlas Obscura, Henry Ford wanted Edison’s last breath for reasons unknown; possibly because he wanted to capture Edison’s soul or maybe just as a memento.
Edison’s son, Charles, was charged with the responsibility of gathering that breath, although it’s still unclear if he did and, if he did, how many test tubes were used. Eight vials were supposedly filled, with one of them housed at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan. It is sealed with paraffin wax.
Whether or not his breath is in there would be hard to prove. Here is a video from Atlas Obscura that touches on the “last breath” lore, but it also covers the serious man-crush Ford had on Edison.
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