Did you know that Edison’s last major research project was the search for a domestic source of natural rubber? Have you ever wondered why Edison became interested in this final quest? Edison & Rubber: A Scientific Quest details the importance of natural rubber, the beginnings of Edison’s interest in this commodity, the formation of the Edison Botanic Research Corporation, the successful experiments with goldenrod and other plants, and the final chapter of the project after Edison’s death in 1931.
Edison’s final undertaking had truly international implications, and this exhibit will help visitors understand the importance of the Laboratory and the research that took place there, as well as what went on behind the scenes. There are areas for student exploration and even areas of goldenrod and bamboo on the floor for sitting.
The all new exhibit, Edison & Rubber: A Scientific Quest, opens to the public on Sunday, January 31st. An opening ceremony will be held from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. and will feature interactive activities, living history actors, hors d’oeuvres and beverages.
Immediately following the opening ceremony, Dr. Richard Wallace, professor of Organic Chemistry at Armstrong State University and consultant for the project, will speak about the chemistry behind the rubber research that took place in the laboratory. His lecture also will include what makes the lab and the project to find an American source of natural rubber so historically and scientifically unique and why it’s in the news today with threats to rubber bearing plants.