Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club. Because No News is Bad News.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Thomas Edison Relative Stumping For Edison Statue

Posted By on Tue, May 25, 2010 at 12:19 PM

Well consider our frequent patronage of Edisons Pub our vote in this statue contest.
  • We'll consider our frequent patronage of Edison's Pub our vote in this statue contest.

Beachland Tavern set by experimental rockers Home and Garden, synthesizer/theremin player Robert Wheeler passed out a stack of ballots earmarked for the Ohio General Assembly. His candidate: inventor Thomas Edison, who created the first system of sound recording and playback. The prize: a statue at the U.S. Capitol.

Each state has two such statues, honoring a pair of distinguished native citizens. (Edison, who grew up in Michigan and did much of his work in New Jersey, was born in Milan, an hour west of Cleveland.) Ohio is currently represented by former President James Garfield and former Governor William Allen. But Allen’s pro-slavery views have made him somewhat less popular among the other statues.

A committee in the Ohio legislature postponed its actual work to create a list of 10 replacement candidates. In addition to Edison, it includes Ohio luminaries like Jesse Owens, Ulysses S. Grant, and the Wright brothers.

Wheeler’s support of Edison goes beyond fraternal love of a fellow sonic adventurer: He is Edison’s great-great-grandnephew, and he lives on a farm in Milan once owned by Edison’s sister. For 38 years, he’s headed the Edison Birthplace Association.

All Ohioans are eligible to vote through June 12. Ballots are available at Ohio Historical Sites and are downloadable at The committee will make its final recommendation based on results of the popular vote.

Tags: ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Cleveland Scene works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Cleveland and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Cleveland's true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

September 23, 2020

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.