Poor Thomas Edison. Sure, he’s been dead for 70 years but lately I’ve been feeling a bit bad for the guy as his 131-year old invention, the incandescent light bulb, has become a political hot potato, a “Colbert Report” punchline, and an object of anxiety as of late. Hell, back in January, chocolate bunny-melting LED manufacturer Cree even asked Mr. Edison to step kindly aside, instructing him that, “we’ll take it from here.”

That said, I think Edison would be in favor of the light bulb efficiency standards outlined in Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. Starting next year, this misunderstood piece of legislation — Brian Clark Howard sets things straight in a great editorial for Earth911 — will require inefficient 100-watt incandescent bulbs, as they exist now, to be phased out. I'd I like to think Edison, a forward-thinking guy, would support advancements in energy-efficient lighting technology. What I don’t think Edison would support is the reactionary “repeal light bulb efficiency mandates” circus helmed by Michele Bachmann, Rush Limbugh, and the like. He's most likely rolling in his grave because of it.


Luckily, I think I’ve found something that might damper Edison’s grave-rolling: Room & Board’s new series of reclaimed timber table/stools handcrafted entirely from beams salvaged from Edison’s phonograph factory in New London, Wisconsin. These one-of-a-kind red pine beauties aren’t exactly cheap — the four sizes range in price from $279 to $349 — but keep in mind that they’re limited edition and come equipped with a pretty rich historical backstory. I think the Father of Invention himself would approve.

Check out these "Reclaimed Shapes" over at Room & Board. I’m guessing that these character-filled, Edison-celebrating home accents will disappear a lot more quickly than the incandescent light bulb. 

Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.

Reclaimed Shapes: An 'inventive' line of salvaged wood stools
Some Edison-related news that has nothing to do with bickering over light bulbs: Room & Board releases a collection of accent tables handcrafted from timber sal