When Thomas Edison’s name is mentioned, most people think of electric light bulbs, phonographs, or motion picture cameras. Maybe even stock tickers or mechanical voting machines.
Edison’s less glamorous endeavors are oft-forgotten, like the time he got into the cement business, believing that he could improve the manufacturing process. It didn’t work out business-wise, but Edison’s efforts led to two notable landmarks.
In 1922, the Edison Portland Cement Company built Yankee Stadium in less than a year. The stadium stood until 2008.
Edison’s company also built dozens of all-concrete houses in Donora, Washington County, Pennsylvania. Originally envisioned as an 800-building development, the project stalled at 80 buildings. But most are still standing and serve as private homes.
Last month, the Bridgeville Area Historical Society welcomed Brian Charlton, the curator of the Donora Historical Society and Smog Museum, who shared the story behind Edison’s curious Western PA creations.
Next month, on Tuesday, May 29, at 7:30 p.m., the Historical Society hosts Marjorie (Dolanch) Stein, who will discuss the early history of Upper St. Clair. The program will be held at the Chartiers Room at the Bridgeville fire hall. Admission is free.