1878
1878

Thomas Edison Invents Food Machine

After Thomas Edison invented the phonograph in 1877, Americans firmly believed that there were no limits to his genius. So when the New York Graphic announced on this day that Edison had invented a machine that could transform soil directly into cereal and water directly into wine, thereby ending the problem of world hunger, it found no shortage of willing believers. Newspapers throughout America copied the article, heaping lavish praise on Edison. The conservative Buffalo Commercial Advertiser was particularly effusive in its praise, waxing eloquent about Edison's brilliance in a long editorial. The Graphic subsequently took the liberty of reprinting the Advertiser's editorial in full, placing above it a simple, two-word headline: They Bite!