“This is the biggest thing that ever happened to me.” Thomas Edison Commemorative Silver Dollar Coin

Today, the Thomas Edison Commemorative Silver Dollar Coin tells the story, at least a small part of it, of the “wizard of electricity’s” enjoyment of the Panama Pacific Exposition in San Francisco 100 years ago.

The Evening News of San Jose, CA reported on October 23, 1915:


Mr. Edison to Ascend Mount Hamilton; Sees the Big Telescope

San Francisco, Oct 23.

Still enthusiastic over his visit to Luther Burbank’s wonder gardens yesterday, Thomas A. Edison, the wizard of electricity, today will ascend Mt. Hamilton for a visit with Director W. W. Campbell and an inspection of the Lick observatory.

Accompanied by Mrs. Edison and her sister, Miss Grace Miller, the inventor will leave this city at 11 o’clock today. They expect to return some time tomorrow.

Meanwhile, arrangements are being completed rapidly for Edison’s meeting with the school children of San Francisco on Monday afternoon at 2 o’clock, in the Court of the Universe at the exposition.

Fully 50,000 boys and girls of the public and parochial schools, it is expected, will assemble to pay homage to the distinguished American.

The board of education has declared a half holiday Monday afternoon, and the exposition has reduced the admission charge to 5 cents for each child in groups of 20.

A circular has been issued by the board of education asking teachers and parents to have the children at the fair if possible.

School children will be dismissed at noon, and those intending to visit the exposition will report at their schools at 1 o’clock.

Parents are asked to cooperate with teachers in conveying their children to and from the exposition.


Several days later, the Los Angeles Herald printed a description of Edison’s meeting with the school children:



By Pacific News Service


Still thrilled by the enthusiastic greetings accorded him by more than 60,000 school children of San Francisco and Bay cities, Thomas Alva Edison, the world’s greatest inventive genius, today continued to enjoy the beauties of the exposition.

The wizard started out early with Mrs. Edison and members of the party and visited many attractions in various parts of Jewel City.

Yesterday’s reception to the inventor in the Court of Universe was one of the most enthusiastic ever accorded anyone in San Francisco.

The sight of children, singing and cheering, brought tears to the eyes of the inventor.

“This is tremendous,” Edison whispered to those gathered about him. “This is the biggest thing that ever happened to me.”

While throngs of children filed past him, Edison stood on the bandstand in the court.


The Thomas Edison Commemorative Silver Dollar Coin shows beside a postcard illustrating the Panama Pacific Exposition of 1915.

Thomas Edison Commemorative Silver Dollar Coin