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Edison mural.

Edison Mural At The Keg Saloon

Field review by the editors.

Rawlins, Wyoming

Thomas Edison invented the light bulb. But maybe he wouldn't have if he hadn't visited Rawlins, Wyoming.

At least, that's what some people believe in Rawlins, Wyoming.

Edison came to this then-remote town in 1878 to view a solar eclipse and to test his "microtasimeter," a device that he claimed could measure temperature to a millionth of a degree. He pointed it at the Sun's corona, and it burned up.

With nothing else to do, Edison went fishing -- and here's where the light bulb comes in. Edison was at that time looking for something to use as a filament in his still experimental bulb. He went fishing with a bamboo pole, and this -- according to Rawlins -- gave him the idea to use bamboo as the filament, which eventually proved successful (Don't bother to check your light bulbs; bamboo was phased out years ago).

Keg Saloon.

Rawlins celebrates this earth-changing moment with an exhibit of Edisonabilia in its Carbon County Museum, and with a big mural on the side of its Keg Saloon. Fly-fishing Edison has been painted as if he's 500 feet tall, dwarfing the mountain forest in which he stands. In a memorable visual metaphor, Edison casts a line from his mile-long bamboo pole that ends in the glowing bulb of a giant, floating light bulb. An older, blobby Edison floats in the other corner of the mural, and to convey the passage of time (maybe, we could be wrong) both Edisons and the light bulb are painted brown, while the pretty mountain lake vista is in full color.

Edison Mural At The Keg Saloon

307 E. Cedar St., Rawlins, WY
I-80 exit 215 onto Cedar St. into downtown. On the right, between Utah and Colorado Sts.
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