This is a wonderful little spot in southern Wyoming, just a few miles north of the Colorado border in the Medicine Bow National Forest. And it’s here at this deep crater lake just west of the Continental Divide, where a battle took place between Indians and whites back in 1841. From that day on, the lake was known as Battle Lake. There’s Battle Mountain nearby, you take Battle Pass to get to the town of Battle, Wyoming.
But it’s here at Battle Lake, just off Wyoming State Highway 70, between the Wyoming towns of Savery and Encampment, that a most interesting, and historic event took place in 1878. The great American inventor, Thomas Alva Edison, had come to the beautiful Sierra Madres, and Battle Lake, as part the Henry Draper Expedition. The exploration party was there to view a solar eclipse, which they did. But during his stay, the 31-year old Edison had the opportunity to do some fishing. It was during this time when Edison was still pondering what could be used as a filament for his dream of an incandescent light. And as he fished Battle Lake, he became intrigued by the fiber of his bamboo fishing pole. The frayed pieces glowed in the nearby fire on the bank, and Edison found that the carbonized bamboo would make a fine non-conducting filament for his light bulbs.
One year later, in 1879, Thomas Edison’s world-changing invention, one that would shed “light” on the world, was born. And many say, including Edison himself, that it was the discovery at Battle Lake that finally made it happen.