Thomas Edison, when asked by a New York Times correspondent to comment on the great war taking place in Europe, stated that the United States should look to science. The government, he believed, should maintain a great research laboratory. In this laboratory all the techniques of military and naval progression could be developed without any large expense.
Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels took the opportunity generated by Edison’s public comments to enlist Edison’s support. He agreed to serve as the head of a new board of civilian experts, the Naval Consulting Board — to advise the Navy on science and technology. The Board’s most ambitious plan was the creation of a modern research facility for the Navy. Congress allocated $1.5 million for the facility. It opened in 1923.
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