Welcome to the Monkey House

Who is Thomas Alva Edison from Welcome to the Monkey House and what is their importance?

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Thomas Alva Edison appears in Tom Edison's Shaggy Dog. The famous inventor of the incandescent light bulb appears in the story in flashback, as a young mad scientist type, who brings the stranger into his lab one day to tell him about the intelligence analyzer. When Edison finds out that Sparky is more intelligent than he himself, he recovers from the shock quickly and is miffed. He addresses the dog as an equal, confronting him for letting Edison do all the work.