Edward B. Grothus spent most of his life salvaging material from the waste-stream. He began Los Alamos Sales Company many years ago while he was still employed as a machinist at Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory (now known as Los Alamos National Laboratory). The Black Hole began as a recycler of last year's technology from the Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory. The Los Alamos Sales Company got its start by selling 600 pair of size 30 khaki shorts (remnants from the Army involvement during WW II Manhattan Project) to the Colorado reform school. The shorts had been stored under Theodore Dunn’s house after being they were acquired by Ed at an auction, in 1951. The initial market for the “cast offs” from the laboratory was primarily research and academic institutions around the world.

After 20 years helping to build "better" bombs at The Lab, Ed quit to pursue his independent business interests full-time. The Los Alamos Sales Company was dubbed The Black Hole in recent years because "everything goes in and nothing comes out." Aside from pursuing his independent business interests, Ed was widely known for full-time pursuit of his independent political interests. His political activism on the side of peace and nuclear disarmament was not often viewed favorably by the local population, which has a vested interest in the continuation of the nuclear arms race.

But peace and nuclear disarmament have a following around the wider world. Ed was interviewed and quoted in a variety of newspapers and magazines worldwide (April 1995 Wired, May/June 2003 Mother Jones, April 2006 Esquire and in Kyodo News in Asia). He is the subject of a documentary video by Ellen Spiro which has been shown on HBO (Atomic Ed and the Black Hole) and another by Claus Biegert (The Secret and the Sacred: Two Worlds of Los Alamos) in Germany. Across the parking lot from The Black Hole, is the First Church of High Technology. On Sundays, during "critical mass" there is a bomb unworship service where "we change wine into water".