What Would We Do Without Him?

Thomas Alva Edison standing next to his creation

One of the most important figures during the Industrial Revolution was Thomas Alva Edison. He was a prolific inventor, holding 1093 patents in his lifetime. His inventions helped shaped our world into what it was today by creating new industries which transformed private life, entertainment, and economic activity. Some of the inventions he had under his belt included the light bulb, phonograph, motion picture and, what could possibly be the most important, a system for generating and distributing electric power.

His introduction to electricity brought a whole new world. His electric distribution created an infrastructure to the industrial world. His electric generating stations provided power to streetcars, factories, and private homes. This source of power proved to be more efficient than steam power or hydropower. It is so important that its legacy is still with us today; Con Edison, New York’s provider of electricity, gas, and steam, is still with us today, with business dating back all the way to 1882.

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