The Wizard of Menlo Park

Thomas A Edison  was an American inventor, scientist and businessman who created countless devices that impacted the world significantly, especially America . Even Eric Foner labeled him ” the era’s greatest innovator”. Thomas A Edison is well known for developing the “phonograph, light bulb, motion picture, and a system for generating and distributing electric power” during the gilded age of America. Thomas A Edison was born on February 11, 1847  in Milan, Ohio to middle class parents and later moved to Port Huron, Michigan where he was raised. After withdrawn from school ( spending only 12 weeks there) by his mother who then home-teach him, he later developed an appetite for self knowledge by reading popular science books and experimentation, this was how he acquired his knowledge through his adolescent years.

Thomas A Edison became a telegrapher at a very young age. Furthermore, he improved several telegraphic devices but became famous for his invention of the phonograph in 1877, in Menlo Park, New Jersey. Although not ideal, he continued working on it, a year later he perfected his innovation and place it on the marker for sale. In 1876-1877 Thomas invented the carbon telephone transmitter, a button used in all telephones and made it a profitable achievement. Then after, in 1879 Thomas build the first electric motor ever and a year later further improved the system and details for electric lighting, shortly after distribution of current for electric lighting was available.

However, his most challenging obstacle yet was the development of the incandescent, electric light (light bulb).  He didn’t not actually invented the light bulb as we know it, he simply improved an idea from half a century ago.  Nevertheless, he was successful at developing it for homes to use, which then paved the way for electric lamps. Along with inventing the light bulb he created the electric lighting system mentioned above which had all the crucial elements to make the “incandescent light practical, safe, and economical”. In addition, the creation of the “Kinetograph (a motion picture camera) and the Kinetoscope (a peep-hole motion picture viewer)” was also developed at Edison’s Lab right after the gilded age ended. Edison worked alongside William Kennedy Laurie Dickson -his assistant who performed majority of the work on this project. The Kinetoscope enabled films to be projected for gathering spectators and the Kinetograph allowed filming. The greatest inventor of the modern era changed the lives of Americans and almost everyone in the world.


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