Thomas Edison – The Most Prolific Inventor of all Time


Thomas Edison

Thomas Alva Edison
(February 11 1847,  Milan, Ohio – October 18 1931, West Orange, New Jersey) (aged 84)
Nationality: United States of America
Category: Scientists
Occupation: Inventors, Physics, Businessmen
Unique distinction: The most prolific inventor of all time, inventor the light bulb and phonograph.
Gender: Male

Quotes: 1. Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration. 2. There is always a better way. 3.There is far more opportunity than there is ability. 4. I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work. 5. I find out what the world needs. Then I go ahead and try to invent it 6. Vision without execution is hallucination. 7. The three great essentials to achieve anything worth while are: Hard work, Stick-to-itiveness, and Common sense. 8. Anything that won’t sell, I don’t want to invent. Its sale is proof of utility, and utility is success. 9. Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work. 10. I never did a day’s work in my life. It was all fun. 11. If we did all the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves. 12. Be courageous. I have seen many depressions in business. Always America has emerged from these stronger and more prosperous. Be brave as your fathers before you. Have faith! Go forward!

Achievements and contributions:

Social and professional position: American inventor, physicist and businessman.
The main contribution to (what is known): Thomas Edison is the most successful inventor in human history, held 1,093 U.S. patents, and hundreds more in other nations. His most famous work includes the incandescent light bulb, the phonograph, the alkaline storage battery, and a forerunner of the motion picture projector.
Contributions: Thomas Edison was the American great genius inventor, scientist and businessman who developed many devices that greatly influenced the quality of life around the world.
A genius in the practical application of scientific principles, Edison was one of the greatest and most productive inventors of his time.
He was one of the first inventors to apply the principles of mass production and large teamwork to the process of invention, and therefore is often credited with the creation of the first industrial research laboratory.
He received 1093 patents in his name in the United States alone and laying the groundwork for many technological innovations of the 20th century. His most significant inventions include the incandescent light bulb, phonograph, gramophone, stock ticker, electric locomotives, motion picture camera and projector, and hundreds more.
In 1869 Edison received his first patent for an invention – electric registrar of votes in the ballots. There were no buyers  for this patent, and since that time Edison took took the motto: “Never invent something unless there was a demand for it”.
In 1877 he invented the carbon telephone transmitter (microphone) for the Western Union Telegraph Company.
His phonograph (patented 1878) was notable as the first successful instrument of its kind.
In 1879, Edison created the first commercially practical incandescent lamp (with a carbon filament).
In 1882 he developed and installed the world’s first large central electric-power station, located in New York City.
In 1888 he invented the kinetoscope, the first machine to produce motion pictures by a rapid succession of individual views. In 1913 he produced, , the first talking moving pictures.
During World War I he helped to develop the manufacture in the United States of chemicals previously imported; he also served as head of the U.S. navy consulting board concerned with ship defenses against torpedoes and mines.
He is credited with numerous inventions that contributed to mass communication and, in particular, telecommunications.
His  entrepreneurial ventures eventually led him to found 14 companies, including General Electric, which is still in existence and is one of the largest publicly traded companies in the world.
He always invented for necessity, with the object of devising something new that he could manufacture. More than any other, he laid the basis for the technological revolution of the modern electric world.
Honour and Awards: In 1928, he was awarded the congressional Gold Medal. Inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame, 1973.
Major works: The most prolific inventor of all time. He had 1,368 separate and distinct patents during his lifetime. He invented the phonograph, the motion picture camera, and the long-lasting, practical electric light bulb.

Career and personal life:

Origin: He was born in Milan, Ohio, and grew up in Port Huron, Michigan. He was the seventh and last child of Samuel  Edison, Jr. (1804–1896), who was of Dutch ancestry and Nancy Matthews Elliott (1810–1871) a local school teacher.
Education: He attended public schools for only about three months. Later Edison’s mother educated him herself.
Career highlights: He worked as a telegrapher (1862 – 68) in various cities before deciding to pursue invention and entrepreneurship.
He created the world’s first industrial-research laboratory, in Menlo Park, N.J. and it was there  he produced  his numerous outstanding inventions. After the death of his first wife (1884), he built a new laboratory in West Orange, N.J.
Edison’s labs were located in Menlo Park, New Jersey, leading to his nickname of “The Wizard of Menlo Park.”
Although his later projects were not as successful as his earlier ones, Edison continued to work even in his 80s.
Personal life: Little Tomas was a very sick child. As a boy, Edison suffered from dyslexia and had problems with his hearing which grew worse over time, leaving him almost completely deaf by adulthood. In school, the young Edison’s mind often wandered, and his teacher, the Reverend Engle, was overheard calling him “addled”. He had very little formal schooling and  mother homeschooled him. He began reading every book on the shelves and much of his education came from reading R.G. Parker’s School of Natural Philosophy and The Cooper Union.
By the age of ten he had constructed a chemistry laboratory in the basement of his family’s home.
At 12 he was earning money selling newspapers, vegetables and candy on trains. During this period that he began to suffer from deafness, which was to increase throughout his life.
He was married twice and have six children.
He loved to read Shakespeare and Thomas Paine.
Edison died in West Orange, N.J., on Oct. 18, 1931.
Remains: Buried, Edison National Historic Site, West Orange, NJ.
Zest: Later he said the injury occurred when the conductor, in helping him onto a moving train, lifted him by the ears. Edison is also famous for being a dogged worker: he often slept no more than four hours per night and made the famous statement, “Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.” Checking the characteristics of the coal lamp circuit, he has spent in the laboratory about 45 hours without rest. It was he who suggested to use at the beginning of a call, the word “hello”. Edison became close friends with another inventor and businessman, Henry Ford. Some 25,000 notebooks contained his research records, ideas, hunches  and mistakes. His Nickname was: The Wizard of Menlo Park. His height: 5′ 10″ (1,78 m)
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