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Thomas Edison
By: Shannon MatusznyEECT 111
Early life
Thomas Edison and his family
Born February 11, 1847 in Milan, OhioInquisitive and wanted to learn on his ownMystery of hatching eggsEscape from drowningPublic spanking
Milan, Ohio
Moved to Port Huron by railroad train when sevenRemoved from formal schooling at age 12Realized worth of educationSponsored Edison scholarships
Port Huron, Michigan
At age 11 had a chemical laboratoryRead many booksGibbon’s “Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire”The “Dictionary of Sciences”At age 12 had a job as newsboy and candy “butcher”“The Weekly Herald”
First Laboratory
TaleCaused by trainman who boxed his ears when Edison’s traveling laboratory caught fireTruth (Edison’s Truth)Caused by trainman who picked him up by the ears to get him on a train pulling out of the station
Edison’s Deafness
Edison’s Beginnings
How Edison got introduced into the world of electricity
Before age 17 Edison risked his life to save a station agent’s young boyIn return, Edison was taught telegraphyFirst insight to electricity and the beginning of his studies and experiments
Train Rescue & Reward
At age 17 became a regular telegrapher on the Grand Trunk Line in OntarioCreative invention got him firedDevice to automatically “report in” in Morse code everyhourFound a job with Western Union in BostonEnded up in New York poor and in debt
Telegrapher Jobs
Created the Universal Stock PrinterReceived $40,000Opened a factory and manufactured stock tickersAt age 23 was established and successful
Gold and Stock Telegraph Co.
Incandescent Lamp
The creation of a commercially viable incandescent electric lamp
Gas lights were prevalent before 1879Many inventors worked to create incandescent light stemming from electric arc lampJames Prescott JouleSir Humphrey Davy
Light History
Contributing factorsDurable incandescent materialA better vacuum within the bulbFilament material of high resistancePlatinumCarbonized Japanese bambooTungsten
Edison’s Success
Parallel circuitDurable light bulbImproved dynamoUnderground conductor networkDevices for maintaining constant voltageSafety fuses and insulating materialsLight sockets with on-off switches
Critical System Elements
Following Inventions
Inventions following the success of the incandescent electric lamp
First application in the field of electronicsPhenomenon where an independent wire or plate, when placed between the legs of the filament in an electric bulb, serves as a valve to control the flow of current
The “Edison Effect”
Motion picture cameraInvented and patented in 1888Steel alkaline storage batteryImproved Edison battery in 1910Boost to electric car manufacturersShort-livedRubberU.S. dependent on foreign sources during WWIMade from goldenrod
Other Inventions
Electric Companies
Following Edison’s success multiple electric companies were formed
Edison General Electric was formed in 1889 from various smaller companiesEdison never controlled companyGeneral Electric was formed after Edison General Electric and leading competitor Thompson-Houston merged
General Electric
Formed by Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse“Joint arrangement between GE and the Westinghouse Co. to defend the patents of the two companies in litigation” (Venable)Over 600 lawsuits for patent infringement filed
Board of Patent Control
Thomas Alva Edison’s impact
Affected life as we know it todayHuge discoveries and improvementsIncandescent light bulbPhonographMotion cameraStill remembered today through the existence of General Electric
Lightbulb history - invention of the light bulb. (2007).The Great Idea Finder. Retrieved May 2, 2012, from inventions of Thomas Edison. (n.d.).Inventors. Retrieved May 2, 2012, from, J. D. (n.d.). A brief biography of Thomas Alva Edison | Thomas EdisonMuckers.Thomas EdisonMuckers. Retrieved May 2, 2012, from





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Thomas Edison - Faculty Web