Essay on thomas a. edison inc

Negative results are just what I'm after. They are just as valuable to me as positive results. In , Edison worked on a telephone transmitter that greatly improved on Alexander Graham Bell's work with the telephone. His transmitter made it possible for voices to be transmitted at higer volume and with greater clarity over standard telephone lines.

Edison's experiments with the telephone and the telegraph led to his invention of the phonograph in It occurred to him that sound could be recorded as indentations on a rapidly-moving piece of paper. He eventually formulated a machine with a tinfoil-coated cylinder and a diaphragm and needle. When Edison spoke the words "Mary had a little lamb" into the mouthpiece, to his amazement the machine played the phrase back to him. The Edison Speaking Phonograph Company was established early in to market the machine, but the initial novelty value of the phonograph wore off, and Edison turned his attention elsewhere.


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Edison focused on the electric light system in , setting aside the phonograph for almost a decade. In return for handing over his patents to the company, Edison received a large share of stock. Work continued into , as the lab attempted not only to devise an incandescent bulb, but an entire electrical lighting system that could be supported in a city.

A filament of carbonized thread proved to be the key to a long-lasting light bulb. Lamps were put in the laboratory, and many journeyed out to Menlo Park to see the new discovery. A special public exhibition at the lab was given for a multitude of amazed visitors on New Year's Eve. Edison set up an electric light factory in East Newark in , and then the following year moved his family and himself to New York and set up a laboratory there. In order to prove its viability, the first commercial electric light system was installed on Pearl Street in the financial district of Lower Manhattan in , bordering City Hall and two newspapers.

Initially, only four hundred lamps were lit; a year later, there were customers using 10, lamps. This lighting system was also taken abroad to the Paris Lighting Exposition in , the Crystal Palace in London in , the coronation of the czar in Moscow, and led to the establishment of companies in several European countries.

The success of Edison's lighting system could not deter his competitors from developing their own, different methods. Both sides attacked the limitations of each system. Edison, in particular, pointed to the use of AC current for electrocution as proof of its danger. By , the invention of a device that combined an AC induction motor with a DC dynamo offered the best performance of all, and AC current became dominant. The Edison General Electric Co. Edison's wife, Mary, died on August 9, , possibly from a brain tumor.

Edison's children from his first marriage were distanced from their father's new life, as Edison and Mina had their own family: Madeleine, born on ; Charles on ; and Theodore on Unlike Mary, who was sickly and often remained at home, and was also deferential to her husband's wishes, Mina was an active woman, devoting much time to community groups, social functions, and charities, as well as trying to improve her husband's often careless personal habits.

The facility included a machine shop, phonograph and photograph departments, a library, and ancillary buildings for metallurgy, chemistry, woodworking, and galvanometer testings. While Edison had neglected further work on the phonograph , others had moved forward to improve it. In particular, Chichester Bell and Charles Sumner Tainter developed an improved machine that used a wax cylinder and a floating stylus, which they called a graphophone.

They sent representatives to Edison to discuss a possible partnership on the machine, but Edison refused to collaborate with them, feeling that the phonograph was his invention alone. With this competition, Edison was stirred into action and resumed his work on the phonograph in Edison eventually adopted methods similar to Bell and Tainter's in his own phonograph. The phonograph was initially marketed as a business dictation machine.

Entrepreneur Jesse H. Lippincott acquired control of most of the phonograph companies, including Edison's, and set up the North American Phonograph Co. The business did not prove profitable, and when Lippincott fell ill, Edison took over the management. In , the North American Phonograph Co. In , Edison started the National Phonograph Co. Over the years, Edison made improvements to the phonograph and to the cylinders which were played on them, the early ones being made of wax. Edison introduced an unbreakable cylinder record, named the Blue Amberol, at roughly the same time he entered the disc phonograph market in The introduction of an Edison disc was in reaction to the overwhelming popularity of discs on the market in contrast to cylinders.

Touted as being superior to the competition's records, the Edison discs were designed to be played only on Edison phonographs, and were cut laterally as opposed to vertically. The success of the Edison phonograph business, though, was always hampered by the company's reputation of choosing lower-quality recording acts. In the s, competition from radio caused business to sour, and the Edison disc business ceased production in Another Edison interest was an ore-milling process that would extract various metals from ore. In , he formed the Edison Ore-Milling Co.

In , he returned to the project, thinking that his process could help the mostly depleted Eastern mines compete with the Western ones. In , the New Jersey and Pennsylvania Concentrating Works was formed, and Edison became absorbed by its operations and began to spend much time away from home at the mines in Ogdensburg, New Jersey.

Although he invested much money and time into this project, it proved unsuccessful when the market went down and additional sources of ore in the Midwest were found. Edison also became involved in promoting the use of cement and formed the Edison Portland Cement Co. He tried to promote widespread use of cement for the construction of low-cost homes and envisioned alternative uses for concrete in the manufacture of phonographs, furniture, refrigerators, and pianos.

Unfortunately, Edison was ahead of his time with these ideas, as widespread use of concrete proved economically unfeasible at that time.

Thomas Edison

This machine used a circular disc with still photographs of the successive phases of movement around the circumference to recreate the illusion of movement. Edison declined to work with Muybridge on the device and decided to work on his own motion picture camera at his laboratory. As Edison put it in a caveat written the same year, "I am experimenting upon an instrument which does for the eye what the phonograph does for the ear.

The task of inventing the machine fell to Edison's associate William K.

The MY HERO Project (myhero.com)

Dickson initially experimented with a cylinder-based device for recording images, before turning to a celluloid strip. In October of , Dickson greeted Edison's return from Paris with a new device that projected pictures and contained sound. After more work, patent applications were made in for a motion picture camera, called a Kinetograph, and a Kinetoscope, a motion picture peephole viewer. Kinetoscope parlors opened in New York and soon spread to other major cities during In , a motion picture studio, later dubbed the Black Maria the slang name for a police paddy wagon which the studio resembled , was opened at the West Orange complex.

Short films were produced using variety acts of the day. Edison was reluctant to develop a motion picture projector, feeling that more profit was to be made with the peephole viewers. When Dickson aided competitors on developing another peephole motion picture device and the eidoloscope projection system, later to develop into the Mutoscope, he was fired. Dickson went on to form the American Mutoscope Co.

Edison subsequently adopted a projector developed by Thomas Armat and Charles Francis Jenkins and re-named it the Vitascope and marketed it under his name. The Vitascope premiered on April 23, , to great acclaim. Competition from other motion picture companies soon created heated legal battles between them and Edison over patents. Edison sued many companies for infringement. In , the formation of the Motion Picture Patents Co. In , Edison experimented with synchronizing sound to film. A Kinetophone was developed by his laboratory which synchronized sound on a phonograph cylinder to the picture on a screen.

Although this initially brought interest, the system was far from perfect and disappeared by By , Edison ended his involvement in the motion picture field. In , Edison's companies were re-organized into Thomas A. Edison developed hearing problems at an early age. The cause of his deafness has been attributed to a bout of scarlet fever during childhood and recurring untreated middle-ear infections. Around halfway through his career, Edison attributed the hearing impairment to being struck on the ears by a train conductor when his chemical laboratory in a boxcar caught fire and he was thrown off the train in Smiths Creek, Michigan , along with his apparatus and chemicals.

In his later years, he modified the story to say the injury occurred when the conductor, in helping him onto a moving train, lifted him by the ears. The waves would then pass through the cochlea and into the auditory nerve and finally into his brain.

Due to this method of listening, he could not stand vocal vibrato nor hear at the highest frequencies. Edison's family moved to Port Huron, Michigan after the canal owners successfully kept the railroad out of Milan Ohio in and business declined.

History of Edison Sound Recordings

Although he frustrated teachers and went in and out of various schools in Ohio and Michigan, he read steadily and voraciously under his mother's supervision. Jimmie's father, station agent J. MacKenzie of Mount Clemens, Michigan , was so grateful that he trained Edison as a telegraph operator. He also studied qualitative analysis and conducted chemical experiments on the train until he left the job. Edison obtained the exclusive right to sell newspapers on the road, and, with the aid of four assistants, he set in type and printed the Grand Trunk Herald , which he sold with his other papers.

These talents eventually led him to found 14 companies, including General Electric , still one of the largest publicly traded companies in the world. In , at the age of 19, Edison moved to Louisville, Kentucky , where, as an employee of Western Union , he worked the Associated Press bureau news wire. Edison requested the night shift, which allowed him plenty of time to spend at his two favorite pastimes—reading and experimenting. Eventually, the latter pre-occupation cost him his job.

Thomas Alva Edison | MY HERO

One night in , he was working with a lead—acid battery when he spilled sulfuric acid onto the floor. It ran between the floorboards and onto his boss's desk below. The next morning Edison was fired. His first patent was for the electric vote recorder, U. Patent 90, , which was granted on June 1, One of his mentors during those early years was a fellow telegrapher and inventor named Franklin Leonard Pope , who allowed the impoverished youth to live and work in the basement of his Elizabeth, New Jersey , home, while Edison worked for Samuel Laws at the Gold Indicator Company.

Pope and Edison founded their own company in October , working as electrical engineers and inventors. Edison began developing a multiplex telegraphic system, which could send two messages simultaneously, in Edison's major innovation was the establishment of an industrial research lab in Edison was legally attributed with most of the inventions produced there, though many employees carried out research and development under his direction.

His staff was generally told to carry out his directions in conducting research, and he drove them hard to produce results. William Joseph Hammer , a consulting electrical engineer, started working for Edison and began his duties as a laboratory assistant in December He assisted in experiments on the telephone, phonograph, electric railway, iron ore separator , electric lighting , and other developing inventions. However, Hammer worked primarily on the incandescent electric lamp and was put in charge of tests and records on that device see Hammer Historical Collection of Incandescent Electric Lamps.


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  • In , he was appointed chief engineer of the Edison Lamp Works. In his first year, the plant under general manager Francis Robbins Upton turned out 50, lamps. According to Edison, Hammer was "a pioneer of incandescent electric lighting". Sprague , a competent mathematician and former naval officer , was recruited by Edward H. Johnson and joined the Edison organization in Despite the common belief that Edison did not use mathematics, analysis of his notebooks reveal that he was an astute user of mathematical analysis conducted by his assistants such as Francis Robbins Upton, for example, determining the critical parameters of his electric lighting system including lamp resistance by an analysis of Ohm's Law , Joule's Law and economics.