Thomas Edison: 10 Facts You Don’t Know About The Man Who Invented The Lightbulb

He wasn’t the first one to use the light bulb, others had tried before he did: Alexander Graham Bell, who accidentally burned a glass tube and had to spend several months in bed to recover his health, and Josiah Walcott who improved the bulb to obtain two quarters to buy a kerosene lantern, as well as being responsible for the introduction of electrical power to New York City. In 1879, Edison tried for a patent for a fluorescent light, but was defeated by several inventors, most notably George Westinghouse, in a heated court case in Pittsburgh in 1886. The two men came to blows and the judge was so impressed by their acrimony, he stepped in and annulled the patent awarded to Edison.

Fact 1He was a Quaker

The major reason he had a religious and moral education, was because his mother wanted him to have it and because he did not want to get in with a bunch of ‘heathen’ people (those that do not worship god) that did not care about him or his family. Fact 2The man had a very bad temper and got into a few fights in his teenage years After the death of his grandfather he moved from Staunton, Ohio to West Orange, New Jersey with his parents where he spent his time in the library. Fact 3His mother forced him to stop working on inventions and return to school when he was 17. He dropped out after a year and went to work as a teacher He lost his job and left his fiancee Fact 4He was a poor student in school As a result he did not graduate. In his second try he did graduate.

Fact 2Edison was dyslexic

Edison’s dyslexia delayed his education for three years and resulted in several failures of the school in Wabash, Indiana. Edison studied an apprenticeship in light engineering with American inventor Ethan Allen, making glass kettles, candle holders and other lamps. Edison also worked as a draftsman and then a sculptor at the Edison Studios in Menlo Park, New Jersey. His art work included ornamental design, bronze casting, industrial sculpture and interior design. Edison said that there was something “special” about his work. Edison’s dyslexia is attributed to exposure of the chemicals and oxygen in large quantities which damaged his ability to interpret spoken and written words. He was capable of reading and writing if given time and care to practise.

Fact 3Edison couldn’t read until age 12

Thomas Edison never learned to read or write. At age 12, he had little understanding of arithmetic and “absolutely no” formal schooling. Fact 4Edison patented the incandescent light bulb in 1879 and partnered with German Franz Kleen to develop the “Kleenix” engine. This engine powered the first electric trolley car in 1885. Fact 5Edison is considered one of the fathers of the modern motion picture industry. His stock in General Electric was more than $30 million in 1915. His motion picture system started out by showing the films at the Palace Theater in New York City, as well as the local neighborhood movie theaters. Edison is the individual who first used two-second previews on the first commercial sound film, Kinetoscope in 1894.

Fact 4Edison is credited with the invention of the electric light bulb

Edison and Robert W. Wood went to Cooper Union in NYC, to teach students in mechanical engineering the art of electrical engineering. It was in an attempt to produce an inexpensive incandescent bulb. Edison, after studying the difficulties, experimented with different methods of charging electricity with different metals and came up with the exact method to create a consistent light. Edison filed the patent on 1879 and it was granted in 1882. The standard candle used to light street lamps back then was a three-walled tube of paraffin wax and it created an average of 3.6 lumens. The Edison filament, however, produced 10,000 lumens.

Fact 5Edison is credited with the invention of the phonograph

Fact 6After a period of nearly thirty years Edison made a triumphant return to the light bulb market and completely redesigned the kind. His new design changed the bulb into the modern sphere, where it received the name incandescent electric light. Fact 7In addition to inventing the light bulb and audio recording Edison was also an inventor of a typewriter, an operating method for photolithography and the electric arc light. Fact 8Some of Edison’s most famous inventions include the incandescent lamp, induction loopry, the phonograph, the motion picture, and the distribution of electricity over power lines.

Fact 6Edison is credited with the invention of the motion picture camera

BIOGRAPHY THE LIVING STAGE – Thomas Edison: The Science and the Man, by Thomas J. Dixon, 2006. Discovered by Thomas Edison, Kinemacolor allowed more control over colors and depth of field than previous film types. Fact 7Edison is considered the man who made American film. He also invented the motion picture camera in 1894. Fact 8Edison created the first successful incandescent light bulb Fact 9Edison invented the phonograph Fact 10Thomas Edison was considered the preeminent inventor of the twentieth century. Fact 11Edison owned a 14 acre island in New Jersey called Brant Rock.

Fact 7Edison is credited with the invention of the telegraph

Fact 8He is often mistakenly credited with creating the phonograph, but the first commercially viable records were developed by Rittenhouse, Faribault and Grosz. Fact 9Edison invented the machine that allowed him to listen to his own voice Fact 10His inventions were sold to cover the taxes he owed to the United States government. Fact 11His home is open to the public and his business offices can be seen in New Jersey. Fact 12Thomas Edison made more than 3,000 appearances as an expert witness during his career Fact 13Edison’s desire to develop his engineering skills led him to take correspondence courses and attend classes at Columbia University. Fact 14He died in 1943. Sources: Midatlantic State Park TheBookOfMuses.

Fact 8Edison is credited with the invention of the storage battery

Fact 9Edison patented the phonograph and played an important role in the development of the audio recording industry. Edison used electricity to record music. FACT 10Thomas Edison contributed more than any other person in the history of the United States to making America the “world leader in innovation”. FACT 11It is estimated that Thomas Edison has transferred electrical energy to more people than any other individual in the history of the world. FACT 12Edison was the leading patent applicant in America for many years. FACT 13The New York Times reports that during the last 15 years Edison’s inventions have been in the field of amusement machines, children’s toys and more.

Fact 9Edison’s last patent was filed a year before

of his death and his birthplace is listed as Germany. Edison acquired fame when he discovered a way of making incandescent lights by mechanical means. As his work was often a simple copy of the work of others, Edison was well known for slapping an inventor’s name on his inventions. Fact 10Thomas Edison had a liking for collecting coins Edison collected coins since he was a child. The coins he collected as a child were a selection from his grandparents. In his thirties he amassed a large collection of coins. Edison made a number of trips to Germany in an attempt to locate a large supply of rare German coins which could have been used in his design. Unfortunately these trips were unsuccessful.