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Thomas Edison From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to: navigation, search Thomas Edison "Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration." – Thomas Alva Edison, Harper's Monthly (September 1932) Born Thomas Alva Edison February 11, 1847(1847-02-11) Milan, Ohio, U.S. Died October 18, 1931(1931-10-18) (aged 84) West Orange, New Jersey, U.S. Education School dropout Occupation Inventor, businessman Religion Deist Spouse Mary Stilwell (m. 1871–1884) «start: (1871)–end+1: (1885)»"Marriage: Mary Stilwell to Thomas Edison" Location: (linkback:// Mina Miller (m. 1886–1931) «start: (1886)–end+1: (1932)»"Marriage: Mina Miller to Thomas Edison" Location: (linkback:// Children Marion Estelle Edison (1873–1965) Thomas Alva Edison Jr. (1876–1935) William Leslie Edison (1878–1937) Madeleine Edison (1888–1979) Charles Edison (1890–1969) Theodore Miller Edison (1898–1992) Parents Samuel Ogden Edison, Jr. (1804–1896) Nancy Matthews Elliott (1810–1871) Relatives Lewis Miller (father-in-law) Signature Edison as a boyThomas Alva Edison (February 11, 1847 – October 18, 1931) was an American inventor and businessman. He developed many devices that greatly influenced life around the world, including the phonograph, the motion picture camera, and a long-lasting, practical electric light bulb. Dubbed "The Wizard of Menlo Park" (now Edison, New Jersey) by a newspaper reporter, he was one of the first inventors to apply the principles of mass production and large-scale teamwork to the process of invention, and because of that, he is often credited with the creation of the first industrial research laboratory.[1] Edison is the fourth most prolific inventor in history, holding 1,093 US patents in his name, as well as many patents in the United Kingdom, France, and Germany. He is credited with numerous inventions that contributed to mass communication and, in particular, telecommunications. These included a stock ticker, a mechanical vote recorder, a battery for an electric car, electrical power, recorded music and motion pictures. His advanced work in these fields was an outgrowth of his early career as a telegraph operator. Edison originated the concept and implementation of electric-power generation and distribution to homes, businesses, and factories – a crucial development in the modern industrialized world. His first power station was on Manhattan Island, New York. Contents [hide] 1 Early life 2 Telegrapher 3 Marriages and children 4 Beginning his career 5 Menlo Park (1876–1881) 5.1 Carbon telephone transmitter 5.2 Electric light 5.3 Electric power distribution 5.4 War of currents 5.5 Fluoroscopy 5.6 Work relations 5.7 Media inventions 6 West Orange and Fort Myers (1886–1931) 7 The final years 8 Views on politics, religion and metaphysics 9 Tributes 9.1 Places and people named for Edison 9.2 Museums and memorials 9.3 Companies bearing Edison's name 9.4 Awards named in honor of Edison 9.5 Honors and awards given to Edison 9.6 Other items named after Edison 9.7 In popular culture 10 Novel mentions 11 See also 12 References 13 Bibliography 14 External links Early lifeThomas Edison was born in Milan, Ohio, and grew up in Port Huron, Michigan. He was the seventh and last child of Samuel Ogden Edison, Jr. (1804–96, born in Marshalltown, Nova Scotia, Canada) and Nancy Matthews Elliott (1810–1871, born in Chenango County, New York).[2][citation needed] His father had to escape from Canada because he took part in the unsuccessful Mackenzie Rebellion of 1837.[citation needed] Edison reported being of Dutch ancestry.[3] In school, the young Edison's mind often wandered, and his teacher, the Reverend Engle, was overheard calling him "addled". This ended Edison's three months of official schooling. Edison recalled later, "My mother was the making of me. She was so true, so sure of me; and I felt I had something to live for, someone I must not disappoint." His mother taught him at home.[4] Much of his education came from reading R.G. Parker's School of Natural Philosophy and The Cooper Union. 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 the middle of 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.[5][6] Edison's family moved to Port Huron, Michigan after the railroad bypassed Milan in 1854 and business declined;[7] his life there was bittersweet. He sold candy and newspapers on trains running from Port Huron to Detroit, and he sold vegetables to supplement his income. He also studied qualitative analysis, and conducted chemical experiments on the train until an accident prohibited further work of the kind.[8] He 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.[8] This began Edison's long streak of entrepreneurial ventures, as he discovered his talents as a businessman. These talents eventually led him to found 14 companies, including General Electric, which is still one of the largest publicly traded companies in the world.[9][10] TelegrapherEdison became a telegraph operator after he saved three-year-old Jimmie MacKenzie from being struck by a runaway train. Jimmie's father, station agent J.U. MacKenzie of Mount Clemens, Michigan, was so grateful that he trained Edison as a telegraph operator. Edison's first telegraphy job away from Port Huron was at Stratford Junction, Ontario, on the Grand Trunk Railway.[11] In 1866, 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. One night in 1867, 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.[12] 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. Some of Edison's earliest inventions were related to telegraphy, including a stock ticker. His first patent was for the electric vote recorder, (U.S. Patent 90,646),[13] which was granted on June 1, 1869.[14] Marriages and childrenOn December 25, 1871, Edison married 16-year-old Mary Stilwell (1855-1884), whom he had met two months earlier; she was an employee at one of his shops. They had three children: Marion Estelle Edison (1873–1965), nicknamed "Dot"[15] Thomas Alva Edison, Jr. (1876–1935), nicknamed "Dash"[16] William Leslie Edison (1878–1937) Inventor, graduate of the Sheffield Scientific School at Yale, 1900.[17] Mary Edison died at age 29 on August 9, 1884, of unknown causes: possibly from a brain tumor[18] or a morphine overdose. Doctors frequently prescribed morphine to women in those years to treat a variety of causes, and researchers believe that some of her symptoms sounded as if they were associated with morphine poisoning.[19] Mina Edison in 1906On February 24, 1886, at the age of thirty-nine, Edison married the 20-year-old Mina Miller (1866-1947) in Akron, Ohio.[20] She was the daughter of the inventor Lewis Miller, co-founder of the Chautauqua Institution and a benefactor of Methodist charities. They also had three children together: Madeleine Edison (1888–1979), who married John Eyre Sloane.[21][22] Charles Edison (1890–1969), who took over the company upon his father's death and who later was elected Governor of New Jersey.[23] He also took charge of his father's experimental laboratories in West Orange. Theodore Edison (1898–1992), (MIT Physics 1923), credited with more than 80 patents. Mina outlived Thomas Edison, dying on August 24, 1947.[24][25] Beginning his career Photograph of Edison with his phonograph (2nd model), taken in Mathew Brady's Washington, DC studio in April 1878. Mary Had a Little Lamb Thomas Edison reciting "Mary Had a Little Lamb" -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Problems listening to this file? See media help. Thomas Edison began his career as an inventor in Newark, New Jersey, with the automatic repeater and his other improved telegraphic devices, but the invention that first gained him notice was the phonograph in 1877. This accomplishment was so unexpected by the public at large as to appear almost magical. Edison became known as "The Wizard of Menlo Park," New Jersey. His first phonograph recorded on tinfoil around a grooved cylinder, but had poor sound quality and the recordings could be played only a few times. In the 1880s, a redesigned model using wax-coated cardboard cylinders was produced by Alexander Graham Bell, Chichester Bell, and Charles Tainter. This was one reason that Thomas Edison continued work on his own "Perfected Phonograph." Menlo Park (1876–1881) Edison's Menlo Park Laboratory, removed to Greenfield Village at Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan. (Note the organ against the back wall)Edison's major innovation was the first industrial research lab, which was built in Menlo Park, New Jersey. It was built with the funds from the sale of Edison's quadruplex telegraph. After his demonstration of the telegraph, Edison was not sure that his original plan to sell it for $4,000 to $5,000 was right, so he asked Western Union to make a bid. He was surprised to hear them offer $10,000,[citation needed] ($202,000 USD 2010) which he gratefully accepted. The quadruplex telegraph was Edison's first big financial success, and Menlo Park became the first institution set up with the specific purpose of producing constant technological innovation and improvement. 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, began his duties as a laboratory assistant to Edison in December 1879. 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. In 1880, he was appointed chief engineer of the Edison Lamp Works. In his first year, the plant under General Manager Francis Robbins Upton turned out 50,000 lamps. According to Edison, Hammer was "a pioneer of incandescent electric lighting". Thomas Edison's first successful light bulb model, used in public demonstration at Menlo Park, December 1879Nearly all of Edison's patents were utility patents, which were protected for a 17-year period and included inventions or processes that are electrical, mechanical, or chemical in nature. About a dozen were design patents, which protect an ornamental design for up to a 14-year period. As in most patents, the inventions he described were improvements over prior art. The phonograph patent, in contrast, was unprecedented as describing the first device to record and reproduce sounds.[26] Edison did not invent the first electric light bulb, but instead invented the first commercially practical incandescent light.[citation needed] Many earlier inventors had previously devised incandescent lamps, including Henry Woodward and Mathew Evans. Others who developed early and commercially impractical incandescent electric lamps included Humphry Davy, James Bowman Lindsay, Moses G. Farmer,[27] William E. Sawyer, Joseph Swan and Heinrich Göbel. Some of these early bulbs had such flaws as an extremely short life, high expense to produce, and high electric current drawn, making them difficult to apply on a large scale commercially.[28] In 1878, Edison applied the term filament to the element of glowing wire carrying the current, although the English inventor Joseph Swan had used the term prior to this. Swan developed an incandescent light with a long lasting filament at about the same time as Edison, as Swan's earlier bulbs lacked the high resistance needed to be an effective part of an electrical utility. Edison and his co-workers set about the task of creating longer-lasting bulbs. In Britain, Joseph Swan had been able to obtain a patent on the incandescent lamp; though Edison had already been making successful lamps for some time, his patent application was incompletely prepared and failed.[28] Unable to raise the required capital in Britain because of this, Edison was forced to enter into a joint venture with Swan (known as Ediswan). Swan acknowledged that Edison had anticipated him, saying "Edison is entitled to more than I ... he has seen further into this subject, vastly than I, and foreseen and provided for details that I did not comprehend until I saw his system".[29] By 1879, Edison had produced a new concept: a high resistance lamp in a very high vacuum, which would burn for hundreds of hours. While the earlier inventors had produced electric lighting in laboratory conditions, dating back to a demonstration of a glowing wire by Alessandro Volta in 1800, Edison concentrated on commercial application, and was able to sell the concept to homes and businesses by mass-producing relatively long-lasting light bulbs and creating a complete system for the generation and distribution of electricity. In just over a decade, Edison's Menlo Park laboratory had expanded to occupy two city blocks. Edison said he wanted the lab to have "a stock of almost every conceivable material". A newspaper article printed in 1887 reveals the seriousness of his claim, stating the lab contained "eight thousand kinds of chemicals, every kind of screw made, every size of needle, every kind of cord or wire, hair of humans, horses, hogs, cows, rabbits, goats, minx, camels ... silk in every texture, cocoons, various kinds of hoofs, shark's teeth, deer horns, tortoise shell ... cork, resin, varnish and oil, ostrich feathers, a peacock's tail, jet, amber, rubber, all ores ..." and the list goes on.[30] Over his desk, Edison displayed a placard with Sir Joshua Reynolds' famous quotation: "There is no expedient to which a man will not resort to avoid the real labor of thinking."[31] This slogan was reputedly posted at several other locations throughout the facility. With Menlo Park, Edison had created the first industrial laboratory concerned with creating knowledge and then controlling its application. Carbon telephone transmitterIn 1877–78, Edison invented and developed the carbon microphone used in all telephones along with the Bell receiver until the 1980s. After protracted patent litigation, in 1892 a federal court ruled that Edison and not Emile Berliner was the inventor of the carbon microphone. The carbon microphone was also used in radio broadcasting and public address work through the 1920s. Electric lightMain article: History of the light bulb Edison in 1878Building on the contributions of other developers over the previous three quarters of a century, Edison made improvements to the idea of incandescent light, and entered the public consciousness as "the inventor" of the lightbulb, and a prime mover in developing the necessary infrastructure for electric power. After many experiments with platinum and other metal filaments, Edison returned to a carbon filament. The first successful test was on October 22, 1879;[32] it lasted 13.5 hours.[33] Edison continued to improve this design and by November 4, 1879, filed for U.S. patent 223,898 (granted on January 27, 1880) for an electric lamp using "a carbon filament or strip coiled and connected to platina contact wires".[34] Although the patent described several ways of creating the carbon filament including "cotton and linen thread, wood splints, papers coiled in various ways",[34] it was not until several months after the patent was granted that Edison and his team discovered a carbonized bamboo filament that could last over 1,200 hours. The idea of using this particular raw material originated from Edison's recalling his examination of a few threads from a bamboo fishing pole while relaxing on the shore of Battle Lake in the present-day state of Wyoming, where he and other members of a scientific team had traveled so that they could clearly observe a total eclipse of the sun on July 29, 1878, from the Continental Divide.[35] U.S. Patent#223898: Electric-Lamp. Issued January 27, 1880.In 1878, Edison formed the Edison Electric Light Company in New York City with several financiers, including J. P. Morgan and the members of the Vanderbilt family. Edison made the first public demonstration of his incandescent light bulb on December 31, 1879, in Menlo Park. It was during this time that he said: "We will make electricity so cheap that only the rich will burn candles."[36] Lewis Latimer joined the Edison Electric Light Company in 1884. Latimer had received a patent in January 1881 for the "Process of Manufacturing Carbons", an improved method for the production of carbon filaments for lightbulbs. Latimer worked as an engineer, a draftsman and an expert witness in patent litigation on electric lights.[37] George Westinghouse's company bought Philip Diehl's competing induction lamp patent rights (1882) for $25,000, forcing the holders of the Edison patent to charge a more reasonable rate for the use of the Edison patent rights and lowering the price of the electric lamp.[38] On October 8, 1883, the US patent office ruled that Edison's patent was based on the work of William Sawyer and was therefore invalid. Litigation continued for nearly six years, until October 6, 1889, when a judge ruled that Edison's electric-light improvement claim for "a filament of carbon of high resistance" was valid. To avoid a possible court battle with Joseph Swan, whose British patent had been awarded a year before Edison's, he and Swan formed a joint company called Ediswan to manufacture and market the invention in Britain. Mahen Theatre in Brno (in what is now the Czech Republic) was the first public building in the world to use Edison's electric lamps, with the installation supervised by Edison's assistant in the invention of the lamp, Francis Jehl.[39] In September 2010, a sculpture of three giant light bulbs was erected in Brno, in front of the theatre.[40] Electric power distributionEdison patented a system for electricity distribution in 1880, which was essential to capitalize on the invention of the electric lamp. On December 17, 1880, Edison founded the Edison Illuminating Company. The company established the first investor-owned electric utility in 1882 on Pearl Street Station, New York City. It was on September 4, 1882, that Edison switched on his Pearl Street generating station's electrical power distribution system, which provided 110 volts direct current (DC) to 59 customers in lower Manhattan.[41] Earlier in the year, in January 1882, he had switched on the first steam-generating power station at Holborn Viaduct in London. The DC supply system provided electricity supplies to street lamps and several private dwellings within a short distance of the station. On January 19, 1883, the first standardized incandescent electric lighting system employing overhead wires began service in Roselle, New Jersey. War of currentsMain article: War of Currents Extravagant displays of electric lights quickly became a feature of public events, as in this picture from the 1897 Tennessee Centennial Exposition.Edison's true success, like that of his friend Henry Ford, was in his ability to maximize profits through establishment of mass-production systems and intellectual property rights. George Westinghouse and Edison became adversaries because of Edison's promotion of direct current (DC) for electric power distribution instead of the more easily transmitted alternating current (AC) system invented by Nikola Tesla and promoted by Westinghouse. Unlike DC, AC could be stepped up to very high voltages with transformers, sent over thinner and cheaper wires, and stepped down again at the destination for distribution to users. In 1887, there were 121 Edison power stations in the United States delivering DC electricity to customers. When the limitations of DC were discussed by the public, Edison launched a propaganda campaign to convince people that AC was far too dangerous to use. The problem with DC was that the power plants could economically deliver DC electricity only to customers within about one and a half miles (about 2.4 km) from the generating station, so that it was suitable only for central business districts. When George Westinghouse suggested using high-voltage AC instead, as it could carry electricity hundreds of miles with marginal loss of power, Edison waged a "War of Currents" to prevent AC from being adopted. The war against AC led him to become involved in the development and promotion of the electric chair (using AC) as an attempt to portray AC to have greater lethal potential than DC. Edison went on to carry out a brief but intense campaign to ban the use of AC or to limit the allowable voltage for safety purposes. As part of this campaign, Edison's employees publicly electrocuted animals to demonstrate the dangers of AC;[42][43] alternating electric currents are slightly more dangerous in that frequencies near 60 Hz have a markedly greater potential for inducing fatal "cardiac fibrillation" than do direct currents.[44] On one of the more notable occasions, in 1903, Edison's workers electrocuted Topsy the elephant at Luna Park, near Coney Island, after she had killed several men and her owners wanted her put to death.[45] His company filmed the electrocution. AC replaced DC in most instances of generation and power distribution, enormously extending the range and improving the efficiency of power distribution. Though widespread use of DC ultimately lost favor for distribution, it exists today primarily in long-distance high-voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission systems. Low-voltage DC distribution continued to be used in high-density downtown areas for many years but was eventually replaced by AC low-voltage network distribution in many of them.[46] DC had the advantage that large battery banks could maintain continuous power through brief interruptions of the electric supply from generators and the transmission system. Utilities such as Commonwealth Edison in Chicago had rotary converters or motor-generator sets, which could change DC to AC and AC to various frequencies in the early to mid-20th century. Utilities supplied rectifiers to convert the low voltage AC to DC for such DC loads as elevators, fans and pumps. There were still 1,600 DC customers in downtown New York City as of 2005, and service was finally discontinued only on November 14, 2007.[46] Most subway systems are still powered by direct current. FluoroscopyEdison is credited with designing and producing the first commercially available fluoroscope, a machine that uses X-rays to take radiographs. Until Edison discovered that calcium tungstate fluoroscopy screens produced brighter images than the barium platinocyanide screens originally used by Wilhelm Röntgen, the technology was capable of producing only very faint images. The fundamental design of Edison's fluoroscope is still in use today, although Edison himself abandoned the project after nearly losing his own eyesight and seriously injuring his assistant, Clarence Dally. Dally had made himself an enthusiastic human guinea pig for the fluoroscopy project and in the process been exposed to a poisonous dose of radiation. He later died of injuries related to the exposure. In 1903, a shaken Edison said "Don't talk to me about X-rays, I am afraid of them."[47] Work relations Photograph of Thomas Edison by Victor Daireaux, Paris, circa 1880sFrank J. Sprague, a competent mathematician and former naval officer, was recruited by Edward H. Johnson and joined the Edison organization in 1883. One of Sprague's contributions to the Edison Laboratory at Menlo Park was to expand Edison's mathematical methods. 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.[48] Another of Edison's assistants was Nikola Tesla. Tesla claimed that Edison had promised him $50,000 if he succeeded in making improvements to his DC generation plants. Several months later, when Tesla had finished the work and asked to be paid, he said that Edison replied, "When you become a full-fledged American you will appreciate an American joke."[49] Tesla immediately resigned. With Tesla's salary of $18 per week, the payment would have amounted to over 53 years' pay and the amount was equal to the initial capital of the company. Another account states that Tesla resigned when he was refused a raise to $25 per week.[50] Although Tesla accepted an Edison Medal later in life, this and other negative events concerning Edison remained with him. The day after Edison died, the New York Times contained extensive coverage of Edison's life, with the only negative opinion coming from Tesla who was quoted as saying: He had no hobby, cared for no sort of amusement of any kind and lived in utter disregard of the most elementary rules of hygiene. [...] His method was inefficient in the extreme, for an immense ground had to be covered to get anything at all unless blind chance intervened and, at first, I was almost a sorry witness of his doings, knowing that just a little theory and calculation would have saved him 90% of the labor. But he had a veritable contempt for book learning and mathematical knowledge, trusting himself entirely to his inventor's instinct and practical American sense.[51] —Nikola Tesla One of Edison's famous quotations about his attempts to make the light globe suggest that perhaps Tesla was right about Edison's methods of working: "If I find 10,000 ways something won't work, I haven't failed. I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is another step forward."[52] When Edison was a very old man and close to death, he said, in looking back, that the biggest mistake he had made was in not respecting Tesla or his work.[53] There were 28 men recognized as Edison Pioneers. Media inventionsThe key to Edison's fortunes was telegraphy. With knowledge gained from years of working as a telegraph operator, he learned the basics of electricity. This allowed him to make his early fortune with the stock ticker, the first electricity-based broadcast system. Edison patented the sound recording and reproducing phonograph in 1878. Edison was also granted a patent for the motion picture camera or "Kinetograph". He did the electromechanical design, while his employee W.K.L. Dickson, a photographer, worked on the photographic and optical development. Much of the credit for the invention belongs to Dickson.[32] In 1891, Thomas Edison built a Kinetoscope, or peep-hole viewer. This device was installed in penny arcades, where people could watch short, simple films. The kinetograph and kinetoscope were both first publicly exhibited May 20, 1891.[54] On August 9, 1892, Edison received a patent for a two-way telegraph. In April 1896, Thomas Armat's Vitascope, manufactured by the Edison factory and marketed in Edison's name, was used to project motion pictures in public screenings in New York City. Later he exhibited motion pictures with voice soundtrack on cylinder recordings, mechanically synchronized with the film. The June 1894 Leonard–Cushing bout. Each of the six one-minute rounds recorded by the Kinetoscope was made available to exhibitors for $22.50.[55] Customers who watched the final round saw Leonard score a knockdown.Officially the kinetoscope entered Europe when the rich American Businessman Irving T. Bush (1869–1948) bought from the Continental Commerce Company of Frank Z. Maguire and Joseph D. Baucus a dozen machines. Bush placed from October 17, 1894, the first kinetoscopes in London. At the same time the French company Kinétoscope Edison Michel et Alexis Werner bought these machines for the market in France. In the last three months of 1894, The Continental Commerce Company sold hundreds of kinetoscopes in Europe (i.e. the Netherlands and Italy). In Germany and in Austria-Hungary the kinetoscope was introduced by the Deutsche-österreichische-Edison-Kinetoscop Gesellschaft, founded by the Ludwig Stollwerck[56] of the Schokoladen-Süsswarenfabrik Stollwerck & Co of Cologne. The first kinetoscopes arrived in Belgium at the Fairs in early 1895. The Edison's Kinétoscope Français, a Belgian company, was founded in Brussels on January 15, 1895, with the rights to sell the kinetoscopes in Monaco, France and the French colonies. The main investors in this company were Belgian industrialists.[57] On May 14, 1895, the Edison's Kinétoscope Belge was founded in Brussels. The businessman Ladislas-Victor Lewitzki, living in London but active in Belgium and France, took the initiative in starting this business. He had contacts with Leon Gaumont and the American Mutoscope and Biograph Co. In 1898 he also became a shareholder of the Biograph and Mutoscope Company for France.[57] In 1901, he visited the Sudbury area in Ontario, Canada, as a mining prospector, and is credited with the original discovery of the Falconbridge ore body. His attempts to mine the ore body were not successful, however, and he abandoned his mining claim in 1903.[58] A street in Falconbridge, as well as the Edison Building, which served as the head office of Falconbridge Mines, are named for him. In 1902, agents of Thomas Edison bribed a theater owner in London for a copy of A Trip to the Moon by Georges Méliès. Edison then made hundreds of copies and showed them in New York City. Méliès received no compensation. He was counting on taking the film to the US and recapture its huge cost by showing it throughout the country when he realized it had already been shown there by Edison. This effectively bankrupted Méliès.[59] Other exhibitors similarly routinely copied and exhibited each others' films.[60] To better protect the copyrights on his films, Edison deposited prints of them on long strips of photographic paper with the U.S. copyright office. Many of these paper prints survived longer and in better condition than the actual films of that era.[61] Edison's favorite movie was The Birth of a Nation. He thought that talkies had "spoiled everything" for him. "There isn't any good acting on the screen. They concentrate on the voice now and have forgotten how to act. I can sense it more than you because I am deaf."[62] His favorite stars were Mary Pickford and Clara Bow.[63] In 1908, Edison started the Motion Picture Patents Company, which was a conglomerate of nine major film studios (commonly known as the Edison Trust). Thomas Edison was the first honorary fellow of the Acoustical Society of America, which was founded in 1929. West Orange and Fort Myers (1886–1931) Thomas A. Edison Industries Exhibit, Primary Battery section, 1915 Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, and Harvey Firestone, respectively. Ft. Myers, Florida, February 11, 1929Edison moved from Menlo Park after the death of Mary Stilwell and purchased a home known as "Glenmont" in 1886 as a wedding gift for Mina in Llewellyn Park in West Orange, New Jersey. In 1885, Thomas Edison bought property in Fort Myers, Florida, and built what was later called Seminole Lodge as a winter retreat. Edison and his wife Mina spent many winters in Fort Myers where they recreated and Edison tried to find a domestic source of natural rubber. Henry Ford, the automobile magnate, later lived a few hundred feet away from Edison at his winter retreat in Fort Myers, Florida. Edison even contributed technology to the automobile. They were friends until Edison's death. In 1928, Edison joined the Fort Myers Civitan Club. He believed strongly in the organization, writing that "The Civitan Club is doing things—big things—for the community, state, and nation, and I certainly consider it an honor to be numbered in its ranks."[64] He was an active member in the club until his death, sometimes bringing Henry Ford to the club's meetings. The final yearsEdison was active in business right up to the end. Just months before his death in 1931, the Lackawanna Railroad implemented electric trains in suburban service from Hoboken to Gladstone, Montclair and Dover in New Jersey. Transmission was by means of an overhead catenary system, with the entire project under Edison's guidance. To the surprise of many, he was at the throttle of the very first MU (Multiple-Unit) train to depart Lackawanna Terminal in Hoboken, driving the train all the way to Dover.[65] As another tribute to his lasting legacy, the same fleet of cars Edison deployed on the Lackawanna in 1931 served commuters until their retirement in 1984, when some of them were purchased by the Berkshire Scenic Railway Museum in Lenox, Massachusetts. A special plaque commemorating the joint achievement of both the railway and Edison can be seen today in the waiting room of Lackawanna Terminal in Hoboken, presently operated by New Jersey Transit.[65] Edison was said to have been influenced by a popular fad diet in his last few years; "the only liquid he consumed was a pint of milk every three hours".[32] He is reported to have believed this diet would restore his health. However, this tale is doubtful. In 1930, the year before Edison died, Mina said in an interview about him, "correct eating is one of his greatest hobbies." She also said that during one of his periodic "great scientific adventures", Edison would be up at 7:00, have breakfast at 8:00, and be rarely home for lunch or dinner, implying that he continued to have all three.[62] Edison became the owner of his Milan, Ohio, birthplace in 1906. On his last visit, in 1923, he was shocked to find his old home still lit by lamps and candles. Thomas Edison died of complications of diabetes on October 18, 1931, in his home, "Glenmont" in Llewellyn Park in West Orange, New Jersey, which he had purchased in 1886 as a wedding gift for Mina. He is buried behind the home.[66][67] Edison's last breath is reportedly contained in a test tube at the Henry Ford Museum. Ford reportedly convinced Charles Edison to seal a test tube of air in the inventor's room shortly after his death, as a memento. A plaster death mask was also made.[68] Mina died in 1947. Views on politics, religion and metaphysicsHistorian Paul Israel has characterized Edison as a "freethinker".[32] Edison was heavily influenced by Thomas Paine's The Age of Reason.[32] Edison defended Paine's "scientific deism", saying, "He has been called an atheist, but atheist he was not. Paine believed in a supreme intelligence, as representing the idea which other men often express by the name of deity."[32] In an October 2, 1910, interview in the New York Times Magazine, Edison stated: Nature is what we know. We do not know the gods of religions. And nature is not kind, or merciful, or loving. If God made me — the fabled God of the three qualities of which I spoke: mercy, kindness, love — He also made the fish I catch and eat. And where do His mercy, kindness, and love for that fish come in? No; nature made us — nature did it all — not the gods of the religions.[69] Edison was called an atheist for those remarks, and although he did not allow himself to be drawn into the controversy publicly, he clarified himself in a private letter: "You have misunderstood the whole article, because you jumped to the conclusion that it denies the existence of God. There is no such denial, what you call God I call Nature, the Supreme intelligence that rules matter. All the article states is that it is doubtful in my opinion if our intelligence or soul or whatever one may call it lives hereafter as an entity or disperses back again from whence it came, scattered amongst the cells of which we are made."[32] Nonviolence was key to Edison's moral views, and when asked to serve as a naval consultant for World War I, he specified he would work only on defensive weapons and later noted, "I am proud of the fact that I never invented weapons to kill." Edison's philosophy of nonviolence extended to animals as well, about which he stated: "Nonviolence leads to the highest ethics, which is the goal of all evolution. Until we stop harming all other living beings, we are still savages."[70] However, he is also notorious for having electrocuted a number of dogs in 1888, both by direct and alternating current, in an attempt to argue that the former (which he had a vested business interest in promoting) was safer than the latter (favored by his rival George Westinghouse).[71] Edison's success in promoting direct current as less lethal also led to alternating current being used in the electric chair adopted by New York in 1889 as a supposedly humane execution method. Because Westinghouse was angered by the decision, he funded Eighth Amendment-based appeals for inmates set to die in the electric chair, ultimately resulting in Edison providing the generators which powered early electrocutions and testifying successfully on behalf of the state that electrocution was a painless method of execution.[72] TributesPlaces and people named for EdisonSeveral places have been named after Edison, most notably the town of Edison, New Jersey. Thomas Edison State College, a nationally known college for adult learners, is in Trenton, New Jersey. Two community colleges are named for him: Edison State College in Fort Myers, Florida, and Edison Community College in Piqua, Ohio.[73] There are numerous high schools named after Edison; see Edison High School. In 1883, the City Hotel in Sunbury, Pennsylvania was the first building to be lit with Edison's three-wire system. The hotel was renamed The Hotel Edison upon Edison's return to the City on 1922. [74] Edison was on hand to turn on the lights at the Hotel Edison in New York City when it opened in 1931. Three bridges around the United States have been named in his honor (see Edison Bridge). In space, his name is commemorated in asteroid 742 Edisona. The Russian composer Edison Denisov, whose father was a radio-physicist, was named after the inventor. Museums and memorials Statue of young Thomas Edison by the railroad tracks in Port Huron, Michigan.In West Orange, New Jersey, the 13.5 acre (5.5 ha) Glenmont estate is maintained and operated by the National Park Service as the Edison National Historic Site.[75] The Thomas Alva Edison Memorial Tower and Museum is in the town of Edison, New Jersey.[76] In Beaumont, Texas, there is an Edison Museum, though Edison never visited there.[citation needed] The Port Huron Museum, in Port Huron, Michigan, restored the original depot that Thomas Edison worked out of as a young newsbutcher. The depot has been named the Thomas Edison Depot Museum.[77] The town has many Edison historical landmarks, including the graves of Edison's parents, and a monument along the St. Clair River. Edison's influence can be seen throughout this city of 32,000. In Detroit, the Edison Memorial Fountain in Grand Circus Park was created to honor his achievements. The limestone fountain was dedicated October 21, 1929, the fiftieth anniversary of the creation of the lightbulb.[78] On the same night, The Edison Institute was dedicated in nearby Dearborn. In early 2010, Edison was proposed by the Ohio Historical Society as a finalist in a statewide vote for inclusion in Statuary Hall at the United States Capitol. Companies bearing Edison's name In 1915Edison General Electric, merged with Thomson-Houston Electric Company to form General Electric Commonwealth Edison, now part of Exelon Consolidated Edison Edison International Southern California Edison Edison Mission Energy Edison Capital Detroit Edison, a unit of DTE Energy Edison Sault Electric Company, a unit of Wisconsin Energy Corporation FirstEnergy Metropolitan Edison Ohio Edison Toledo Edison Edison S.p.A., a unit of Italenergia Boston Edison, a unit of NSTAR, formerly known as the Edison Electric Illuminating Company WEEI radio station in Boston, established by the Edison Electric Illuminating Company (hence the call letters) Trade association the Edison Electric Institute, a lobbying and research group for investor-owned utilities in the United States Edison Ore-Milling Company Edison Portland Cement Company Awards named in honor of EdisonThe Edison Medal was created on February 11, 1904, by a group of Edison's friends and associates. Four years later the American Institute of Electrical Engineers (AIEE), later IEEE, entered into an agreement with the group to present the medal as its highest award. The first medal was presented in 1909 to Elihu Thomson and, in a twist of fate, was awarded to Nikola Tesla in 1917. It is the oldest award in the area of electrical and electronics engineering, and is presented annually "for a career of meritorious achievement in electrical science, electrical engineering or the electrical arts." In the Netherlands, the major music awards are named the Edison Award after him. The American Society of Mechanical Engineers concedes the Thomas A. Edison Patent Award to individual patents since 2000.[79] Honors and awards given to EdisonThe President of the Third French Republic, Jules Grévy, on the recommendation of his Minister of Foreign Affairs Jules Barthélemy-Saint-Hilaire and with the presentations of the Minister of Posts and Telegraphs Louis Cochery, designated Edison with the distinction of an 'Officer of the Legion of Honour' (Légion d'honneur) by decree on November 10, 1881;[80] He also named a Chevalier in 1879, and a Commander in 1889.[81] In 1887, Edison won the Matteucci Medal. In 1890, he was elected a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. The Philadelphia City Council named Edison the recipient of the John Scott Medal in 1889.[81] In 1899, Edison was awarded the Edward Longstreth Medal of The Franklin Institute.[82] He was named an Honorable Consulting Engineer at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition World's fair in 1904.[81] In 1908, Edison received the American Association of Engineering Societies John Fritz Medal.[81] Edison was awarded Franklin Medal of The Franklin Institute in 1915 for discoveries contributing to the foundation of industries and the well-being of the human race. The United States Navy department awarded him the Distinguished Service Medal in 1920.[81] The American Institute of Electrical Engineers created the Edison Medal in 1923 and he was its first recipient.[81] In 1927, he was granted membership in the National Academy of Sciences.[81] On May 29, 1928, Edison received the Congressional Gold Medal.[81] In 1983, the United States Congress, pursuant to Senate Joint Resolution 140 (Public Law 97—198), designated February 11, Edison's birthday, as National Inventor's Day. Edison was ranked thirty-fifth on Michael H. Hart's 1978 book The 100, a list of the most influential figures in history. Life magazine (USA), in a special double issue in 1997, placed Edison first in the list of the "100 Most Important People in the Last 1000 Years", noting that the light bulb he promoted "lit up the world". In the 2005 television series The Greatest American, he was voted by viewers as the fifteenth-greatest. In 2008, Edison was inducted in the New Jersey Hall of Fame. In 2010, Edison was honored with a Technical Grammy Award. In 2011, Edison was inducted into the Entrepreneur Walk of Fame, and named a Great Floridian by the Florida Governor and Cabinet.[83] On November 6, 1915, The New York Times announced that both Edison and Tesla were to jointly receive the 1915 Nobel Prize but it did not occur.[84] The details of what happened are not known but Tesla who had once worked for Edison quit when he was promised a large bonus for solving a problem and then after being successful was told the promise was a joke.[85] Tesla once said that if Edison had to find a needle in a haystack he would take apart the haystack one straw at a time.[86] The Prize was awarded to Sir William Henry Bragg and William Lawrence Bragg "for their services in the analysis of crystal structure by means of X-rays". Other items named after EdisonThe United States Navy named the USS Edison (DD-439), a Gleaves class destroyer, in his honor in 1940. The ship was decommissioned a few months after the end of World War II. In 1962, the Navy commissioned USS Thomas A. Edison (SSBN-610), a fleet ballistic missile nuclear-powered submarine. Decommissioned on December 1, 1983, Thomas A. Edison was stricken from the Naval Vessel Register on April 30, 1986. She went through the Navy's Nuclear Powered Ship and Submarine Recycling Program at Bremerton, Washington, beginning on October 1, 1996. When she finished the program on December 1, 1997, she ceased to exist as a complete ship and was listed as scrapped. In popular cultureMain article: Thomas Edison in popular culture Thomas Edison has appeared in popular culture as a character in novels, films, comics and video games. His prolific inventing helped make him an icon and he has made appearances in popular culture during his lifetime down to the present day. His history with Nikola Tesla has also provided dramatic tension and is a theme returned to numerous times. On February 11, 2011, on Thomas Edison's 164th birthday, Google's homepage featured an animated Google Doodle commemorating his many inventions. When the cursor was hovered over the doodle, a series of mechanisms seemed to move, causing a lightbulb to glow.[87] Novel mentionsIn Dos Passos' The 42nd Parallel, Thomas Edison is introduced as "The Electrical Wizard", a very handy and intellectual person. In his lifetime he held many different jobs and created many patents and inventions.[88] See also Book: Thomas Edison Wikipedia books are collections of articles that can be downloaded or ordered in print. Animated Hero Classics – Animated DVD biography series of historical figures, including Thomas Edison John I. Beggs List of Edison patents List of people on stamps of Ireland Thomas Alva Edison Birthplace Thomas E. Murray Thomas Edison National Historical Park Phonomotor Joseph Swan Edison Pioneers References^ Walsh, Bryan. "The Electrifying Edison." Web: Time July 5, 2010 ^ National Historic Landmarks Program (NHL) ^ Baldwin, Neal (1995). Edison: Inventing the Century. Hyperion. pp. 3–5. ISBN 978-0-7868-6041-8. ^ "Edison Family Album". US National Park Service. Archived from the original on December 6, 2010. Retrieved March 11, 2006. ^ "Edison" by Matthew Josephson. McGraw Hill, New York, 1959, ISBN 978-0-07-033046-7 ^ "Edison: Inventing the Century" by Neil Baldwin, University of Chicago Press, 2001, ISBN 978-0-226-03571-0 ^ Josephson, p 18 ^ a b "Edison, Thomas Alva". The Cyclopædia of American Biography. 1918. ^ "GE emerges world's largest company: Forbes". Trading April 10, 2009. Archived from the original on December 6, 2010. Retrieved February 7, 2010. ^ "GE emerges world's largest company: Forbes". Indian April 9, 2009. Archived from the original on December 6, 2010. Retrieved February 7, 2010. ^ Baldwin, page 37 ^ Baldwin, pages 40–41 ^ "U.S. Patent 90,646". Archived from the original on December 6, 2010. Retrieved January 9, 2010. ^ The Edison Papers, Rutgers University. Retrieved March 20, 2007. ^ Baldwin 1995, p.60 ^ Baldwin 1995, p.67 ^ "Older Son To Sue To Void Edison Will; William, Second Child Of The Counsel". New York Times. October 31, 1931. "The will of Thomas A. Edison, filed in Newark last Thursday, which leaves the bulk of the inventor's $12 million estate to the sons of his second wife, was attacked as unfair yesterday by William L. Edison, second son of the first wife, who announced at the same time that he would sue to break it." ^ "The Life of Thomas Edison", American Memory, Library of Congress, Retrieved March 3, 2009. ^ "Thomas Edison’s First Wife May Have Died of a Morphine Overdose", Rutgers Today. Retrieved November 18, 2011 ^ "Thomas Edison's Children". IEEE Global History Network. IEEE. December 16, 2010 (2010-12-16). Retrieved June 30, 2011 (2011-06-30). ^ "Madeleine Edison a Bride. Inventor's Daughter Married to J. E. Sloan by Mgr. Brann". New York Times. June 18, 1914, Thursday. ^ "Mrs. John Eyre Sloane Has a Son at the Harbor Sanitarium Here". New York Times. January 10, 1931, Saturday. ^ "Charles Edison, 78, Ex-Governor Of Jersey and U.S. Aide, Is Dead". New York Times. August 1969. ^ "Edison's Widow Very III". New York Times. August 21, 1947, Thursday. ^ "Rites for Mrs. Edison". New York Times. August 26, 1947, Tuesday. ^ Evans, Harold, "They Made America." Little, Brown and Company, New York, 2004. ISBN 978-0-316-27766-2. p. 152. ^ "Moses G. Farmer, Eliot's Inventor". Archived from the original on June 19, 2006. Retrieved March 11, 2006. ^ a b Israel, Paul B. 1998. Edison: A life of invention. New York: John Wiley. 217–218 ^ Israel, Paul B. 1998. Edison: A life of invention. New York: John Wiley. quoted page 217 ^ Shulman, Seth (1999). Owning the Future. Houghton Mifflin Company. pp. 158–160. ^ "Real Labor", Time, Dec. 8, 1930. (retrieved Jan 10, 2008) ^ a b c d e f g Israel, Paul (2000). Edison: A Life of Invention. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 978-0-471-36270-8. ^ "Thomas Edison, Original Letters and Primary Source Documents". Shapell Manuscript Foundation. ^ a b U.S. Patent 0,223,898 ^ Flannery, L. G. (Pat) (1960). John Hunton's Diary, Volume 3. pp. 68, 69. ^ "Keynote Address – Second International ALN1 Conference (PDF)". Archived from the original on December 6, 2010. ^ "Lewis Howard Latimer". National Park Service. Retrieved June 10, 2007. ^ "Diehl's Lamp Hit Edison Monopoly," Elizabeth Daily Journal, Friday Evening, October 25, 1929 ^ "About the Memory of a Theatre". National Theatre Brno. Archived from the original on January 19, 2008. Retrieved December 30, 2007. ^ Sculpture of three giant light bulbs: in memory of Thomas Alva Edison ^ A brief history of Con Edison:"Electricity" ^ "IMDB entry on Electrocuting an Elephant (1903)". Archived from the original on December 6, 2010. Retrieved March 11, 2006. ^ "Wired Magazine: "Jan. 4, 1903: Edison Fries an Elephant to Prove His Point"". January 4, 2008. Archived from the original on December 6, 2010. Retrieved January 4, 2008. ^ "Electrocution Thresholds for Humans". Archived from the original on December 6, 2010. Retrieved February 26, 2009. ^ Tony Long (January 4, 2008). "Jan. 4, 1903: Edison Fries an Elephant to Prove His Point". AlterNet. Archived from the original on December 6, 2010. Retrieved January 4, 2008. ^ a b Lee, Jennifer (November 14, 2007). "Off Goes the Power Current Started by Thomas Edison". The New York Times Company. Retrieved December 30, 2007. ^ Duke University Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library: Edison fears the hidden perils of the x-rays. New York Worldb/, August 3, 1903, Durham, NC. ^ "The Thomas A. Edison Papers". Archived from the original on July 22, 2007. Retrieved January 29, 2009. ^ "Tesla – Master of Lightning:Coming to America". Archived from the original on December 6, 2010. Retrieved March 11, 2006. ^ Jonnes, p110 ^ New York Times. October 19, 1931. ^ "Quotations Page". Archived from the original on December 6, 2010. ^ "Tesla Says Edison was an Empiricist. Electrical Technician Declares Persistent Trials Attested Inventor's Vigor. 'His Method Inefficient' A Little Theory Would Have Saved Him 90% of Labor, Ex-Aide Asserts. Praises His Great Genius". New York Times. October 19, 1931. "Nikola Tesla, one of the world's outstanding electrical technicians, who came to America in 1884 to work with Thomas A. Edison, specifically in the designing of motors and generators, recounted yesterday some of ..." ^ "History of Edison Motion Pictures". Archived from the original on December 6, 2010. Retrieved October 14, 2007. ^ Leonard–Cushing fight Part of the Library of Congress/Inventing Entertainment educational website. Retrieved December 14, 2006. ^ "Martin Loiperdinger. Film & Schokolade. Stollwercks Geschäfte mit lebenden Bildern . KINtop Schriften Stroemfeld Verlag, Frankfurt am Main, Basel 1999 ISBN 3-87877-764-7 (Buch) ISBN 3-87877-760-4 (Buch und Videocassette)". Archived from the original on December 6, 2010. Retrieved January 29, 2009. ^ a b "Guido Convents, Van Kinetoscoop tot Cafe-Cine de Eerste Jaren van de Film in Belgie, 1894–1908, pp. 33–69. Universitaire Pers Leuven. Leuven: 2000. Guido Convents, "'Edison's Kinetscope in Belgium, or, Scientists, Admirers, Businessmen, Industrialists and Crooks", pp. 249–258. in C. Dupré la Tour, A. Gaudreault, R. Pearson (Ed.) Cinema at the Turn of the Century. Québec, 1999". Archived from the original on December 6, 2010. Retrieved January 29, 2009. ^ "Thomas Edison". Greater Sudbury Heritage Museums. Archived from the original on December 6, 2010. Retrieved December 30, 2007. ^ Rémi Fournier Lanzoni, French Cinema: From Its Beginnings to the Present, (2002) ^ Siegmund Lubin (1851–1923), Who's Who of Victorian Cinema. Retrieved August 20, 2007. ^ "History of Edison Motion Pictures: Early Edison Motion Picture Production (1892–1895)",, Library of Congress. Retrieved August 20, 2007. ^ a b Reader's Digest, March 1930, pp. 1042–1044, "Living With a Genius", condensed from The American Magazine February 1930 ^ "Edison Wears Silk Nightshirt, Hates Talkies, Writes Wife", Capital Times, October 30, 1930 ^ Armbrester, Margaret E. (1992). The Civitan Story. Birmingham, AL: Ebsco Media. p. 34. ^ a b Holland, Kevin J. (2001). Classic American Railroad Terminals. MBI Publishing Company. ISBN 978-0-7603-0832-5. ^ "Thomas Edison Dies in Coma at 84; Family With Him as the End Comes; Inventor Succumbs at 3:24 A.M. After Fight for Life Since He Was Stricken on August 1. World-Wide Tribute Is Paid to Him as a Benefactor of Mankind". New York Times. October 18, 1931. "West Orange, New Jersey, Sunday, October 18, 1931. Thomas Alva Edison died at 3:24 o'clock this morning at his home, Glenmont, in the Llewellyn Park section of this city. The great inventor, the fruits of whose genius so magically transformed the everyday world, was 84 years and 8 months old." ^ Benoit, Tod (2003). Where are they buried? How did they die?. Black Dog & Leventhal. p. 560. ISBN 978-1-57912-678-0. ^ "Is Thomas Edison's last breath preserved in a test tube in the Henry Ford Museum?", The Straight Dope, September 11, 1987. Retrieved August 20, 2007. ^ ""No Immortality of the Soul" says Thomas A. Edison. In Fact, He Doesn't Believe There Is a Soul — Human Beings Only an Aggregate of Cells and the Brain Only a Wonderful Machine, Says Wizard of Electricity". New York Times. October 2, 1910, Sunday. "Thomas A. Edison in the following interview for the first time speaks to the public on the vital subjects of the human soul and immortality. It will be bound to be a most fascinating, an amazing statement, from one of the most notable and interesting men of the age ... Nature is what we know. We do not know the gods of religions. And nature is not kind, or merciful, or loving. If God made me — the fabled God of the three qualities of which I spoke: mercy, kindness, love — He also made the fish I catch and eat. And where do His mercy, kindness, and love for that fish come in? No; nature made us — nature did it all — not the gods of the religions." ^ Cited in Innovate Like Edison: The Success System of America's Greatest Inventor by Sarah Miller Caldicott, Michael J. Gelb, page 37. ^ Jonnes ^ Bellis, Mary. "Death, Money, and the History of the Electric Chair". Archived from the original on December 6, 2010. Retrieved February 23, 2010. "On January 1, 1889, the world's first electrical execution law went into full effect. Westinghouse protested the decision and refused to sell any AC generators directly to prison authorities. Thomas Edison and Harold Brown provided the AC generators needed for the first working electric chairs. George Westinghouse funded the appeals for the first prisoners sentenced to death by electrocution, made on the grounds that "electrocution was cruel and unusual punishment." Edison and Brown both testified for the state that execution was a quick and painless form of death and the State of New York won the appeals." ^ "Edison Community College (Ohio)". Retrieved January 29, 2009. ^ Jason Klose The Edison Hotel: A Bright and Colorful History, Spring 2009 City of Sunbury Website ^ Thomas Edison National Historical Park (U.S. National Park Service) ^ Menlo Park Museum, Tower-Restoration. Retrieved September 28, 2010. ^ Thomas Edison Depot. Retrieved September 28, 2010. ^ Edison Memorial Fountain at Buildings of Detroit. Retrieved September 28, 2010. ^ "Thomas A. Edison Patent Award". American Society of Mechanical Engineers. Archived from the original on December 6, 2010. ^ NNDB online website. The same decree awarded German physicist Hermann von Helmholtz with the designation of Grand Officer of the Legion of Honor, as well as Alexander Graham Bell. The decree preamble cited "for services provided to the Congress and to the International Electrical Exhibition" ^ a b c d e f g h Kennelly, Arthur E. (1932). Biographical Memoir of Thomas Alva Edison. National Academy of Sciences. pp. 300–301. ^ "Franklin Laureate Database - Edward Longstreth Medal 1899 Laureates". Franklin Institute. Retrieved November 18, 2011 (2011-11-18). ^ "Great Floridian Program". Retrieved 2 April 2012. ^ "Edison and Tesla To Get Nobel Prizes - View Article -". New York Times. 1915-11-06. Retrieved 2011-12-11. ^ "Nikola Tesla". Retrieved 2011-12-11. ^ Quotations. "Nikola Tesla quotes". Retrieved 2011-12-11. ^ "Google Doodle: Feb 11, 2011 – Thomas Edison's Birthday". ^ Dos Passos, John. U.S.A. New York: Literary Classics of the United States, 1996. Print. U.S.A. Trilogy. BibliographyAlbion, Michele Wehrwein. (2008). The Florida Life of Thomas Edison. Gainesville: University Press of Florida. ISBN 978-0-8130-3259-7. Adams, Glen J. (2004). The Search for Thomas Edison's Boyhood Home. ISBN 978-1-4116-1361-4. Angel, Ernst (1926). Edison. Sein Leben und Erfinden. Berlin: Ernst Angel Verlag. Baldwin, Neil (2001). Edison: Inventing the Century. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 978-0-226-03571-0. Clark, Ronald William (1977). Edison: The man who made the future. London: Macdonald & Jane's: Macdonald and Jane's. ISBN 978-0-354-04093-8. Conot, Robert (1979). A Streak of Luck. New York: Seaview Books. ISBN 978-0-87223-521-2. Davis, L. J. (1998). Fleet Fire: Thomas Edison and the Pioneers of the Electric Revolution. New York: Doubleday. ISBN 978-0-385-47927-1. Essig, Mark (2004). Edison and the Electric Chair. Stroud: Sutton. ISBN 978-0-7509-3680-4. Essig, Mark (2003). Edison & the Electric Chair: A Story of Light and Death. New York: Walker & Company. ISBN 978-0-8027-1406-0. Israel, Paul (1998). Edison: a Life of Invention. New York: Wiley. ISBN 978-0-471-52942-2. Jonnes, Jill (2003). Empires of Light: Edison, Tesla, Westinghouse, and the Race to Electrify the World. New York: Random House. ISBN 978-0-375-50739-7. Josephson, Matthew (1959). Edison. McGraw Hill. ISBN 978-0-07-033046-7. Koenigsberg, Allen (1987). Edison Cylinder Records, 1889-1912. APM Press. ISBN 0-937612-07-3. Pretzer, William S. (ed). (1989). Working at Inventing: Thomas A. Edison and the Menlo Park Experience. Dearborn, Michigan: Henry Ford Museum & Greenfield Village. ISBN 978-0-933728-33-2. Stross, Randall E. (2007). The Wizard of Menlo Park: How Thomas Alva Edison Invented the Modern World. Crown. ISBN 1-4000-4762-5. External linksFind more about Thomas Edison on Wikipedia's sister projects: Definitions and translations from Wiktionary Images and media from Commons Learning resources from Wikiversity News stories from Wikinews Quotations from Wikiquote Source texts from Wikisource Textbooks from Wikibooks Locations Menlo Park Museum and Edison Memorial Tower Thomas Edison National Historical Park (National Park Service) Edison exhibit and Menlo Park Laboratory at Henry Ford Museum Edison Museum Edison Depot Museum Edison Birthplace Museum Thomas Edison House Information and media Thomas Edison on In Our Time at the BBC. (listen now) The Diary of Thomas Edison Works by Thomas Edison at Project Gutenberg Edison's patent application for the light bulb at the National Archives. Thomas Edison at the Internet Movie Database Jan. 4, 1903: Edison Fries an Elephant to Prove His Point – Wired article about Edison's "macabre form of a series of animal electrocutions using AC." The Invention Factory: Thomas Edison's Laboratories Edison, His Life and Inventions by Frank Lewis Dyer and Thomas Commerford Martin' at Project Gutenberg The short film "Story of Thomas Alva Edison" is available for free download at the Internet Archive [more] Rutgers: Edison Papers Edisonian Museum Antique Electrics "Edison's Miracle of Light" Edison Innovation Foundation – Non-profit foundation supporting the legacy of Thomas Edison. Thomas Alva Edison at Find a Grave The Illustrious Vagabonds "The World's Greatest Inventor", October 1931, Popular Mechanics detailed, illustrated article 14 minutes "instructional" film with fictional elements The boyhood of Thomas Edison from 1964, produced by Coronet, published by Booknotes interview with Neil Baldwin on Edison: Inventing the Century, March 19, 1995. Booknotes interview with Jill Jonnes on Empires of Light: Edison, Tesla, Westinghouse and the Race to Electrify the World, October 26, 2003. 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· Northern Cyprus · South Ossetia · Transnistria Dependencies and other territories Åland · Faroe Islands · Gibraltar · Guernsey · Jersey · Isle of Man · Svalbard Other entities European Union [show]v · t · e Telecommunications in North America Sovereign states Antigua and Barbuda · Bahamas · Barbados · Belize · Canada · Costa Rica · Cuba · Dominica · Dominican Republic · El Salvador · Grenada · Guatemala · Haiti · Honduras · Jamaica · Mexico · Nicaragua · Panama · Saint Kitts and Nevis · Saint Lucia · Saint Vincent and the Grenadines · Trinidad and Tobago · United States Dependencies and other territories Anguilla · Aruba · Bermuda · Bonaire · British Virgin Islands · Cayman Islands · Curaçao · Greenland · Guadeloupe · Martinique · Montserrat · Navassa Island · Puerto Rico · Saint Barthélemy · Saint Martin · Saint Pierre and Miquelon · Saba · Sint Eustatius · Sint Maarten · Turks and Caicos Islands · United States Virgin Islands [show]v · t · e Telecommunications in Oceania Sovereign states Australia · East Timor (Timor-Leste) · Fiji · Indonesia · Kiribati · Marshall Islands · Federated States of Micronesia · Nauru · New Zealand · Palau · Papua New Guinea · Samoa · Solomon Islands · Tonga · Tuvalu · Vanuatu Dependencies and other territories American Samoa · Christmas Island · Cocos (Keeling) Islands · Cook Islands · Easter Island · French Polynesia · Guam · Hawaii · New Caledonia · Niue · Norfolk Island · Northern Mariana Islands · Pitcairn Islands · Tokelau · Wallis and Futuna [show]v · t · e Telecommunications in South America Sovereign states Argentina · Bolivia · Brazil · Chile · Colombia · Ecuador · Guyana · Paraguay · Peru · Suriname · Uruguay · Venezuela Dependencies and other territories Aruba · Bonaire · Curaçao · Falkland Islands · French Guiana · South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands Authority control: LCCN: n80126308 | WorldCat Persondata Name Edison, Thomas Alva Alternative names Short description American inventor and businessman Date of birth February 11, 1847 Place of birth Milan, Ohio, United States Date of death October 18, 1931 Place of death West Orange, New Jersey, United States Retrieved from "" Categories: 1847 births1931 deathsPeople from Milan, OhioPeople from Fort Myers, FloridaAmerican businesspeopleAmerican inventorsAmerican people of Canadian descentAmerican people of Dutch descentAmerican people of English descentAmerican people of Scottish descentBusinesspeople from OhioCinema pioneersCongressional Gold Medal recipientsDeaf peopleDeistsEdison familyGreat FloridiansMembers of the Royal Swedish Academy of SciencesNational Inventors Hall of Fame inducteesOfficiers of the Légion d'honneurPeople associated with electricityPeople of United Empire Loyalist descentRecipients of the Distinguished Service Medal (United States)TelegraphyThomas EdisonHidden categories: Wikipedia semi-protected pagesBiography with signatureArticles with hCardsAll articles with unsourced statementsArticles with unsourced statements from 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