Thomas Edison


Thomas Edison is well recognized for his discoveries and contributions to the field of electricity. He was born in Milan in 1847 and attended formal education before working as a telegraph operator, where he acquired expertise in electrical fundamentals. Edison, as one of the founders of electric instruments, patented the phonograph, the incandescent lamp, and contributed to the creation of a movie projector. He revolutionized the manufacturing market, largely through his work in electricity. Among his works include setting up an electrical distribution station in New York, built an incandescent power system, invented alkaline batteries, took part in making the first electric railway road, and pinpointed modern electricity. He established a record of 1093 patents before he died in October 1931. Therefore, it vital to learn the inventions and contributions of Thomas Edison in the field of electricity and electronics, which forms the primary concern of this paper.

Early Inventions and Contributions

Edison officially began his work at the age of 29 years where he started working on carbon transmitter. This work allowed Graham Bell to make his new invention of articulating telephone of practical use by making it audible enough. In 1877, he invented his first phonograph shortly after he relocated to Menlo Park (Walsh 40). In this particular invention, Thomas was able to reproduce the recorded sound, which on later improvement by Graham realized the renowned graphophone. In 1879, he invented the first incandescent light bulb that used carbon filaments and lasted for about 1200 hours (Walsh 41). Together with his advancement in electrical connections, he revolutionized the residential lighting by introducing brighter lighting and cheaper. Basing on Edison work, William Coolidge advanced the bulb technology to use bendable tungsten making it three times luminous and efficient. Moreover, to further on his commercial lighting work, he developed centrally located system for generating and distribution of light, power, and heat between the year 1883 and 1884 (Walsh 42). As many concur, this was the greatest invention of all time that contributed to the state of the world we know today. Thomas did not stop at that, he went further to establish the first research center in 1887, and it became the world prolific scientific testing laboratory a year later.

Advancements in Film Industry

Furthermore, in 1890 he initiated development of silent motion pictures by inventing a Vitascope. Dictaphone, mimeograph, and storage battery were also his inventions by the turn of the century. His creation of kinetoscope saw the realization of silent film in 1904 (Walsh 43). Further work on the film industry made Thomas attempt to blend motion pictures and audio to come up with "talking pictures," he made a ten minutes clip named The Great Train Robbery. During World War I, he was summoned by the US government to instill his genius into their war devices such as submarines, ships, and other defensive machines (Walsh 44). By the time of his death, Thomas Edison was well known all over the world for his inventions and contributions. He died in 1931 at the age of 84 having made 1093 patents.


In retrospect, Thomas Edison devoted all his life to inventing devices and made considerable contributions in the field of electricity. Among his works included incandescent light bulb, storage battery, power generation and distribution plant, and several devices in the film industry. Through his work, Edison can be considered the pioneer of modern electricity and in making the world a better place.

Works Cited

Walsh, Bryan. "The Electrifying Edison." Cover Story; Part of a Special Section: Thomas Edison, vol. 176, no. 1, 2010, pp. 40-44,

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