Where did Thomas Edison invent the lightbulb?

Thomas Alva Edison - The inventor of the light bulb

Thomas Alva Edison was born in Milan, Ohio, in 1847, the seventh child of Samuel Ogden Edison and Nancy Edison.

When his father lost all of his property, the family moved to Port Huron. Thomas Alva Edison only attended school here at the age of eight.

But he only received regular school lessons for a few months, because since his teacher called him a "hollow head", his mother continued to teach him afterwards.

It was soon to be seen that he was very talented and interested in chemistry and scientific experiments, and that he was anything but a hollow head.

Thomas Alva Edison, who was hard of hearing from a young age, began to work as a newspaper seller on a new railway line at the age of twelve in order to raise the money for chemical experiments in his father's basement.

Four years later he became an employee in the telegraph service, where he made his first inventions in 1868, including the so-called "quadruplex apparatus" (a double transmission device) and an intercom.


By selling some of his patents, he was financially able to found the world's first research laboratory in Menlo Park near New York in 1876.

His attempts earned him the name "Wizard of Menlo Park". The carbon microphone opened the series of important inventions that were made there.

On July 18, 1877, Edison invented the phonograph and was the first person to hear his own voice - the first recorded word was "Hello".

With this microphone, Bell's telephone could be significantly improved. In 1878 a speaking machine (phonograph with cylinders) followed.

His most important invention was the incandescent lamp (carbon filament lamp) in 1879.

At the international electricity exhibition in Paris (1881) he was the first to present an electricity generator (dynamo) directly connected to a steam engine, with which he could feed the incandescent lamps he had invented.



In New York in 1882 he put the world's first public power station into operation, and he played a key role in its construction.

In 1883, during experiments with his incandescent lamps, he discovered the effect, named after him, that a glowing body emits electrons (glow emission).

This knowledge was the prerequisite for the development of the radio tube.

For film technology, Edison created the Vitaskop, a device for film projection, in 1895/96 and the Kinetograph, a film recording device, in 1899.

In 1908 the development of the iron-nickel accumulator (Edison accumulator) was completed, the plates of which consist of iron (negative pole) and nickel dioxide (positive pole).

Edison's versatility is evident from around 1,500 patents pending. This includes, for example, the paraffin paper for packaging food and even the chewing gum.

In 1928 he was honored with the gold medal of the American Congress for his services in research.

A small selection from his inventions:

Electric vote counter for meetings 1868
Stock market ticker, typewriter 1868
Electric pen, paraffin paper
Typewriter (much improved) 1871 grain microphone (for telephone)
Phonograph 1877
Improvement and marketing of the carbon filament light bulb 1879
Steam engine dynamo 1881
35 mm film (35mm film) 1889
Iron nickel battery 1904
Concrete casting process 1910
Sound film apparatus (Kinetofon) 1912
Anti-submarine defense equipment 1917-1918

When Thomas Alva Edison died in West Orange, New Jersey, in 1931, the Americans turned off the lights for a few minutes at ten o'clock in the evening.

Here you can listen to an old sound recording made by Edison:


Photos and sound recording: http://www.americaslibrary.gov/aa/edison/ Photo 1: Photo of Edison with cylinder phonograph in 1878
Edison, Thomas A .. "Edison with Cylinder Phonograph; Washington, DC; April 18, 1878." 1878. Photo courtesy of the U.S. Department of Interior, National Park Service, Edison National Historic Site. Photo 2: Thomas A. Edison in his laboratory in New Jersey, 1901
Underwood & Underwood, publishers. "The most famous inventor of the age - Thos. A. Edison in his laboratory, East Orange, N.J., U.S.A." 1901. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress Photo 3: Edison sitting at the door of the ore-milling plant in New Jersey in 1895
"Edison Sitting on the grounds of the New Jersey and Pennsylvania Concentrating Works; Ogden, NJ; 1895." 1895. Courtesy of the U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Edison National Historic Site.