Fourth Most Prolific Inventor in History

"I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work."


  • Thomas Edison obtained 1,093 U.S. patents as well as patents in the United Kingdom, France, and Germany.  His patents and inventions
  • were in a variety of fields such as mass communication, electricity, botany, and even furniture design.  He is often credited with the invention of the industrial research library.Three of his more famously known inventions are the phonograph, the lightbulb, and the motion picture camera.


Phonograph- Edison's phonograph was patented February 19, 1878.  It was developed as a result of his work on the telegraph and telephone.  Voice vibrations were recorded on tin foil wrapped around a metal cylinder.  Edison's phonograph was the first device that could record and reproduce sounds.  To hear one of the recordings click

Lightbulb- Although Edison is often credited with the invention of the lightbulb, he built upon the work of previous scientists.  He can be credited with invention of the first long lasting, practical lightbulb due to his invention of "a carbon filament or strip coiled and connected to platina contact wires".2  And because of his work on the lightbulb, Edison was instrumental in developing the infrastructure needed in order to distribute electricity needed in homes to power his lightbulb.

Motion Picture Camera-   Edison invented the Kinetograph (a motion picture camera) in 1888.  The Edison Manufacturing Co. not only built the device used for filming and projecting motion pictures, but also produced films for public consumption.To see Edison's first attempt at merging sound and pictures in motion picture click





^ Walsh, Bryan. "The Electrifying Edison." Web: Time July 5, 2010