March 26, 2002
Thomas Edison created 1,093 inventions.
He is best known for perfecting the incandescent light
He also invented the phonograph, a motion picture
camera (kinetograph) and a motion picture viewer
(kinetoscope). Some other inventions include the
storage battery, a talking doll, an electric motor, and a
telegraph. How many more can you name?
Thomas Edison attended school only briefly when he
was seven years old.
His teacher described him as “addled.” That means
he was very distracted in school.
His mother did not like the strict ways and decided to
home school Thomas. She was a teacher and taught
him to love reading.
When Thomas got his first chemistry set, he
discovered his love for mechanical things and
He lost most of his hearing at age 12 when he was
pulled onto a train by his ears. He did not let his
disability stop him from learning.
Thomas Edison was born on Feb. 11, 1847 in Milan
He had three children by his first wife, Mary Stillwell.
She died in 1884.
He married Mina Miller in 1886 and had 3 more
He loved to do experiments and was still inventing and
working when he died at the age of 84. (Oct. 18, 1931)
He lived through the Civil War, the Spanish-American
War, and World War I.
•This invention was Edison’s favorite.
•The phonograph was developed due to Edison’s
involvement with the telegraph and the telephone.
•Edison wanted a phonograph in every home.
•The first phonograph used tin foil on a cylinder.
•Edison recorded Mary had a little lamb.
•His invention was very original and was patented
on Feb.19, 1878.
The Light Bulb
•Edison began working on the light bulb in 1877.
•He discovered a carbonized thread could burn for
about 40 hours.
•This led to the first commercial light system that
was constructed in Manhattan.
•Edison gave the company his patents in
exchange for large amounts of stock.
•This invention was the most time-consuming
project for Edison.
1859- started Grand Trunk Herald-first
newspaper to be published on a train.
1870-started Newark Telegraph Works
1878-started Edison Speaking Phonograph Co.
-Edison Electric Light Co.
1881-Edison Ore Mining Co.
1889-Edison Portland Cement Co.
1896- National Phonograph Co.
1911- Thomas A Edison, Inc.
The first US patent law was passed in 1790.
The patent office has granted about 4 million
patents since 1836.
Patents protect a person’s invention from
being copied, sold or used without the
All patents are numbered.
Edison held 1093 patents for his inventions.
Patents last 14-17 years.
Interesting Web Sites
Thomas A. Edison Public School-
American Memory Collection-
Pictures in slides 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, and 8 are from
the American Memory Collection of the
Library of Congress.
Information from the Thomas Edison
Inventing Entertainment Web Site: