Before the industrial revolution, normal tasks we do today were very difficult for civilians to complete back in the eighteen hundreds. Thomas Edison sparked a flame that was the Industrial Revolution. His curious and ingenuitive mind helped him to achieve massive goals that seemed impossible. He made many amazing inventions that helped make very hard jobs become undemanding. Edison was the first to produce many inventions that many other people had tried to create but failed. He refused to give up and taught others the same. Thomas Edison, defined his generation and became the true leader of the Industrial Revolution by his wisdom, spirit of curiosity, and legacy as a prolific inventor.
Throughout his life, Thomas Edison had proved to be very curious and had conducted many experiments.
As a kid he attempted many observations. He had once lit a barn on fire just to see how it would affect the structure and how big the fire would become. He also sat on his neighbor’s goose egg for many hours to see if he could hatch it, although that was obviously not the case. Young Thomas spent all his free time learning new things. His weekends would be spent at the local library and conducting experiments in his basement. He had earned a job as a newsboy on a train that travels between Port Huron and Detroit. He had sold candy and newspapers for the passengers. While he had been working on the train he had saved up enough money to buy some chemicals and a little lab that he had set up in the caboose. Unfortunately a fire had started in the train because of Edison and he lost his job.
As a young adult, Thomas’s curiosity grew and he was able to pursue his dream. He became obsessed with morse code and learned it by heart. He practiced using the telegraph many hours a day and became very good at it. In 1862 and at the age of only fifteen, Thomas became a telegraph operator and had excelled his skill. He was so good that he achieved a position as a telegrapher for a newspaper. He volunteered to take the night shift so that he would have some free time for experimentation. He resigned in 1869 because he refused to stay in a job with a skill that he had already mastered.
Thomas Edison’s prolificness was one of his most memorable qualities because of all the amazing and groundbreaking inventions.
The incandescent light bulb was thought of and tried by many and Edison took the idea and brought it to life. In 1878, He started with making and improving a gas oil based light. He then got the idea to manufacture the idea of the light bulb that ran on electricity. This idea was tried by many but the light only lasted for a couple of minutes and was very expensive. Edison wanted to improve it by making it last longer and more affordable. He realized that he had used a different filament in the bulb. Edison tried carbon, platinum and an assortment of many other wires. On October 22, 1879, Edison made his first successful light bulb test. It’s time was thirteen hours and thirty minutes. After he made it he had created the Edison Electric Light Company in New York City. Although this was a huge feat, he insisted that he could make the time longer. On November 4, 1879, he improved it again. After its improvement he had gotten it patented in the United States. Edison knew it could run longer and improved it one more time before releasing it to the public. He used a carbonized bamboo filament which lasted over one thousand two hundred hours. On December 31, 1879, he lit up Menlo Park with his new electric light and from there on he was known as the wizard of Menlo Park. In the mid 1880’s, A rich man asked Edison to light up a ship known as The Columbia. After some careful consideration, Edison accepted and set them up on the boat. He also hung his new electric lanterns in the Mahen Theater in 1882.
The phonograph was one of Edison’s most impressive and favorable of his inventions. As a young boy and young adult Thomas was very impressed and interested in the telegraph and morse. Later in his life he had thought of the idea of a machine that would allow the user to record his voice and play it back through speakers. He began with the fact that both the telegraph and our voices use vibrations. After he figured a way to adjust the vibrations to match our voices, the rest of the invention fell into place. Like trying to find the perfect filament for the light bulb, Edison searched for the correct filling material. In November 1877, he created the phonograph. On November 29, 1877, he introduced it to the public. Anyone who heard the machine speak called it “the talking machine” On December 1877, Edison presented it to the Scientific American Office. He walked in with a phonograph, sat down, and turned it on. The machine then introduced itself saying in a recording of Thomas,“Good Morning. How do you do? How do you like the Phonograph” Everyone who saw this invention was astonished.
Out of most of his many inventions, one of Thomas Edison’s favorite inventions was his amazing motion picture camera and the many films that went with it. Thomas thought up an idea that if he stringed together photos, would it seem to be moving. He brought this idea to a friend of his, William Dickson and they got to work immediately Edison worked on the electromechanical design for the machine while Dickson worked on the photographic and optic development. After a while of planning and constructing the team had manufactured the first ever motion picture camera. And with it to play the films they created the kinetograph and had it patented in 1891. The kinetograph was a box with a small peep hole on the front that a person would pay a small amount of money to watch a no sound, black and white short film.
Edison loved this invention and made many films for it. In 1896 Edison Factory in New York City was used to show films for the paying customers. Edison made it possible for other aspiring film creators to make their own films and get the patented when he made his very own Motion Picture Patent Company. Edison also founded a film studio that had produced more than one thousand two hundred films. Most of which were short and had no sound. In 1910, Edison’s company made the first Frankenstein movie and became a hit at the time. Finally Edison was honored in 1929 as the first to join the Acoustical Society of America for his brilliance in making the Motion Picture Camera and the Kintograpgh.
The great inventor in his many years had learned many life lessons and became very wise as he aged.
Thomas Edison had always kept the mindset of never giving up. After many trials and errors of some of his inventions he stated,” I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Edison refused to accept defeat and said to himself that he had found something he had not known before. It could be a failure but at least he knows what not to do. He used this mentality while manufacturing many of his concoctions. For instance, he had tried many different filaments for his incandescent light bulb until he found the perfect one. “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” This idea that quitting is our enemy caused him to make many of his amazing inventions. He taught the world that ceasing a project, even one of great perplexity, is one of our worst traits. “Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” Edison would not accept failure even in the most difficult situations.
Thomas Edison believed that hard work would always pay off in the future. He concluded that the only reason why people don’t work is because it appears difficult. “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” He dismissed the idea that all his success came from his brilliance “Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration.” was one of his most famous quotes. He worked hard on everything he did just like his job as telegraphist.
Thomas Edison was an amazing inventor and the leader of the Industrial Revolution. During the beginning of his life he was very curious and learned all he could. After many jobs as paper boy and telegraphist, he decided to pursue his dream and move to New York City to become an inventor. He made many inventions that shaped the world as we know it. He made the incandescent light bulb, the phonograph, the motion picture and made one thousand and ninety-three patents. After his many successes, he settled down and taught many people his wisdom that he accumulated through the years. Thomas Alva Edison should be a role model of discipline and brilliance to us all.