Revised: February 3, 2013

Home:  Library:  Edison, Thomas
“Hell, there are no rules here—we're trying to accomplish something.”
- THOMAS EDISON
Thomas Edison
American Inventor, 1847 -1931

Thomas Alva Edison was born on February 11, 1847 in Milan, Ohio. With only three months of formal education he became one of the greatest inventors and industrial leaders in history. Edison obtained 1,093 United States patents, the most issued to any individual.

Edison's greatest contribution was the first practical electric lighting. He not only invented the first successful electric light bulb, but also set up the first electrical power distribution company. Edison invented the phonograph, and made improvements to the telegraph, telephone and motion picture technology. He also founded the first modern research laboratory.

Edison was also a good businessman. He not only designed important new devices, he created companies worldwide for the manufacture and sale of his inventions. Along with other manufacturing pioneers of his era, Edison helped make the United States a world industrial power. He and Henry Ford became friends after Edison encouraged Ford to use the gasoline powered engine for the automobile.

Edison was also a ruthless businessman who fought viciously to defeat his competitors. One of the most notorious examples of his competitive vigor were the lengths he went to to discredit Nicola Tesla's Alternating Current system, which is the system of electrical distribution in use today.

Edison had great faith in progress and industry, and valued long, hard work. He used to say, “Genius was 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration.” Edison believed that inventing useful products offered everyone the opportunity for fame and fortune while benefiting society.

If you are aware of books, movies, databases, web sites or other information sources about Thomas Edison or related subjects, or if you would like to comment, please contact us.

Resource Menu
Books About Thomas Edison

Edison: A Life of Invention Edison: A Life of Invention
by Paul Israel

Israel, managing editor of the Rutgers edition of Edison's papers, draws this biography from workshop diaries, letters, and more than five million pages of Edison archives. It places Edison in the context of the Industrial Revolution and its aftermath.

Purchase this hardcover edition of Edison: A Life of Invention

Thomas Edison and Modern America Thomas Edison and Modern America: A Brief History with Documents
by Theresa M. Collins and Lisa Gitelman

Edison emerges as a prolific mind, a tireless worker, and an inveterate self-promoter. Includes headnotes to the documents, illustrations, a chronology, discussion questions, a bibliography, and an index. Useful as a resource for college courses.

Purchase this hardcover edition of Thomas Edison and Modern America

Uncommon Friends Uncommon Friends: Life With Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Harvey Firestone, Alexis Carrel, & Charles Lindbergh
by James D. Newton

Reveals the personal side of these great men, what it was like to be around them on a regular basis, some of their thoughts on life, and hints of their sense of humor.

Purchase this papaerback edition of Uncommon Friends

Young Inventor Thomas A. Edison: Young Inventor
by Sue Guthridge, Wallace Wook (Illustrator)

A biography focusing on the childhood of the inventor.

Purchase this paperback edition of Thomas A. Edison: Young Inventor


DVDs About Thomas Edison

Edison: The Wizard of Light Edison: The Wizard of Light
Produced by Devine Entertainment

An Emmy Award-winning family drama about the 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration required to build an impassioned life. A-12-year-old boy wins Edison's affections and a long-term apprentice job. Believable conversations between mentor and student about education, life, and the invention of Edison's light bulb and phonograph are dotted with many recognizable, timely quotations.

Purchase this DVD edition of Edison: The Wizard of Light

Biography: Thomas Edison Thomas A. Edison: Father of Inventions
Produced A&E Biography

A&E's look at the famous inventor.

Purchase this DVD edition of Biography: Thomas Edison

History of Motion Pictures 1899 History of Motion Pictures: Early Films by Thomas Alva Edison 1899
Produced by A2ZCDS.com

A collection of 39 short films of various lengths and themes, each reflecting the stage at which cinematographic technology was back in the 19th Century.

Purchase this DVD edition of Early Films by Thomas Alva Edison 1899

History of Motion Pictures 1900 History of Motion Pictures - Early Films by Thomas Alva Edison 1900
Produced by A2ZCDS.com

A collection of 70 of the best short films produced by Thomas Alva Edison in 1900, which eventually paved the way for today's multi-million dollar film industry.

Purchase this DVD edition of Early Films by Thomas Alva Edison 1900

History of Motion Pictures 1901-02 History of Motion Pictures - Early Films by Thomas Alva Edison 1901-02
Produced by A2ZCDS.com

A collection of 60 films produced by the Thomas Edison Company in 1901 and 1902.

Purchase this DVD edition of Early Films by Thomas Alva Edison 1901-02


Related Websites

A Day With Thomas Edison
Online Video

The Edison Papers
Rutgers University

Thomas Edison
The Wizard of Menlo Park

Thomas Edison's Home Page

Edison National Historic Site

Edison® | muckers
Your BLOG for everything Edison from the Edison Innovation Foundation

A Lifetime of Invention
IEEE's Edison Pages

Thomas Edison/Henry Ford - Winter Estates Homepage

Edison After Fourty
A Smithsonian photo-album providing a look into the latter half of the life of Edison

Edison@Fact-Index.com



Thomas Edison


Other Inventors in the Lucidcafé Library


Home  |  Coffee  |  LibraryGallery  |  World
© 1995-2013 Robin Chew  |  Contact Us