Marvelous inventions from Thomas Edison
In this paper I will show a brief bio of who Thomas Edison was and some of the major inventions he invented over his life. He invented so many things from the phonograph to the microphone all the way to the lesser known Weber meter, but there are so many more then the five I’m going to talk about in this short paper because there are so many. But in this paper, I will be talking about a few of Thomas Edison major inventions that have changed the world dramatically they are: Phonograph, Durable light bulb, Electrical Vote Recorder, Carbon microphone, the Weber meter.
Thomas Edison was an American inventor, who has been described as one of America’s greatest inventors. He is credited with developing 1000’s of devices in different categories such as electric power generation, mass communication, sound recording, and motion pictures. He was born on February 11, 1847 in Milan, Ohio. When he was younger he had lost most of his hearing, no one really knows how he lost it. when he was a young boy he only went to school for a short time, but when he was there he did so poorly that he had to be home schooled by his mom. While he was being home schooled he was thought to love reading, in which he did that the rest of his life. He also loved to do experiments in his spare time. And he passed away on October 18, 1931 in West Orange, New Jersey where he had been final lab which featured the first studio called, the black Maria.
In his early career he worked as a telegraph operator, which inspired some of his earliest inventions. In 1876, he established his first laboratory facility in Menlo Park, New Jersey, where many inventions were developed. He would later establish a botanic laboratory in Fort Myers, Florida in collaboration with businessmen Henry Ford and Harvey Firestone.
The first invention I want to talk about is one of Edison’s top inventions which is the Phonograph. It was invented in 1877 by Edison at his Menlo Park lab, it was his favorite thing he made. While working on improvements to the telegraph and the telephone, Edison figured out a way to record sound on tinfoil-coated cylinders. The Phonograph had two needles, one for recording and one for playback. When he spoke into it, the vibrations would be indented onto the cylinder by the needle. After only a few times of playing it back the tin-foil would tear and not be able to be played again. That is one reason why all the tin-foil marks can be played today.
And in the 1940’s they were able to play records which was just called a record player. The first ones that were made looked just like the original ones in the shape of the cylinder with music being on the outside. Which now in today’s time the record player is not really used any more. The world has moved on to CD’s. The Phonograph had one of the biggest social impacts of all Edison’s inventions, because before it came out music was only used at social events like parties, clubs and at concert halls. But when it started to show up in homes there was a radical shift in social life because instead of clubs and concert halls everyone just stayed in their livening rooms to listen to music and throw parties. And in today’s time music has become more of a personal experience then a group experience.
The second invention I want to talk about is the Durable light bulb, even though he was not the inventor of the first light bulb, he was the one who came up with the technology that helped bring it to the world. In January 1879, in his lab in New Jersey, Edison had built his first incandescent electric light. It worked by passing electricity through a thin platinum filament in the glass vacuum bulb, which stopped the filament from melting. The lamp he made first did not burn long it would only burn for three hours then it would go out.
To help improve this Edison used all the knowledge he had obtained over the years to test hundreds of different materials to use as the filament in the bulb. He almost used tungsten which is used in light bulbs today. With the light bulb that he invented back then, it has really helped the world today to come up with so many different light bulbs today. There are other ways in which the light bulb has changed the world like, it has help with creating large power grids. It has also changed the world socially and economically which that brought the light bulb into houses and other appliances with it, which include refrigerators, microwaves and stoves. In which those have change changed the world themselves to. Also, with its invention it has led to the need for a widespread electrical distribution system. Which led to the first power station to be built in 1895.
The third invention is the Electrical Vote Recorder Edison was a 22 when he received his first patent for an invention he called the electrographic vote-recorder which was invented in June of 1869. He was one of many other inventors of who were trying to develop methods for legislative bodies to record their votes in a faster way than the voice vote system they used since the beginning of voting. The first model of this people didn’t like, and they rejected it because like nowadays the politicians like to use slow vote to delay the vote of a law or something they like. The final design in many ways could have changed the course of history in America if they would have given it a chance.
The forth invention I want to talk about is the Carbon microphone this is another invention that Edison made. It is also known as carbon button microphone or carbon transmitter, in which it converted sound to an audio signal. It has two metal pieces which was on both sides of some granules of carbon. The metal on one side is thin while the piece on the other side was a lot thicker. The tin side was the side that would be on the side where the person was talking. As the person was talking the sound waves were going into it and caused it to vibrate which would create the sound. The microphone when it was first made it was known for high output performance and low cost.
There were only a few drawbacks to these and the major few were that it had low quality sound reproduction, limited frequency response, as well as a loud hissing noise, which was probably annoying. With all these problems it became less and less popular over time. But one of the best uses for these are that they could be used as an amplifier, with this perk it was being used in early telephone repeaters. Which made long calls across America possible. One of the other perks I forgot to mention above was it could be used to boost the weak signals that would pushed down the line. Another advantage of using a microphone is that they can produce high level audio while using very low DC volts, so with that it doesn’t have to use any extra power from the battery. In today’s time they are mostly used in safety applications for stuff like mining and making chemicals where low voltage use is ideal, just because high voltage has a better chance of sparking and causing explosions in places they are not needed. And they are kind of famous for being able to withstand a lot of damage form transients which are produced by lightning and by magnetic pulses which are made from nuclear activity. And the last thing about Carbon microphones is that they are still used as a backup system for military actions in case other communications are down.
It was first patented by Emile Berliner in 1877. Berliner is credited with coming up with it in 1876. Berliners patent could not survive a legal battle with Edison, which gave the credit to Thomas Edison in 1892. But neither of the men could take all the credit for it because some already invented something like it.
The fifth invention is the weber meter in which Edison patented it in 1881. The meter reader removed the electrolytic cells at each reading for weighing, replacing them with new ones. (Barksdale pg.4) In which all this was invented for was to measure how much energy a person used or has been used at the time you check. the meter was made up of zinc which it was on both electrodes and had a zinc sulfate solution.
Every one of these inventions from the phonograph to the Weber meter have helped the world so much not just in our daily live at home, but in places like our jobs in networking and building electronics and even college classes. Where we use products that have come from these being invented by one of the best inventers in the world Thomas Edison. Most of the younger people in today’s time don’t even know much about his inventions, or how they have even affected the world. Which is a very sad thing to realize about this world. That he led to the creation of so many things today.
Marvelous inventions from Thomas Edison