The world will always remember Thomas Alva Edison for his inventions which have made living easy. In his lifetime he came up with over a thousand devices although some of them he did not create from scratch. He came up with the invention such as the phonograph, telegraph, light bulbs, alkaline storage batteries and the kinetograph (the earliest form of the modern camera). He began his scientific journey at the age of 15 when he started working with a telegraph which he studied and gained electrical knowledge. He invented the Universal Stock Printer which was later bought, and he used the money to set up a small laboratory. This invention made him quite famous. He then invented a sound recording device called phonography. In January 1880, Edison invented the light bulbs, a design which many described as a gift to humanity. He also created weapons that were used during the first world war. Later Edison developed a magnetic iron-ore processing plant with the aim of coming up with a better method to produce cement. In 1910’s, Edison researched on developing electric cars and in 1912 he designed a battery for Henry Ford’s self-starter (Douglas, 2001).
A fact known by few about Edison is that he was a great businessman. Edison’s business life started when the Gold and Stock Telegraph Company bought his first invention, the Universal Stock Printer’s patent. After that, he became an independent entrepreneur. He formed numerous partnerships and developed his devices for the highest bidder. By the year 1889, Edison had managed to come up with several companies such Edison Lamp Company, Edison Electric Light Company, and Edison Machine Works, Bergmann & Company (Douglas, 2001). He started his own company that was known as Edison Illuminating Company that was later identified as General Electric Corporations. This company still exists, and very few know that Edison was among the founder members.
Hargadon, A. B., & Douglas, Y. (2001). When innovations meet institutions: Edison and the design of the electric light. Administrative science quarterly, 46(3), 476-501.
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