Happy Birthday, Thomas A. Edison!

The world today would be a very different place without the inventions of Thomas A. Edison.  He was known as the Wizard of Menlo Park.

Edison had obtained 1,093 US Patents over 63 years from 1868 to 1931 (1,084 utility patents and 9 design patents).  Only 2 people hold more patents in the United States.  (1)

His research provided notable contributions to telegraphy, telephony, sound recording, electronic lighting, electric power generation and distribution, and the motion picture. (2) Edison’s first invention, in 1869, was an electric vote-recorder.  It was to allow Washington congressmen to vote “yes” or “no” but they were not interested so the invention proved unsuccessful.  (http://www.google.com/patents/US90646)

Edison's First Patent

 

Other notable inventions include: (3)

STENCIL PEN: The stencil pen was the predecessor to tattoo pens.

STENCIL PEN: The stencil pen was the predecessor to tattoo pens.

PRACTICAL ELECTRIC LAMP: Edison’s carbon filament light bulb was the first commercially viable electric light. Previous versions were not as durable and used expensive materials such as platinum.

PRACTICAL ELECTRIC LAMP: Edison's carbon filament light bulb was the first commercially viable electric light. Previous versions were not as durable and used expensive materials such as platinum.

 

 

FRUIT PRESERVER: Edison designed a fruit preserver that sucked the oxygen out of the glass jars, producing vacuum-sealed jars of fruit.

FRUIT PRESERVER: Edison designed a fruit preserver that sucked the oxygen out of the glass jars, producing vacuum-sealed jars of fruit.

KINETOGRAPHIC CAMERA: The camera showed successive photos in a rapid speed so as to make them appear to be moving.

KINETOGRAPHIC CAMERA: The camera showed successive photos in a rapid speed so as to make them appear to be moving.

 

 

A complete listing of all of Thomas A. Edison’s 1,093 patents:  http://edison.rutgers.edu/patents.htm

 

In addition to the patents issues in the United States, Edison also was issued 1239 patents by foreign governments. (4) 

Country No. Country No.
Argentine 1 Mexico 14
Australia 6 Natal 5
Austria 101 New South Wales 38
Belgium 88 New Zealand 31
Brazil 1 Norway 16
Canada 129 Orange Free State 2
Cape of Good Hope 5 Portugal 10
Ceylon 4 Queensland 29
Cuba 12 Russia 17
Denmark 9 South African Republic 4
France 111 South Australia 1
Germany 130 Spain 54
Great Britain 131 Sweden 61
Hungary 30 Switzerland 13
India 44 Tasmania 8
Italy 83 Victoria 42
Japan 5 West Australia 4
Total of Edison’s Foreign Patents——1239

 

 

 

To Learn More:

 

References:

  1. Love, Dylan. 2011. The 10 Greatest Inventors in the Modern Era.  Business Insider. May 6, 2011.  http://www.businessinsider.com/most-prolific-inventors-2011-5?op=1
  2. Jenkins, Reese V. and Keith A. Nier.  1984. A Record for Invention: Thomas Edison and His Papers.  IEEE Transactions on Education. 27 (4): 191 – 197. http://proxy.lib.uiowa.edu/login?url=http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/articleDetails.jsp?arnumber=4321702
  3. Aquino, Judith. 2011. Thomas Edison’s 31 Greatest Inventions. Business Insider. April 7, 2011. http://www.businessinsider.com/thomas-edison-inventions-light-bulb-and-30-more?op=1
  4. Dyer, Frank Lewis, and Thomas Commerford Martin. 1910. Edison, his life and inventions. Volume 2. New York, London,: Harper & Brothers. Electronic Resource (NetLibrary).