.. a new life where the only thing he would do would be to continue research and development. In this stage of life he made some of his most important inventions (Vanderbilt p. 28). In early 1877, Edison started working with things other than telegraphy.
He invented the carbon transmitter, which made the invention of the phone possible. He stumbled into the invention of the phonograph. The invention of the phonograph made him famous and he was in the spotlight for the first half of 1878, he was tired and worn out by the second half and took a vacation. And as soon as he got back, he started working on the incandescent light. The idea came from a visit to William Wallaces shop in Connecticut.
The hardest part was said to be creating the arc for the electrons to travel through. The metal either was a bad conductor, or burned too fast to be useful. It had been done; In 1812, Sir Humphry Davy took a battery and two pieces of charcoal, connected them, and watched the glare of the flame; it just was completely impractical (Clark p. 89). So it was actually rather easy to make a light, but it was inefficient, and could only be used in large areas for it was an extremely strong light, around 4,000 candlepower. They were now working on some manner of having a more practical, ten to twenty candlepower light (Friedel p.
7). Much had been done to try to accomplish a practical light, and Edison knew that. He had many theories as to how to make a light that would meet all requirements of natural, artificial, and commercial conditions. (Clark p. 90. Paul Jablochkov lit up a boulevard in Paris, but Edison wanted to create a light that could be used in homes and offices.
He was trying to find a substitute for gas, which was the chief means of lighting at the time. Edison credited hard work for his success, and had experimented with 6000 different materials for the filament in his light bulb before finding one that worked. He used to say that genius is one percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration. Edison tried everything, until one night he was messing around with a thin strand of lampblack and tar, when he decided to connect it to the bulb. It lit up and glowed for a few minutes.
He figured out how to take the air out of the bulb and the wire. He used carbonized thread to light it up, and after many failures it did, for nearly two months. After this, he became known as the The Wizard of Menlo Park. (minot 7) He soon discovered that platinum was the best element for an electric light. He made a light that worked with the same principle as a fuse: as soon as the filament got hot enough to melt, the light would short itself out to let the wire cool.
This worked and Edison quickly got a patent on it, but he soon returned to using carbon, this time with a much greater vacuum. And when he turned the current on, the first real electric light was turned on. This was such a great advance in technology that the papers had a full page, plus an additional column, devoted to this amazing discovery (Clark p. 98). Edison opened the laboratory to the public and the Pennsylvania Railroad ran special trains to Menlo Park.
He hired people to help him make them, and he was now becoming a very rich man. Electric lights were growing in popularity so they needed someone to run them .5 electric companies including Edison’s supplied New York with power. Edison had to find a source of electricity. Edison changed the design of the generator and made it twice as efficient at using fuel . Edison provided most of Europe with electricity . In 1882 Edison exhibited an artistic light show.
That display shot business up and 100,000 electric bulbs were produced and sold that year. Around 1878, Eadward Muybridge built a machine that used electrically triggered camera shutters to capture every movement. Muybridge had also invented a machine called the zoopraxiscope (an early form of a slide projector) and placed his photographs inside. He then used his zoopraxiscope along with a projector and was able to display his images of moving objects on a screen. In February of 1888, Eadweard Muybridge met with Thomas Edison.
Edison is remembered as being one of the many inventors who transformed photographic imagery from still frames to a moving, talking spectacle (Williams 171). The meeting was set up by Edison to discuss linking Muybridges zoopraxiscope to Edisons phonograph. Edison would have to go back to the drawing board. He needed to develop a new way to display photographic images. Thomas Edison patented a projector he called the kinetoscope in October of 1888. The same year, Edison met with a man named Etinne-Jules Marey. Marey had developed a camera capable of taking sixty photographs per second. Marey used rolled film that was only put on the market on the market a month earlier by a man named George Eastman.
Edison wanted to used Mareys camera to take photographs that he could use in his kinetoscope. His kinetoscopes were showing short films across America. Edison is remembered as being one of the many inventors who transformed photographic imagery from still frames to a moving, talking spectacle (Williams 171). People loved this new form of entertainment, but they still wanted more. Inventors from all over the world, including the United States, France, England, and Germany, continued to work as hard as possible to get these movies onto the big screen. Once Edison has his new invention working better then Muybridges zoopraxiscope, he tried once again to link his phonograph to the new version of a projector but failed.
Edison had trouble making a new and improved projector so he settled for helping other inventors further develop theirs. Edison strongly backed the invention of the vitascope. The vitascope was a more efficient version of Edisons kinetoscope. This new projector was very popular in New York, however, cinematography quickly took its place in the eyes of the public. On the topic of cinematography, the feelings of the public can best be summed up by this quotation, Moving pictures somehow seemed more important and exciting than seeing actors and actresses strutting around on a mere stage (Allen 175). Bibliography Thomas Alva Edison was a man who influenced America more than anyone else.
Some of the inventions he pioneered are still used to this day. He was a man who spent almost his entire life working as a scientist, and receiving more than 1,200 patents in his lifetime. (Anderson pg.7) Thomas Edisons life was probably twice as productive as a modern day chemist, he was a firm believer of an eight hour work day, eight hours in the morning, and eight in the afternoon. Aside from his amazing history as an adult Edison lived an equally exciting childhood.