The Edisonian Principle

The Great and Many Accomplishments of Thomas Edison

"I have not failed. I've just found ten-thousand ways that won't work."

THOMAS ALVA EDISON is the second-greatest American to ever live, only beaten by George Washington himself in terms of national accomplishment. From the lighting of your house to the sound of your television, perhaps 90% of technology you encounter in your daily life has direct ties to the inventions and patents of Thomas Edison. Furthermore, as inventor of the phonograph, Thomas Edison added an entirely new dimension to human memory in the form of audio recording- and he was deaf.

The Phonograph

"I was always afraid of things that worked the first time." - John Kruesi

The invention Edison would always be most proud of throughout his life was the phonograph, also known as a record player and sometimes (perhaps erroneously) as the gramophone. The thirty-year old Edison announced that he had created the world's first sound-capturing and replicating device in 1878. The world was baffled: the man who invented this revolutionary technology hadn't himself heard the sound of a bird chirping since he was 12 years old.

Regarding the words "phonograph" and "gramophone"- it really doesn't matter what you say these days since nobody cares, but the actual difference between terms refers to what company was producing them. The original term was phonograph, and referred to talking-machines made by Edison that used cylinder records. When Alexander Graham Bell made some improvements, he called his version the graphophone. Then Emile Berliner introduced disc records and anything produced by his company would be referred to as gramophones. There also exists a number of lesser-known miscellaneous terms with similar logic behind them such as the zonophone.

And one more thing- somebody else actually technically invented disc records before Berliner did, but he was somewhat insane from what I gather about him. His name was Charles Cros and the main other thing he did was try to convince the French government to build a comically oversized mirror to communicate with extraterrestrials. Give his page a read sometime.

The Lightbulb

And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

The lightbulb is a far trickier invention to write about in any brief capacity because its creation was contributed to by many people at many times.

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