Edison holds the patent for the motion picture camera, but it is argued that William Kennedy Laurie Dickson actually invented it while working in the Menlo Park research lab. As with the electric light, animprovement upon ideas developed by others. Edison established the standard of using 35 mm (then 1 and 3/8 inches) film that allowed film to emerge as a mass medium. The film included four perforations on the edge of each frame to enable the projector to advance the film properly. He built what has been called the first movie studio, the Black Maria, in New Jersey. There, he made the first copyrighted film, Fred Ott's Sneeze. In 1902, a US court rejected Edison's claim that he be granted sole rights over all aspects of movie production in the case "Edison v. American Mutoscope Company" .
In 1891, Thomas Edison built a Kinetoscope, or peep-hole viewer. This device was installed in penny arcades, where people could watch short, simple films. In 1894, Edison experimented with synchronizing audio with film; the Kinetophone loosely synchronized a Kinetoscope image with a cylinder phonograph. This was especially important to Thomas Edison because he had been searching for a way to entertain customers that were listening to music on his phonograph. Now, people could go to a penny arcade, put in a coin, put on headphones, and watch a film through the peep-hole.
In April of 1896, Edison and Thomas Armat's Vitascope was used to project motion pictures in public screenings in New York City.
In the early 1900s, Thomas Edison bought a house in Fort Myers, Florida (Seminole Lodge) as a winter retreat. Henry Ford, the automobile magnate lived across the street at his winter retreat (The Mangoes). Edison even contributed technology to the automobile. They were friends until Edison died. The Edison and Ford Winter Estates are now open to the public.
Thomas Edison was a freethinker, and was most likely a deist, claiming he did not believe in "the God of the theologians," but did not doubt that "there is a Supreme Intelligence." However, he rejected the idea of the supernatural, along with such ideas as the soul, immortality, and a personal God. "Nature," he said, "is not merciful and loving, but wholly merciless, indifferent."5
Edison was a vegetarian: "Non-violence" he said, "leads to the highest ethics, which is the goal of all evolution. Until we stop harming all other living beings, we are still savages."
He purchased a home known as Glenmont in 1886 as a wedding gift for Mina in West Orange, New Jersey. The remains of Thomas and Mina Edison are now buried there. The 13.5 acre (55,000 m?) property is maintained by the National Park Service as the Edison National Historic Site.
His contributions to technology benefited people world-wide, and in 1878 he was named Chevalier of the L?gion d'honneur of France, and in 1889 was made a Commander in the Legion of Honor.
List of contributions
Main article : List of Edison patents
Edison provided financial backing for Guglielmo Marconi's work on Radio transmission, and obtained several related patents
Edison purchased the Woodward and Evans patent for the electric bulb (incandescent light bulb) and improved the design
Tattoo gun (enabling technology)
Improvements of Edison's work
Lewis Latimer patented an improved method of producing the filament in light bulbs.
Nikola Tesla developed alternating current distribution, which could be used to transmit electricity over longer distance than Edison's direct current due to the ability to transform the voltage.
Emil Berliner developed the gramophone, which is essentially an improved phonograph, with the main difference being the use of flat records with spiral grooves.
Edward H. Johnson had light bulbs specially made, hand-wired, and displayed at his home on Fifth Avenue in New York City on the first electrically-illuminated Christmas tree on December 22, 1882.
The town of Edison, New Jersey, and Thomas Edison State College, a nationally-known college for adult learners in Trenton, New Jersey, are named for the inventor. There is a Thomas Alva Edison Memorial Tower and Museum in the town of Edison.
The Edison Medal was created on 11 February 1904 by a group of Edison's friends and associates. Four years later the American Institute of Electrical Engineers (AIEE), later IEEE, entered into an agreement with the group to present the medal as its highest award. The first medal was presented in 1909 to Elihu Thomson, and surprisingly to Tesla in 1917. The Edison Medal is the oldest award in the area of electrical and electronics engineering, and presented annually "for a career of meritorious achievement in electrical science, electrical engineering or the electrical arts."
Life (magazine) (USA), in a special double issue, placed Edison first in the "100 Most Important People in the Last 1000 Years," noting that his light bulb "lit up the world." He was ranked #35 on Michael H. Hart's list of the most influential figures in history.
The City Hotel, in Sunbury, Pennsylvania, was the first building to be lit with Edison's three-wire system. The hotel was renamed The Hotel Edison, and retains that name today.
The Port Huron Museums, in Port Huron, Michigan, restored the original depot that Thomas Edison worked out of as a young newsbutcher. The depot is appropriately been named the Thomas Edison Depot Museum. The town has many Edison historical landmarks including the gravesites of Edison's parents.
The United States Navy named the USS Edison (DD-439), a Gleaves-class destroyer, in his honor in 1940. The vessel was decommissioned a few months after the end of World War II.
In recognition of the enormous contribution inventors make to the nation and the world, the Congress, pursuant to Senate Joint Resolution 140 (Public Law 97 - 198), has designated February 11, the anniversary of the birth of Thomas Alva Edison, as National Inventor's Day
1847 Birth in Ohio
1854 Went to school first time
1855 Had scarlet Fever
1869 Moved to New York
1871 Marriage to Mary Stilwell (1855-1884)
1880 US Census in Raritan, New Jersey
1884 Death of Mary Stilwell, his wife
1886 (circa) Marriage to Mina Miller (1865-1946)
1900 US Census in West Orange, New Jersey
1910 US Census in West Orange, New Jersey
1920 US Census in West Orange, New Jersey
1928 Won an award
1930 US Census in West Orange, New Jersey
1930 US Census in Fort Myers, Florida
1931 Death of Edison