Inventing the Future
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Inventing the Future A Photo biography Of Thomas Alva Edison. Genre: Biography. Boston was PERFECT for Thomas Edison !!! In 1868 Edison took a job in the Western Union telegraph office in Boston.

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Inventing the Future A Photo biography Of Thomas Alva Edison

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Inventing the future a photo biography of thomas alva edison

Inventing the Future

A Photo biography

Of

ThomasAlva Edison

Genre: Biography


Inventing the future a photo biography of thomas alva edison

  • Boston was PERFECT for Thomas Edison !!!

  • In 1868 Edison took a job in the Western Union

  • telegraph office in Boston.

  • He realized that Boston had people with similar interests to his own.

  • Boston was a community filled with inventors!

  • (Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone in 1876)


Inventing the future a photo biography of thomas alva edison

Edison was inspired by all the activity he found!

He met with people who had money to invest in the development of his ideas.

  • He specialized in telegraphic devices but worked on other inventions

  • He was 22 years old , (in 1868) when he received his 1st patent

    • A patent is an official document issued by the government that gives a person or company the sole right to make or sell an invention


Inventing the future a photo biography of thomas alva edison

  • His 1st patent (in 1868) was on an electric vote recorder.

  • It was intended for state legislature use, but lawmakers were not interested.

  • In 1869 Edison moved to New York City because many telegraph companies had their headquarters there.

    • There were many opportunities for a young inventor here.

    • He repaired & improved stock printers/tickers because the noise was loud

    • He also repaired stock printers which was a telegraph that sent minute by minute reports of the changing price of gold to stockbrokers’ offices

    • He soon realized that the telegraphic improvements were going to be commercially successful!


Inventing the future a photo biography of thomas alva edison

  • In the fall of 1869, Edison started his own business

  • They advertised themselves as electrical engineers who could

  • “devise electrical instruments to solve problems.”

  • The company offered a variety of services having to do with telegraph technology & develop new devices.

  • He patented a number of telegraphic improvements

  • People were willing to pay for his inventions!

By the time he was 23, he had a great reputation & several financial backers

* he hired several skilled machinists & clockmakers to assist in his inventions


Inventing the future a photo biography of thomas alva edison

  • Edison always thought of himself as an “equal” to his workers.

  • In the fall of 1871,at the age of 24, he started his own news service called, the News Reporting Telegraph Company.

  • __________________________________________________________

  • Personal side-notes…

  • He married on Christmas Day in 1871

    • The couple’s 1st daughter was born & nickname was “Dot” (after the telegraph signal)

    • Their 2nd child, a son, was born later & nicknames “Dash” (another name for a telegraph signal)

    • The 3rd child was also a son, just

      • named William…..


Inventing the future a photo biography of thomas alva edison

While working on dozens inventions at once, Edison 1st developed a method of team inventing – that would characterize the rest of his career.

Edison wasdescribed as generous, competitive & determined

  • Edison would sketch out an idea & his assistants would make it into a working model

  • The Lab workers then would experiment with the model & see how it worked

  • Often times, the invention would fail, but that made Edison just want to work harder at perfecting it!

  • Edison’s workers were very loyal to him.

  • Edison worked side by side with his workers and wasn’t afraid of getting dirty or working long hours.

He often gave his workers a

percentage in the profits made

on an invention!


Inventing the future a photo biography of thomas alva edison

  • During this time, the mid- 1870’s, he invented the electric pen.

  • It could create multiple copies of handwritten documents and sold very well!

  • During this time he manufactured, sold & patented many other inventions.

  • In 1876, Edison sold his Newark business & moved his family & about 20 of his best workers to Menlo Park, New Jersey

  • There he had a laboratory built to his design & devoted himself to his workers & research & development of his ideas.

  • Throughout all his fame, Edison never thought himself as superior to his workers.


Inventing the future a photo biography of thomas alva edison

  • In 1877, less than a year that Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone, Edison discovered that small pieces of carbon could increase the sound quality & range of the telephone.

    • A version of that is still used in most telephones today!

  • While working on the telephone, Edison thought of a way to transmit human sound over wires……this was the invention of the phonograph!

  • He & his workers designed & tested ideas for this machine

  • The phonograph was considered a “miracle” and he was considered a “wizard!”

  • The phonograph is the base product of records & cd’s that we listen to today!


Inventing the future a photo biography of thomas alva edison

  • Thomas Edison’s Greatest Challenge of his career

  • (after he invented the electric pen)

  • Was…… electric lighting systems for homes!

  • This was not a new idea….

  • Brightly burning lamps called ARC lights replaced gas street lamps, but were not suitable for homes.

  • Edison vowed to be the 1st to perfect this!

    • He got the financial support he needed, and worked diligently to perfect this idea.

    • In 1879, after a lot of testing, Edison & his crew produced a light bulb that burned longer than 13 hours!


Inventing the future a photo biography of thomas alva edison

  • Edison’s inventions/ideas are the foundation of many modern day devices

  • Improved how the telephone transmits

  • Phonograph – records, cd’s , Mp3 players, & major impact on the recording industry today!!

  • Indoor & outdoor lighting

  • Generators used to produce electricity

  • Electric power stations that produce electricity to cities & towns

  • Movie cameras that produce films - later he opened the world’s 1st motion picture studio


Inventing the future a photo biography of thomas alva edison

Thomas Edison said many things to show his level of determination!

“ Anything that won’t sell, I don’t want to invent. Its sale is proof of utility, and utility is success.”

“Negative results are just what I want. They’re just as valuable to me as positive results.”

“Genius is 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration.”

“The phonograph is my baby & I expect it to grow

up and be a big fellar & support me in my

old age.”


Inventing the future a photo biography of thomas alva edison

Discussion Questions:

You need to find answers to these questions……

Why do you think the author included some of Edison’s quotations?

Edison was a good businessman as well as a good inventor. Name supporting evidence for this from the story.

3. How did the author organize the story & why do you think it was done this way?

(things to consider in your answer…..chronological? Quotations used? Genre?)


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