Thomas Alva Edison

By: Ameerah

Thomas Alva Edison, a US scientist and inventor, who contributed a lot to the society in the fields of communications and electrical power, greatly influenced the world we live in. With more than 1,000 patents, Edison produced his most important inventions (1876 -1887) .including the phonograph and the electric light bulb (1879). He also constructed a system of electric power distribution for consumers, the telephone transmitter, and the megaphone.

Edison's first invention came in the area of telegraphy. Seeing that there is a need for rapid communications after the Civil War, he invented an automatic repeater for telegraphic messages. He next invented a tape machine called a "ticker", Bulgari Replica which communicated stock exchange prices across the country.

He then turned his attention to the transmission of the human voice over long distances, and in 1876 patented an electric transmitter system that proved to be less commercially successful than the telephone of Bell and Gray, patented a few months later. Undeterred, Edison set about improving the system, culminating in his invention of the carbon transmitter, which so greatly increased the volume of the telephone signal that it was used later as a microphone.

While he was busy with the carbon microphone in the 1870s, it once occurred to him that a thin carbon filament could be used as a light source in an incandescent electric lamp. He returned to the idea in 1879. His first major success came on October 19 of that year. He obtained a source that remained aglow for 45 hours without overheating a major problem with all other materials used. He and his assistants tried 6,000 other organic materials before finding a bamboo fiber that gave a bulb life of 1,000 hours.

To produce a serious rival to gas illumination, a power source was required as well as a cheap and reliable lamp. The alternatives were generators or heavy and expensive batteries. Edison's first generator consisted of a drum armature of soft iron wire and a simple bi-polar magnet. A few months later he built a much more ambitious generator, the largest built to date. To complete his electrical system he designed cables to carry power into the home from small (by modern standards) generating stations, and also invented an electricity meter to record its use. In 1877 he began the era of recorded sound by inventing the phonograph, a device in which the vibrations of the human voice were engraved by a needle on a revolving cylinder coated with tin foil.

Edison was born in Milan Ohio, and was self-educated. He began work at the age of 12 as a news boy, and later printed the Grand Trunk Herald, the first newspaper issued from a railway train. As a 19-year-old telegraph operator, he took out his Cartier Replica first patent, for an electric vote recorder. Then with the proceeds of an improved stock ticker, he opened an industrial research laboratory in Newark, New Jersey, in 1869,later moving to Menlo Park and then to West Orange. In 1889, he formed the Edison Light Company, which became the General Electric Company.

Other inventions are a new type of storage battery and the kinetoscopic camera, an early cine camera. He supported direct current (DC) transmission, but alternating current (AC) was eventually found to be more efficient and economical.

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