Thomas Alva Edison (1847 – 1931) who was born in Milan, Ohio was known as the “Wizard of Menlo Park.” He worked at many jobs, including as a telegraph operator, until moving to New York. He improved the telegraph system, set a stock ticker and invented the electric pen, microphone, transistors, phonograph, light bulb. He also developed a system of generators for distributing current for lighting and wiring for the home.
In 1879 he constructed the first electric motor ever made for a 110 to 120 volt line atMenlo Park, N. J. which remains operative. On December 31 using underground mains, he gave the first public demonstration of an electric lighting system in streets and buildings atMenlo Park, N J. In the following years he opened factories for the large-scale distribution of his lighting and electrical products. He developed the foundation principles for the diode, radio, television, and computer transistors. He also invented a wireless system of communication between ships at sea, ships and shore and ships and distant points on land.
In 1891 he invented and patented the motion picture camera which made it possible to take, reproduce, and project motion pictures. A few years later he developed a system for recording voice with his motion picture. He also improved his batteries and phonograph and invented a dictating machine.
Edison obtained 1,093 patents. His famous quote embodies the American work ethic: “Genius is one percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration.” Tomorrow, The Auto Men. Rita Bay