Thomas Alva Edison

Thomas Alva Edison

Thomas Alva Edison (* 11. February 1847 in Milan, Ohio; † 18. October 1931 in west orange, new jersey) was an US-American inventor in the area of the electricity and of the Power station nature. Its earnings/services base primarily on the marketability of its inventions, which it could connect with extraordinary fate to a whole system of generation of current , current distribution and delivery of the river with the consumer. In the special measure is oneInvention Edisons also today still connected with the electricity in each private household: The Edison thread in such a way specified, with which a lamp can be screwed into the associated version. The thread made of Messingblech decreases/goes back to an invention Edisons andis characterised by a simple production as well as by a safe handling also for a layman . In later years Edison shifted its research - and development activity into the range process engineering, where likewise innovative developments arrive to him. For example those goesIntroduction of the today usual miniature film in the film art on Edison back. In acknowledgment of its achievements the USA celebrate national the Inventor's Day since 1983 at its birthday.

Table of contents


Thomas Edison mit einem Zylinderphonographen am 18. April 1878
Thomas Edison with a Zylinderphonographen to 18. April 1878

Edison received only some months to regulated school teaching. It was probably continued to inform thereafter by its parents. Sieve as itYears is old, moves the entire family after haven Huron, Michigan. Only four years later, 1859, he than newspaper boy enters into the working life: It sells Huron and Detroit newspapers and sweets on the Grand drunkenness railway between haven. ThisActivity leaves probably still clearance to it for reading.1862 it brings the newspaper out “The Weekly Herald” sold by him in the railway. In addition it makes teachings as telegraphist with J. And. MacKenzie in Mount Clemens, Michigan. FiveYears long, from 1863 to 1868 he works as telegraphist in Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Memphis, Louisville and bad clay/tone.

1868 announce Edison its first patent: on an electrical scrutineer for meetings (these becomes in the US-American congress howevernot to be used, there manipulations not feared).1869 he becomes a plant manager of the gold & stick telegraph company in New York town center, New York, and creates the company Pope, Edison & Ko. in New York. 1870 develop a factory toProduction of course telegraphs in Newark, new jersey. 1871 he marries Mary style-waves and develops the first functional typewriter. In the year 1872 its first child Marion comes into the world, in addition it works in a laboratory in Menlo park, new one Jersey. Four years later his son Thomas is born.

Thomas Alva Edison diktiert in seiner Bibliothek
Thomas Alva Edison dictates in his library

to 18. July 1877 invents Edison the Phonographen and hears as first humans an admission of its own voice - which was first taken up word“Hello”. it receives the patent to 1878 for the Phonographen, to 5. April 1878 it steps the Theosophi society with [1], in this year becomes it father of William Leslie. 1879 shine the coal thread lamp more than 40 hour, to 31. Decemberthere is an industrial fair electrical system in Menlo park (Wizard OF Menlo park). In addition Thomas Edison improves the telephone by a granular carbon microphone. 1880 develop in the Menlo park the first lamp factory. To 1881 underground cables in New York becomeshifted and the Dreileitersystem imported; in addition it invents electrical safety devices, measuring instruments and improved steam engine direct current generators. To 4. September 1882 is opened the first central power station of the USA in New York, Pearl Street, which was work in direct current technology established. 1883 receive Edisona patent on the Edison effect designated after it; the registration takes place to 15. November. To 9. August 1884 dies Edisons first woman at typhoid fever; he marries to 24. February 1886 Mina Miller.

From 1887 on it entersnew large laboratory in west orange, new jersey. Until 1890 it improves the Phonographen, the dictating machine (later drove out among other things as Ediphone) and removable and again usable Phonographenwalzen. It creates the company Edison General Electric.

As Edison it noticed that width unit-read Alternating current its direct current was superior, saw it its last possibility its money increasing of down-deseaming the alternating current. Edison developed the electrical chair with alternating current was operated. Edison wanted the alternating current in “death stream” and the word “Exekutieren” in “Westinghousen”to rename leave.

1890 he becomes father of son Charles. One year later it invents the Kinematographen, a forerunner of the movie camera. 1892 fuses Edison General Electric and the Thomson Houston Corp. General Electric company. Starting from 1892 also X-ray let themselves throughthe development of the Fluoroskops with calcium tungsten RK layer prove. 1893 develop the first Filmstudio in west orange. Two years before the turn of the century son Theodore comes into the world.

Surely Thomas Alva Edison of a that was, those the US-American myth “from the plate scrubber toMillionaire " coined/shaped. So could e.g. to be not free of doubts clarified whether the Schwerhörigkeit Edisons came by an accident with experimenting with chemicals or by an illness. The latter is however more probable, since also its father at similar problems suffered. Alsothe exact time of the Schwerhörigkeit could not be clarified.

further life data

Thomas Edison speaks about the invention of the lamp (late 1920er years).
Problems to regard the video? Wikimir: Video.
  • To 1910 cement plants in Stewartsville developwith rotary kilns, prefabricated buildings are poured out of concrete.
  • to 1914 alkali battery (iron nickel accumulator), Phonograph: the record replaces the roller as clay/tone carrier and/or. the tin foil
  • 1912 Kinetophon combination of movie camera and Phonograph (in former times Tonfilm)
  • 1913 correction system for dictating machines
  • 1914 Telescribe system (combination of telephone and Phonograph)
  • 1914 factories to the synthesis of phenol (Karbolsäure) from benzene (record production)
  • 1915 building from factories to the synthesis of aniline and Para Phenylendiamin in few weeks
  • 1916 factories to the synthesis of benzidine cousin and the sulfate
  • in the year 1916 calls president Wilsonto the fight that submarine - danger up. Thereupon Edison preventive measures develops and - devices against submarines.
  • 1927 establishment of the Edison Botanic Research company
  • 1928 Edison receive those to Special Congressional medal


Thomas Alva Edison made more than 2,000 inventions, from thoseit 1,093 to patent left.


defiance of incontestable achievements in many areas was Edison already to lifetimes not undisputedly. It was considered as skillful marking out of its own legend and as extremely skillful; to the mass production of its ideascreated Firmenimperium made it one of the richest men of its time. It looked for competitors with often as scruplesless felt methods from the market to urge. The number of the copyright processes led by it against other enterprises is enormous; besides was itagain and again exposed to the reproach not unfounded in some cases discoveries third to have plagiiert. Many of the inventions, among them telephone, Telegraf, connected today with its name , microphone and lamp (already in the year 1854 of Heinrich the Göbel were actual(doubtfuly) and again 1860 were invented by Joseph Wilson Swan), in truth only improvements already other devices developed of. During the First World War Edison engaged itself intensively in the material research for arms purposes.

It was considered to Charakterlich as very difficult; particularly alsohis oldest son Thomas Alva Edison jr. it lay in constant feud.

Particularly with the electrification there was a so-called current war between the direct current system of Thomas Alva Edison and its competitor George Westinghouse and Nikola Tesla, the alternating current- Solution favored. Here by Edisons company Tierversuche with alternating current were accomplished, in order to demonstrate its danger in relation to the direct current; they caused indignation with Tierschützern. One had attached a metal plate to a Wechselstromgernerator and living animals, before on thosePlate placed and fastened were killed, in public demonstrations. Thus for example an elephant, which had attacked humans, with alternating current was killed. This procedure was held also on film (Electrocuting at Elephant, 1903). Before this attempt Edison “experimented”several years long with cats and dogs. Its experiments culminated in the development of the electrical chair, after itself the American government, on which search for a new Exekutionsmethode, to it turned. This form of the execution did not fulfill thoseExpectations to a pain-free procedureprocedure procedure for for death condemned.

Finally Thomas Alva Edison had to admit nevertheless that it was one of its largest errors that it had not changed its system over to alternating current.

see also


[1] [1], [2], [3], [4] (access in each case to 2. February 2006)


  • Ernst Angel: Edison. Its living and inventing, Berlin 1926, New edition 1931.
  • Matthew Josephson: Thomas Alva Edison: Biography, Munich, 1959.
  • Fritz Vögtle: Thomas Alva Edison, Reinbek with Hamburg, 1982.

Web on the left of

Wikiquote: Thomas Alva Edison - quotations
  • {{#if:
| | * Literature of and overThomas Alva Edison in the catalog of the DDB



  > German to English > (Machine translated into English)