Dubbed “The Wizard of Menlo Park,” Thomas Edison was a prolific inventor, with over a hundred patents under his name. He developed world-changing innovations including the phonograph, the motion picture camera, and the electric light bulb. Read more about it!
The information in this guide focuses on primary source materials found in the digitized historic newspapers from the digital collection Chronicling America.
The timeline below highlights important dates related to this topic and a section of this guide provides some suggested search strategies for further research in the collection.
|June 1, 1868||Thomas Edison is issued his first patent application for an electrical vote recorder. Patent number 90,646.|
|February 19, 1878||Thomas Edison issued a patent for the phonograph. Patent number 200,521|
|October 1879-January 1880||Thomas Edison presents the first practical incandescent lamp or "light bulb." Months later, receives patent number 223,898.|
|1891||Thomas Edison invents the Kinetograph to record and reproduce motion.|
|1914||Due to World War I, the embargo of carbolic acid forces Thomas Edison to create his own synthetic carbolic acid.|
|December 9, 1914||Thomas Edison Factory fire destroys 11 of 18 buildings and puts 6,000 workers temporarily out of work with estimated damages at 7 million dollars.|
|1915||Installation of Edison batteries in submarines.|
|July 1915||Thomas Edison is appointed head of the Naval Bureau of Inventions and Development.|
|January 1916||Explosion of the E-2 submarine at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. It was equipped with Edison batteries. Edison engineers defend the battery as not the cause for the explosion|
|October 18, 1931||Thomas Edison passes away at his home in New Jersey.|