It is hard to believe that Thomas Edison, who patented more than two thousand various inventions in his entire life, did not even finish elementary school. And all because the teachers were angry with the boy's constant questions "Why?" - and he was kicked home with a note to his parents saying that their son was simply "limited." The mother made a scandal about this at school, but she took the boy from the school and gave him his first education at home.
At the age of nine, Thomas read his first scientific book - "Natural and Experimental Philosophy", written by Richard Green Parker, which talked about almost all scientific and technical inventions of that time. Moreover, the boy was so interested in the book that over time he did absolutely all the experiments described in it on his own.
Throughout his life (and Edison lived 84 years), only in America 1093 devices were patented by him. Among them are a phonograph, a telephone, an electric vote-roll, a pneumatic stencil pen, even an electric meter and batteries for an electric vehicle. True, it should be noted that in fact, most of his discoveries were not unique, and therefore he constantly sued various inventors. The only creation, one hundred percent owned by him, turned out to be a phonograph, since before him no one had simply worked in this direction.
Naturally, the first phonographs did not have a high recording quality, and the sounds they made were not very much like a human voice, but everyone who heard it was delighted. Moreover, Edison himself considered his invention a toy, not suitable for serious use in practice. True, he tried to make talking dolls with his help, but the sounds they made frightened the children so much that they had to abandon the idea.
Thomas Edison's inventions are so numerous that they can be divided into the following areas:
- Electric lamps and power supply to them;
- Batteries - Edison created batteries for electric vehicles, which later proved to be his most profitable invention;
- Records and sound recording;
- Cement - the inventor was fond of developing concrete houses and furniture - one of his most disastrous projects, which brought him absolutely no profit;
- Mining industry;
- Cinema - for example, kinetoscope - a camera for playing motion pictures;
- Telegraph - improved the exchange telegraph apparatus;
- Telephone - By adding a carbon microphone and an induction coil to his rival Bell's invention, Edison proved to the patent office that his device was ingenious. Moreover, it should be noted that such an improvement of the phone brought him 300 thousand dollars.
Edison Nickel Iron Battery
In modern times, Thomas Edison is known mainly for the invention of electric lamps. In fact this is not true. The Englishman Humphrey Devi created the prototype of the light bulb seventy years before him. The merit of Edison lies in the fact that he came up with a standard base and improved the spiral in the lamp, thanks to which it began to serve much longer.
As we can see, Edison's light bulb is far from the first
In addition, in this case, the entrepreneurial vein of the American should be noted. For example, the Russian economist Yasin compared Edison's actions to Yablochkov, who invented the light bulb almost simultaneously with him. The first one found money, built a power plant, illuminated two quarters and finally brought everything to a presentation, while independently inventing a transformer and the equipment necessary for the system. And Yablochkov put his development on the shelf.
The Deadly Inventions of Thomas Edison
Not everyone knows that at least two of Edison's inventions were fatal. It is he who is considered the creator of the first electric chair. True, the first victim of this invention was an enraged elephant who killed three people.
Another of his development directly entailed human death. After the discovery of X-rays, Edison instructed employee Clarence Delli to develop a device for fluoroscopy. Since then no one knew how harmful these rays were, the employee did tests on his own hands. After that, first one arm was amputated, then the other, and then his condition worsened even more and as a result he died of cancer. After that, Edison got scared and stopped working on the apparatus.
Edison's Principles at Work
Unlike many fellow inventors, fame and fortune came to Thomas Edison during his lifetime. His biographers claim that this happened due to the fact that in his work he was guided by the following principles:
- The entrepreneurial side of things should never be forgotten. Having experienced himself what it means to engage in projects that do not promise commercial benefits (for example, the development of houses and furniture from concrete), he came to the conclusion that every invention should bring money;
- To be successful, you must use all available tools. Edison in his work easily used the developments of other researchers, using "black PR" against competitors;
- Skillfully chose employees - they were mostly young talented people, while the American parted with those disloyal to him without regret;
- Work comes first. Even after becoming rich, Edison did not stop working;
- Do not retreat in the face of difficulties. Many pundits of that time laughed at his undertakings, knowing that they contradicted the scientific laws known to them. Edison, on the other hand, did not have a serious education, therefore, making new discoveries, he often did not even know that it was impossible to make them in theory.