In 1876, Thomas Alva Edison opened up a laboratory in Menlo Park, New Jersey. Here he created his many life-changing inventions, which included phonographs (record players), motion picture players, and the famous light bulb.
Actually, Edison did not create the light bulb, rather he reinvented and fixed it. Inventors before him had created light bulbs, but these were too bright and the light flickered on and off.
He experimented many times, using different materials for the filament (the wire inside the bulb that conducts electricity) and failed many times. On October 22, 1879, he succeeded in creating a light bulb with a carbon filament, which lasted about 13 hours. He filed a patent for it, making it one of his over one thousand patents received in his lifetime. Later, he discovered a new way of making the filament using bamboo. This bulb burned for over 1,200 hours!
In 1880, he patented a system for the distribution of electricity, called the Edison Illuminating Company. Two years later, he used a generator to distribute electricity to 59 customers in Manhattan. He also created all the necessary supplies for this system to work.
Edison’s other inventions include the phonograph, a creation that played recorded music through a horn. Regrettably, his phonograph had poor quality and other inventions went on to perfect it. He also invented a system to view moving pictures through a small viewer.
Many of his inventions have evolved into some of our everyday objects. The phonograph was the first recorded music, and today, many people listen to recorded music on some device or another. The moving picture viewer is like a camera to television. Electricity is still an important invention today! Thomas Edison has affected the lives of many, those in his own time and the present.