Full Name: Thomas Edison
Why Famous: Prolific inventor whose discoveries changed the modern way of life.
His inventions included the phonograph, the electric light bulb, the electric power industry, and motion pictures.
His passion for direct current (DC) over Westinghouse's alternating current (AC) resulted in the shameful electrocution of both an elephant and a man.
- 1871-12-25 Inventor Thomas Edison (24) marries 1st wife Mary Stilwell (16)
- 1886-02-24 Inventor Thomas Edison (38) marries 2nd wife Mina Miller (20) in Akron, Ohio
- 1869-06-01 Thomas Edison granted his first patent for an electric vote machine (U.S. Patent 90,646)
- 1876-08-08 Thomas Edison patents the mimeograph
- 1877-08-12 Thomas Edison invents the Edisonphone, a sound recording device
- 1877-11-21 Thomas Edison announces his "talking machine" invention (phonograph), the 1st machine to play and record sound
- 1877-11-29 US inventor Thomas Edison demonstrates his hand-cranked phonograph for the first time
- 1877-12-06 1st recording made of the human voice made by Thomas Edison reciting "Mary had a little lamb"
- 1877-12-07 Thomas Edison demonstrates his phonograph (gramophone) to the editors of "Scientific American"
- 1877-12-15 Thomas Edison patents the phonograph
- 1878-02-19 Thomas Edison patents the gramophone (phonograph)
- 1879-10-22 Thomas Edison perfects carbonized cotton filament light bulb
- 1879-12-20 Thomas Edison privately demonstrated incandescent light at Menlo Park
- 1880-01-27 Thomas Edison patents electric incandescent lamp
- 1881-01-25 Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell form the Oriental Telephone Company.
- 1882-09-04 1st large-scale test of Thomas Edison's light bulb - lighting of NY's Pearl Street Station
- 1882-12-22 1st string of Christmas tree lights created by Thomas Edison
- 1883-01-19 The first electric lighting system employing overhead wires, built by Thomas Edison, begins service at Roselle, New Jersey.
- 1887-08-31 Thomas Edison patents Kinetoscope, a device which produces moving pictures
- 1888-10-17 Thomas Edison files a patent for the Optical Phonograph (the first movie)
- 1889-10-06 Thomas Edison shows his 1st motion picture
- 1891-05-20 History of cinema: The first public display of Thomas Edison's prototype kinetoscope to members of the National Federation of Women's Club
- 1891-08-24 Thomas Edison patents motion picture camera
- 1892-07-11 US Patent Office says Joseph Swan rather than Thomas Edison, invented the electric light carbon for the incandescent lamp
- 1893-02-01 Thomas Edison completes worlds 1st movie studio at West Orange, New Jersey
- 1894-01-07 Early 5 second film of Fred Ott sneezing shot by Edison Manufacturing - 1st ever copyrighted
- 1894-04-14 1st public showing of Thomas Edison's kinetoscope (moving pictures)
- 1897-08-31 Thomas Edison patented his movie camera (Kinetograph)
- 1902-03-10 A United States court of appeals rules that Thomas Edison did not invent the movie camera
- 1903-01-04 Topsy the elephant is electrocuted by her owners at Luna Park, Coney Island and filmed by Edison Manufacturing movie company
- 1915-05-24 Thomas Edison invents telescribe to record telephone conversations
- 1926-05-20 Thomas Edison says Americans prefer silent movies over talkies
- 1928-07-30 George Eastman shows first amateur color motion pictures to guests at his New York house including Thomas Edison
- 1931-01-06 Thomas Edison submits his last patent application
- "Hell, there are no rules here – we’re trying to accomplish something." - Innovation, Rules
- "I never did a day's work in my life, it was all fun." - Work, Fun
- "Anything that won’t sell, I don't want to invent. Its sale is proof of utility, and utility is success." - Sales, Success, Utility
- All About Tom, The Legacy of Thomas Alva Edison - Edison Innovation Foundation
- Edison Biography - Thomas Edison National Historical Park
- Kids & Youth - Thomas Edison National Historical Park