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.
- 1868-10-11 Thomas Edison patents his 1st invention: electric voice machine
- 1876-08-08 Thomas Edison patents mimeograph
- 1877-08-12 Thomas Edison invents Edisonphone, a sound recording device
- 1877-11-29 US inventor Thomas Edison demonstrates his hand-cranked phonograph for the first time
- 1877-12-06 First recording made of the human voce - 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 phonograph
- 1878-02-19 Thomas Edison patents gramophone (phonograph)
- 1879-10-22 Thomas Edison perfects carbonized cotton filament light bulb
- 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.
- 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.
- 1891-08-24 Thomas Edison patents motion picture camera
- 1892-07-11 US Patent Office says J W Swan, rather than Thomas Edison, invented the electric light carbon for the incandescent lamp
- 1893-02-01 Thomas Edison complete's worlds 1st movie studio (West Orange NJ)
- 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, an elephant, electrocuted by Thomas Edison during the "War of Currents" campaign.
- 1915-05-24 Thomas Edison invents telescribe to record telephone conversations
- 1926-05-20 Thomas Edison says Americans prefer silent movies over talkies
- 1931-01-06 Thomas Edison submits his last patent application.