Thomas Alva Edison
A Scientific Revolutionary
Introduction to Brilliance
How Was He a Revolutionary
Thomas Alva Edison was very innovative and had 1093 patents (Thomas Edison’s Philosophy) which is more than anyone else. He always seized opportunities and made connections. He was known as the young wonder and could solve any problem. A telegraph expert said, “Edison’s ingenuity inspired confidence, and wavering financiers stiffed up.” (Adkins, 52) This shows that Edison was a great persuader which is one thing that makes him a revolutionary. Contrary to popular belief, Edison did not invent the light bulb. Instead, he improved upon their design and made them longer lasting and more economical (Adkins 78-79). Edison was a risk taker and was not afraid of failure. In response to his missteps, Edison once said, "I have not failed 10,000 times- I have successfully found 10,000 ways that will not work" (Hendry). This also shows his determination. Another way that Edison took risks was he invested money from investors and also his own money from earlier patents on his new inventions (Adkins 89). Edison was also determined and often made the best of failed inventions. One example of this was how he used technology from his electromagnetic ore separator to make a concrete business (Adkins 112). While Edison is most known for inventing the phonograph, improving the light bulb and his motion picture machine, his most revolutionary invention was to systematize the process of invention that is still used today (Thomas Edison’s Philosophy). Before Menlo Park, invention was a cottage industry but Edison wanted to leave the manufacturing problems to others and devote everything to discoveries. He inspired his workers to put in long hours to solving scientific problems, uncovering new knowledge and making new tools (Adkins 61-62).
How His Inventions Are Used Today
While everyone may know what the incandescent light bulb and phonograph are, other inventions of Edison's such as the Kinetoscope sound so strange that people may not make the connection between that invention and the motion picture industry today. While the fields of industry and entertainment have progressed, Edison's work was the foundation for much of the technology we use today (Thomas Edison's Inventions in the 1900s and Today). The electric pen was considered a failure at the time but it was the predecessor for the mimeograph machine and the modern tattoo machine (Hendry). Edison also improved on the "literary piano" to make the Remington typewriter (Adkins 59) that is like the QWERTY keyboards used today. It is obvious that Edison's work impacts modern life and that his work was revolutionary.