Thomas Edison

The Wizard of Menlo Park

Edison's Early Entrepreneurship

  • Age 12 Thomas Edison began selling newspapers to the railroad
  • Age 15 Edison began doing experiments in a train car
  • Age 16 he took up a job as a telegraph operator
  • Age 21 Edison acquired his first patent, which was a vote recorder
  • Age 22 Edison improved telegraph equipment, which was first financial success, and the stock ticker

Later Life Entrepreneurship

  • At age 30 Edison invented the Phonograph, which was his first invention to get him recognized
  • Edison's next major innovation was the first industrial research lab
  • At age 33 Edison produced public incandescent light, and started the Electric Age
  • At age 40 Edison sold shares of The Edison General Electric Company, which today is General Electric, to J.P. Morgan and the Vanderbilt family
  • While inventing electric lighting he also invented power generating stations for the lights he created
  • At age 44 Edison invented the Kinetograph, which was the first movie projector
  • At age 62 Edison finished an alkaline battery that made him a great deal of money
  • In his late 70's Edison found an alternative rubber source for Henry Ford and Harvey Firestone

Edison's Death

  • On the day of Edison's funeral the United States dimmed their lights in honor of him
  • Credited for helping build the nation's economy during a vulnerable time period
  • Edison was considered America's leading business man during his lifetime
  • By the end of Edison's life he had 1,093 patents for his inventions
  • Many of Edison's inventions, with modifications, are still used today and will be used for many years to come