Part of the Blogging A to Z Challenge. I’m blogging every day in April, except Sundays, thematically from A to Z. Find out more here.
I is for inventor. Thomas Alva Edison that is. Known as many things but also the Wizard of Menlo Park because he patented nearly 1,100 inventions. He was a scientist and inventor.
Edison’s journey to change the world began after he saved three-year-old Jimmie MacKenzie from being struck by a runaway train. Jimmie’s father, the station agent, was so grateful that he trained Edison as a telegraph operator. Some of Edison’s earliest inventions were related to telegraphy, including a stock ticker. His first patent was for the electric vote recorder in 1869.
The most famous of Edison’s inventions was an incandescent light bulb. When he was born in 1847 most U.S cities were in the dark, but by his death in 1931 cities throughout the country were lit. The world was changed. Besides the light bulb, Edison developed the phonograph and the “kinetoscope,” a small box for viewing moving films. He also improved upon the original design of the telegraph, and Alexander Graham Bell’s telephone. He worked nearly around the clock some days and was quoted as saying, “Genius is one percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration.”
Edison’s laboratory and 29-room Queen Anne style mansion, Glenmont, are open for touring in West Orange, NJ. And what a fascinating self-tour it is. The many laboratory buildings hold items used in experiments Edison was working on until his death. Literally, things have been left in place as he used them. There are 20,000 square feet to explore. I highly recommend traveling there if you can! I’ve been several times and you can never see all there is to see in one day.
“I have far more respect for the person with a single idea who gets there than for the person with a thousand ideas who does nothing,” said Edison.
It’s known that shortly before passing away, he awoke from a coma and quietly whispered to his very wife Mina: “It is very beautiful over there…”