If there is one scientist who deserves the title of “Father of Modern Innovation,” Thomas Edison is a person who truly deserves that title. He has almost over 1000 US patents to his name. Edison
is a household name because of his inventions and discoveries, which have the lives of all of us directly, he has faced his fair share of failures.
He not only took these failures in the right spirit. He used all of them as a chance to improve on his current work to improve from the previous version of his product. It was this process that made him invent the landmark “Light Bulb.” Apart from the bulb, he is also known for his other inventions. Let us look at five significant inventions made by Edison, which have created a huge impact on our lives.
Of all his inventions, this was Edison’s favorite. This was the first great invention of Edison. The feature of the phonograph was it could record a person’s voice and play it back.
Although there will be a few vibrations while speaking into the receiver, one would hear his voice. To test the phonograph, Edison had recorded the famous rhyme “Mary had a Little Lamb.” All of his staff were in for a shock when the device played it back.
The Light Bulb
Edison’s most prolific invention is the light bulb. This is mainly because back in the day, electric lights were expensive and were extremely unreliable. Edison’s masterstroke was when he created a vacuum inside the bulb, and he managed to find the right filament to use inside the bulb.
He also managed to lower the voltage that was flowing through the bulb. It was all these small improvements that made the light bulb a standard product across the globe. One important side note regarding the bulb is that it led to Edison’s electrical utility system’s creation to power the light bulb.
The Motion Picture
One of Edison’s significant contributions to the world of entertainment was the invention of his first motion picture device. The first device that he had created the device resembled his phonograph. It managed to collect 1/16 inch photographs in a cylinder that were viewable with a microscope. However, it was hard for individuals to focus on these images as the images’ quality was very crude.
It was during his collaboration with another scientist W.K.L Dickson that they developed the Strip Kinetograph, which used a 35 mm celluloid film. Edison’s team then cut the film into strips and made the perforated edges. Sprockets helped in moving the film in a stop-and-go motion behind the shutter. In the year 1894, movie-goers could enjoy short films via a peephole in the Kinetoscope.
A Vacuum diode is one of the simplest forms of a Vacuum tube. It consists of two electrodes, a cathode, and an anode or plate. The cathode emits the free electrons. Hence, they call it as an emitter. The anode collects free electrons. Hence, the name collector. Both the electrodes are inside an empty glass envelope.
The number of free electrons emitted by the cathode depends on two factors: the amount of heat and the work function. If the amount of heat is high, the electron emission is higher too. Similarly, if the heat is less, the electron emission is less too. This was another milestone in many of Edison’s discoveries.
The Electrographic Vote Recorder
Edison was 22 when he was working as a telegrapher. It was during this time that he filed for his first patent for the Electrographic Vote Recorder. Edison wanted to help Congress legislators record their votes faster. This is done by connecting the voting device to the clerk’s desk, with the legislators’ names embedded in it.
When voting, a legislator would move his switch to either yes or no, which sent an electric current to the device at the clerk’s desk. At the end of the session, the clerk would consolidate the votes and keep them tabulated.
One ability that made Edison a different inventor among his contemporaries is that he had a vision and could look into the future. This helped him analyze the various problems that people would face. Hence he started building solutions for them. Although there are many Edison inventions, we believe that these five changed the course of technology and the world, making it a better place.