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Thomas Edison is considered to be one of the most influential minds in the 1800s. Born on 11th February 1847 in Ohio in Milan, he was focused on his inventions until his death in 1931 (Simonton 2).
As the Wizard of Menlo Park, Thomas worked hard his entire life to meet his achievements in the field of science. He was smart, and it is because of his wit that he is considered as one of the greatest inventors in the world. Among his inventions include the phonograph and the light bulb. This is an insinuation that without the brains of this great legend, people would still be using lanterns and candles. Thomas was a living proof that anything is possible. Despite being deaf, he worked out his mind to establish some of the most important things in life; he was a determined fellow who never gave up and was not set back by his condition (Slade 183). Besides the bulbs and the phonography, he was also the brain behind the invention of photography and telegraphy.
It was at Menlo Park that he managed to do some of his greatest works (Delano 34). Thomas established that the conductivity and electric resistance of carbon varied according to pressure while doing his experiments on underwater cable for the automatic telegraph that he had earlier invented. To the whole world, this was considered a significant theoretical discovery that led to the establishment of the pressure relay not with the use of magnets but with carbon. Focusing on the invention, he started carrying out experiments which were designed for the production of pressure relay aimed at improving and amplifying the audibility of the telephone which was first patented by Alexander Graham Bell.
Towards the end of 1877, Thomas had made another invention that is being used to date (Delano 44). He succeeded in the development of the carbon-button transmitter employed in the speakers of telephone and microphones. Thomas' inventions were mostly driven by the increasing demand for improvements and new products. The phonograph, invented in 1877, is considered his unique discovery (Delano 47). The phonograph invention was after a quest by Thomas to devise a machine for the transcription of signals for the automatic telegraph since their reception was into a form of human voices to allow their delivery through telegraph messages. It was theorized by a school of researchers that if it could be graphically recorded, then each sound would produce a different shape which was a resemblance of phonography or shorthand.
Determined to make his concept real, he used a stylus-tipped carbon paper for making the impressions on a strip of paper with paraffin. Thomas was amazed by how his advancement had worked. A vague sound was generated by the barely visible indentions when the paper was pulled back at the bottom of the stylus. The invention led to the unveiling of the phonograph in 1877, replacing the strip of paper which wrapped in tinfoil. Thomas may not be a common name in the field of science, but his inventions live on beyond his death. Despite being physically disabled, he was able to prove to the world that he could not be deterred (Edison 78). He did his best.
Delano, Marfe Ferguson. Inventing the future: A photobiography of Thomas Alva Edison. National Geographic Books, 2015.
Edison, Thomas A., et al. The Papers of Thomas A. Edison: New Beginnings, January 1885–December 1887. The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2015.
Simonton, Dean Keith. "Thomas Edison’s creative career: The multilayered trajectory of trials, errors, failures, and triumphs." Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts 9.1 (2015): 2.
Slade, Suzanne. The Inventor's Secret: What Thomas Edison Told Henry Ford. Charlesbridge Publishing, 2015.
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