thomas edison


Thomas Edison

Thomas Alva Edison was an American inventor and businessman. He developed many devices

Edisons experiments with the telephone also got him thinking about ways to record telephone messages so they could be copied later, this idea was similar to the devices used with the telegraph to write down the dots and dashes of Morse code. But then Edison turned the problem in a new direction and started to think about recording soundany soundas something separate. He sketched and tested and modified ways to capture sound on the surfaces of cylinders or disks.In 1877, one of these designs worked He wrapped a thick sheet of tinfoil around a metal cylinder. Then, turning a crank that moved the cylinder along a screw and shouting into a cone attached to a thin diaphragm and needle (or stylus), Edison tested the new machine. When the sound waves of his speech vibrated the diaphragm, it moved the needle up and down, making dents in the tinfoil. Cranking the cylinder back to its original position and putting the needle back into the grooves it had made, Edison and his workers listened in amazement to the first recording of a human voiceEdison reciting Mary Had a Little Lamb.One of his first reactions to hearing the playback was to be worried He often said, I was always afraid of things that worked the first time. Originally, Edison didnt think of using the phonograph for entertainment. He expected that businesses would use it for dictating letters. He manufactured an entire line of Ediphones for office use. But the real future of the phonograph lay in bringing music into peoples homes.Edisons company not only made phonographs but also ran recording studios and produced cylinder recordings of some of the most famous talent of the day. He also tried putting miniature phonographs inside of dolls, but the talking doll was never a commercial success.

Starting fresh
Electricity in a box
One last grand experiment
Electric light
Starting a business starting a family
Leisure time
Variations on the telegraph
An Improved Phonograph
Menlo Park
West Orange Laboratory
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