Essay about Edison: Incandescent Light Bulb and Thomas Edison

Submitted By mbusta24
Words: 1081
Pages: 5

Marialinda Rodriguez
Mr. Oden
History 1302
15 June 2015
Thomas Edison When one hears the name Thomas Edison, one automatically thinks of the light bulb, but the truth is that he did not invent the light bulb. Thomas Edison was the first person to use electricity to invent a long lasting incandescent light bulb. People were amazed with Edison's invention because up until then the light bulb, when lit, would only last a few minutes, but his first successful bulb invention lasted more than thirteen hours. Thomas Edison was a great and successful inventor who changed the invention process, who's personality impacted his failures and successes and is one of many celebrated inventors across the United States. “Most successful inventors throughout history were largely people trying to accomplish a task. They had a day job, effectively, and invention was a way a furthering that. Edison decided that invention was his day job”, said Inventor & Entrepreneur, Nathan Myhrvoid (Edison). With only three months of formal schooling, Thomas Edison still managed to spend much of his time reading and conducting science experiments as a young boy. Intrigued with the telegraph, Edison spent as many as eighteen hours a day practicing sending and receiving messages and the age of fifteen he landed a job as a telegraph operator. He gained much of his technical education working in the telegraph offices. His inventions of different telegraphs afforded Edison with the capital to go out on his own and finance his own laboratory to make inventing his day job. There was no other private lab in the entire country that was as well equipped as his. Edison had a small group of experimental assistants and machinists and many resources that nobody else had. The establishment of the Menlo Park lab made it possible for him to devote himself solely to inventing thus allowing him to invent at a much faster pace than other inventors. His hopes were to have “a minor invention every ten days with a major invention every month or so” (Edison). Over time he invented the phonograph, which was monumental because no one had been able to record anything before. Here a man with no proper schooling managed to go from a self-taught telegraph operator to a well known inventor. This was a huge accomplishment for him, it brought a lot of attention including the media and made him “famous”. His other major invention and the one which he is known for was the invention of the incandescent light bulb. Thomas Edison's personality had an impact on his failures and successes. At an early age he was able to teach himself morse code, which required much determination. He was very self-confident and also competitive. He had this inner notion of competing with others and a compulsive need to win. Thomas Edison once said, “I don't care to much for a fortune as I do for getting ahead of the other fellows”(Edison). In 1876 when Alexander Graham Bell came out with the telephone within a few months he created a carbon button transmitter that carried sound over longer distances which trumped Bell's telephone, this was his way of proving that he could improve it and make it better. While celebrating the invention of the incandescent bulb, Edison said “If it can burn that number of hours, I know I can make it burn 100”(Edison). When Westinghouse became successful with the use of alternating current, Edison, unwilling to accept this new concept, stuck to his form of technology and that made his investors invest elsewhere. Unwilling to admit defeat he decided to move on from electricity and went on to invest in iron ore. He invested millions of his own money so that he would avoid having investors, but even after putting much time and effort this eventually was also one of his failures. The late 1800's was a time of growth and expansion for the United States. With the discovery gold, the expansion of the railroad system and innovations in technology the United States was becoming the