What Were Some Edison Inventions?


Quick Answer

Over the course of his career, Thomas Edison accumulated 1,093 patents for his inventions, including the phonograph, the motion-picture camera, the alkaline battery and the automatic telegraph. While he did not invent the light bulb, he was the first to invent an incandescent light bulb reliable enough for use in the home, and he developed a suitable electricity-generation system to power it.

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Full Answer

While it wasn't his first invention, the development of the phonograph is what made Edison a national figure. Previous inventions had allowed sound to be recorded as a visual representation of sound waves, but never before could a device both record and play back sound. Edison himself viewed it as more of a curiosity than a revolutionary development, and only began refining and developing the technology when other inventors introduced their own advancements to his designs.

While Edison was a renowned inventor, the vast majority of his patents were new designs of existing concepts. One of his greatest strengths was finding new and more efficient ways to design mechanical, chemical or electric processes. For instance, electricity was well known as a power source before Edison, but considered too unreliable and dangerous for widespread use. His patents revolutionized the generation and distribution of power, allowing the development of regional power grids and the introduction of electric appliances to the home.

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