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pearl street station Illuminating the Path of Progress


Thomas Alva Edison is the most famous inventor in American History.
Edison designed, built,  and delivered the electrical age.  He started a
revolution that would refocus technology, change life patterns, and create
millions of jobs. He became famous for his scientific inventions, even though he
was not a scientist. His real talent was his ability to clearly  judge a problem
and  be persistent in experimenting.   He was the master of the trial and error
method.
Thomas Edison was born on February 11, 1847 in Milan, Ohio.  He was the
last of seven children born to Samuel and Nancy Edison.  Edison's early life was
spent in Ohio near the nation's busiest grain port.  He spent time exploring the
canal and played near his father's shingle business.
When Alva was a child, he had scarlet fever.  The fever damaged his
hearing and delayed his entrance into school.  Edison was curious about the
world around him and always tried to teach himself through reading and
experiments.  Alva spent three years in home schooling.  He was taught by his
mother.  He later returned to school but left at age twelve to get a job and
help support his family.
Edison got his first job selling newspapers and snacks to the passengers
on the train between Port Huron and Detroit.  Edison bought a used printing
press in 1862 and published the Grand Trunk Herald for passengers.  It was the
first newspaper published on a train.
When Edison was fifteen, he was taught Morse code and became a manager
of a telegraph office.   Edison got the idea for his first invention from
working here.  His first inventions were the transmitter and receiver for the
automatic telegraph.  At 21, Edison produced his first major invention, a stock
ticker. In 1869, when Edison was twenty-two, he patented his first invention
and advertised that he would devote his  time to bringing out his inventions.
The first patent received by Edison was for a vote recorder.  Years  later
Edison's design was put in use by state legislatures for use by the public in
general elections.  By the age of twenty-three Edison owned two factories to
manufacture telegraphic equipment and had money to pursue his research.
On December 25, 1871, Edison married Mary Stilwell.  They had three
children.  Two of his children were nicknamed Dot and Dash after the Morse code.
In 1880 Edison made a discovery in science.  He noticed that when  a
metal plate was inserted into a light bulb, the plate became a valve and the
current could be controlled.  This discovery is known as the "Edison Effect."
It is the basis for the whole field of electronics.  Edison did not pursue this
field.
Edison grew tired of the manufacturing side of business and wanted to
devote his time to experimenting on new inventions.  He moved the laboratory to
Menlo Park, N.J., where he directed groups of employees working on various
projects.  The move to Menlo Park was an important turning point for Edison.  He
was devoted to improving and inventing useful products.  In 1877, inspired by
the work he had done on improving Bell's telephone, Edison pursued the idea of
not only transmitting speech but recording it.  The result was the phonograph.
This  was the invention Edison was most proud of.  Invented in 1877, it used
tinfoil and wax cylinders to record the sound. He demonstrated his phonograph
for the National Academy of Sciences and to President Rutherford B. Hayes.
After Edison conquered sound, he set out to produce electric lighting
that would be cheap, safe and reliable.  It took Edison just over a year to
invent a practical light bulb.  One of his bulbs burned for 1,589 hours.  He
gave a public demonstration of his lighting system by lighting the town of Menlo
Park. He later established the Edison Electric Light Company.  This would own
all of Edison's electrical inventions.   Then came the challenge of creating a
system for distributing electric power over a wide area from a central
generating station.   Edison applied for nearly 40 patents to cover the devices
he invented for his electricity distribution system.  Later that year, New
York's first power station was opened.  By the end of 1883, Pearl Street was
lighting 10,000 lamps for 431 customers.
In the summer of 1884, tragedy struck with the sudden death of his wife
who died of typhoid fever.  Two years later he married Mina Miller.  He moved to
West Orange, New Jersey and raised a second family.
       In 1888, Edison invented a kinetoscope, an early form of motion picture
camera. The ... more

pearl street station

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Thomas Edison

  Edison was born in the village of Milan, Ohio, on Feb. 11, 1847, and his family later moved to Port Huron, Mich. In his early life as a kid he played jokes on people and got into trouble. One time he set his father's barn on fire because he wanted to see what fire look like when it burned. His schooling was three months long because he quit when too many people made fun of him. At the age of seven his mother taught  him, and he loved to read books. The book Schoool of Natural Philosophy sparked his likeing for science and, soon after he set up his first lab.
  At age 12 his father could no longer buy supplies for his lab so he became a train-boy, selling magazines and food on the Grand Trunk Railroad. He spent all he earned on books and supplies for his laboratory.At this time he stoped sleeping and only took cat-naps so he could work on experiments at night in the bagage car. An accident at this time led to a loss of hearing about 50%. Two things which contributed to loss of his hearing was a conductor pulling on his ear and, a conductor clapping his ears for setting the bagage car on fire it was only an accident. Soon after he left this job.
  A station agent taught him telegraph code and procedures, and at age 15, Edison became manager of a telegraph office. His first inventions were the transmitter and receiver for the automatic telegraph. At 21, Edison made improvements on the  stock ticker for printing stock-exchange quotations. With the $40,000 he was paid for the improvements in tickers, he established real  laboratory in Newark, N.J. Deciding to give up manufacturing, he moved the laboratory to Menlo Park, N.J., where he was in charge of  groups of employees working on various projects.
  In 1878, Edison started work on an electric lamp and looked for things that could be electrically heated to incandescence in a vacuum. At first he used platinum wire in glass bulbs at 10 volts.He realized, however, that independent lamp control would be necessary for home and office use. He then developed a three-wire system with a supply of 220 volts. Each lamp operated at 110 volts, but the higher voltage required a new substance other than that of platinum. Edison conducted an extensive search for another filament material, on Oct. 21, 1879, he showed a lamp useing a carbonized cotton thread that glowed for 40 hours.
   Edison made the first large power station on Pearl Street in New York City in 1882; its steam-driven generators of 900 horsepower gave enough power for 7,200 lamps. The success of this station led to the construction of many other power stations. Edison founded The Edison Electric Light Company in 1878, which eventually merged with other companies into the General Electric Company in 1892, one of the largest U.S. manufacturers.It still is around today.
  During his experiments on the light bulb, Edison saw a flow of electricity from a hot filament across a vacuum to a metal wire. This is known as thermionic emission.Which he did the improvments on.
  Edison also invented the phonograph in 1877, the invention he was most proud of. It used tinfoil and wax cylinders to record the sound. His introduction of flexible celluloid film and his invention of the movie projector aided the development of motion pictures. His other inventions are the alkaline storage battery, a magnetic process to separate iron ore, and the carbon microphone.                                                                                                                                                                                            Later on in life he bacame close friends with henry Ford. He helped Ford on the battery and other things on the Ford Modle T.Edison injoyed his later years and got a home in Florida which he whent to alot.                                                                                                                                              He died in West Orange, N.J., on Oct. 18, 1931, he had patented over 1,000 inventions. Edison was one of the best inventors of of his time and ours. He is most famous for his development of the first commercially practical incandescent lamp in1879. One of  his greatest contributions, however, was the of the world's first central electric light-power station.Other great inventions were phonograph, motion picture camera,microphone, and ... more

pearl street station

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