Thomas Alva Edison’s life was marked by overcoming numerous obstacles. His overly curious nature forced him to abandon traditional education at a young age. His parents took over the delivery of his education but it was not long before his knowledge and understanding surpassed theirs. After Edison proved insatiable, even under the direction of a tutor, his parents taught him howto use library resources and Edison began to thrive with independent study. He made his own rules. He accepted nothing at face value. Thomas Edison also knew that there was always another layer, a deeper, more complex issue to address.
YOUNG THOMAS EDISON DEMONSTRATES HIS PHONOGRAPH
As a youth, Thomas Edison used a combination of strong will and innate abilities to create new opportunities for himself. Edison created a newspaper from news bulletins and sold it to travelers while he worked on a train. Learning Morse Code prompted him to experiment with several methods of communication. Some may find it ironic that it was Edison, who was almost completely deaf, invented the first phonograph. It was at this juncture that he was given the affectionate title of the “Wizard of Menlo Park.” Edison used the proceeds from this project to develop a high-tech telegraph which he sold to Western Union. Fotunately, their initial offer was more than double his anticipated asking price.
After hiring engineers to work with him in his research lab, Edison made even more progress, inventing the carbon microphone which continued to be the main component in telephones and microphones for the next 50 years.
EDISON'S ELECTRIC LAMP ON DISPLAY AT THE US PATENT & TRADEMARK OFFICE
Although it is widely believed that Edison invented the light bulb; he did not. The concept had already been developed but the existing versions had an exceptionally short lifespan. Edison improved on the existing concept, and produced the first commercially practical incandescent light. He continued to experiment with different filament materials until he perfected it.
THE GREAT THOMAS EDISON -CAUGHT CANDIDLY IN A MOMENT OF RELAXATION
Once the world had seen what Edison could do with the light bulb, numerous businessmen rushed to him with support. The next development was electrical power distribution which Edison implemented in New York, London and Paris. This period of his life was wrought with controversy over intellectual property and competition with other engineers. In the end, Edison’s genius was no match for his peers. There was no obstacle he couldn’t overcome, and no problem that he could not solve.
Every scientist and engineer knows that there is no experiment that does not incur some level of risk. Edison realized the full potential of his fluoroscope, which significantly improved the existing x-ray technology. Unfortunately, in the process of experimentation, Edison was nearly blinded and his assistant suffered severely and eventually died from excessive radiation exposure.
THOMAS EDISON - AMERICA'S MOST PERSISTENT AND TALENTED INVENTOR
Edison then turned his attention to photography. Working closely with his employees, Edison’s team developed the first motion picture camera and viewer. This amazing development quickly spread throughout Europe. Edison thoroughly enjoyed his silent film and was disappointed by the subsequent addition of sound.
The lot of his accomplishments is beyond comparison. With developments in telecommunications, electricity, sound recording, and movies, he also contributed to developments in mining and cement construction. His innovative theories and practices were not guided by any prior patterns. Edison proved that what could be imagined could be created. Many of the modern conveniences we take for granted to this very day can be traced back to Thomas Edison.
RARE SIGNED PORTRAIT OF INVENTOR THOMAS EDISON
The Raleigh DeGeer Amyx Collection contains many symbols of America’s role as a leader in technology and innovation. Mr. Amyx is proud to have acquired an actual photograph (9-1/2” X 11-1/2”) of Thomas Alva Edison seated in a chair in his library. The portrait itself features the original bold ink signature of Thomas Edison. The matte is a stunning mauve hand-wrapped Sorvino silk, protected by an elegant gold-leaf frame.
RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX - HISTORIAN AND COLLLECTOR