What did Edison invent?

Alexander Smaznev
Alexander Smaznev
December 19, 2014
What did Edison invent?

The American inventor Thomas Edison (1847-1931) during his career designed 1903 patents for inventions (an average of 1.5 patents per month). And it is only in the USA. In other countries, he has issued more than 3,000 patents. What did Edison invent?

Let us dwell on the particularly significant inventions that had the greatest influence on the daily life of his contemporaries and on the further development of technology.


The phonograph, a device for recording and playing sound, was demonstrated by Edison in 1877. The principle of the device Edison: the sound was fed into the microphone and there with the help of a membrane was converted into mechanical vibrations. Fluctuations were recorded with a needle on the foil. The recording medium — foil, and later wax paper — was wound on a cylinder, and the soundtrack was recorded in a spiral. The sound was played in the reverse order: the needle read out mechanical irregularities, transferred them to the membrane, which converted the mechanical vibrations into sound ones. Later phonographs were supplanted by gramophone.They worked on the same principle, but they recorded the sound not on a cylinder, but on an ebonite disk.


The kinetoscope is a device for demonstrating a moving image. Inside the device there was a film with a series of static photographic images and perforations along the edges. The film was moved by a special tape drive mechanism. As a result of the movement of the film, a person could observe the shift and movement of images. The peculiarity of the device was that it was necessary to look through the eyepiece inside the box to see the "movie". Thus, the viewing was carried out individually.

The invention of the kinetoscope had an impact on the Lumiere brothers. When creating their cinema, they used the same film and tape drive mechanism. The main difference is that the films were shown for the mass public on the big screen, which turned out to be more convenient and profitable.

Incandescent lamp

The invention of the Edison bulb is a fact firmly established in the mass consciousness. But in fact, the principle of the light bulb was not invented by Edison. Work in this direction was previously carried out by Lodygin, Yablochkov, Swan, Maxim, Sawyer and other researchers.However, it was Edison who developed and set up the production of a version of the lamp, due to its cheapness suitable for mass consumption. For example, Edison began to use a filament of carbonized bamboo fibers, found a way to create a steady vacuum in flasks. His light bulbs are widespread.