Born in 1847, Thomas Edison is known as one of the most prolific inventors in American history. His solo and collaborative work fostered innovations in chemistry, engineering, physics, electrical and electronics engineering, and more, including the first commercially-viable incandescent light bulb, the nickel-iron alkaline electrical storage battery, and the phonograph.
In this American Chemical Society Reactions video on How Thomas Edison Changed The World, we visit the Thomas Edison National Historical Park in West Orange, New Jersey, a National Historic Chemical Landmark and ‘giant time capsule’ that was once one of his state-of-the-art lab complexes. See how much chemistry factored into his work, starting from when he was a child.
The exceptional life of Benjamin Banneker, how to build a light bulb, and how do batteries work?
Often these young “muckers,” as Edison called them, were fresh out of college or technical training. What better place to start a career? Unlike most inventors, Edison depended upon dozens of “muckers” to build and test his ideas. In return, they received “only workmen’s wages.” But, the inventor said, it was “not the money they want, but the chance for their ambition to work.” The average work week was six days for a total of 55 hours. But if Edison had a bright idea, days at work would extend far into the night.