Thomas Alva Edison was one of the 5 greatest scientists born in the 18th century, who changed the lives of human beings. He was born in 1847 and died in 1931.
One of his greatest inventions included the carbon telephone transmitter. When his patent was contested in 1892, the federal court held that it was Thomas Alva Edison who won the patent and not Emile Berniler. The carbon microphone invented by Edison was used in all telephones along with the bell receiver until the 1980s.
The world remembers Edison for his immortal invention of light bulb. Edison invented a carbonized bamboo filament that could withstand the heat and light for more than 1200 hours. He will always be remembered for his incandescent light that he gifted to the world.
The third great invention of Thomas Edison was the fluoroscope. It was a machine that used X-rays to take radiographs. He promoted calcium tungstate fluoroscopy screens. During that period, the trend was to use barium platinocyanide used by Wilhelm Rontgen. Edison’s screens were brighter and clearer.
Edison was also the inventor of Direct current for electric power distribution as against alternative current invented by Nicola Tesla. Edison’s views were promoted on one hand but criticized on the other hand because alternative current was cheaper and could be stepped up to high voltages with transformers, send over thinner and cheaper wires. Edison fought out against different authorities to explain the utility of DC current as against AC current. It took a while to understand the efficacy of DC current.
The fifth greatest invention of Edison was the efficient electric distribution system. He founded the Edison Illuminating Company in 1880. His company provided 110 volts direct current to huge numbers of customers in lower Manhattan. In 1883, his standardized incandescent electric lighting system with overhead wires started operating in Roselle, New Jersey.
The greatness of Edison lies in his thought for the common man. Many inventors invented devices for the industry. Edison was different from them. He believed that his devices in the long run should benefit mankind. The devices were less dangerous and more useful for the manufacturing houses as well as domestic users. He patented sound recording and reproduced phonograph in 1878. There were very few scientists in the history of inventions, who dealt with such number of diverse subjects like Edison. People had remembered only his invention of light bulb. All his works require restoration and preservation.