Thomas Edison, US inventor

Thomas Edison, US inventor

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Credit: HUMANITIES & SOCIAL SCIENCES LIBRARY/NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Thomas Alva Edison (1847-1931), US inventor, operating a telegraph machine. Telegraph poles are seen allowing worldwide communication (through window). Edison's initial training was as a telegraph operator, and some of his earliest inventions related to electrical telegraphy. These included the quadruplex telegraph that he invented in 1874. Edison's patent for the system was bought by Western Union for $10,000. This allowed Edison to build his own research laboratory to develop existing and new inventions. These included the phonograph and the electric light bulb. Edison eventually filed over 1000 patents.

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