Thomas Edison, US inventor

Thomas Edison, US inventor

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Credit: COLLECTION ABECASIS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Thomas Edison (1847-1931). 1898 illustration of the US inventor and businessman Thomas Alva Edison. Edison is famous for inventing or improving devices such as the phonograph and the electric light bulb. He founded several laboratories and companies, and filed over 1000 patents. Other work included improvements to telegraphy, cameras, and motion picture cameras, as well as his DC (direct current) electrical distribution systems. In 1880, Edison founded the journal Science. He also discovered the Edison Effect, on which thermionic valves are based.

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