J-L CHARMET / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY J-L CHARMET / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Portrait of the American inventor Thomas Alva Edison (1847-1931) painted by P. Janual in 1917. At the age of 23, Edison invented a stock ticker which he sold to a Wall Street firm for 40,000 dollars. With this, he founded a firm of engineers which turned out inventions such as waxpaper, the mimeograph and several important improvements in telegraphy. In 1876 he set up a research laboratory in Menlo Park, New Jersey. Here he invented the phonograph, improved the telephone &, after thousands of experiments, suceeded in making a practical, long-lived lightbulb. During his lifetime Edison patented nearly 1300 inventions, a record no other inventor has ever approached.
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