SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Thomas Edison's wedding. Engraving of the American inventor Thomas Alva Edison (1847-1931) being sought to attend his own wedding. As the bride (centre) looks on, the inventor (centre right) is engrossed in his work. Despite a lack of formal training, Edison was a prolific inventor, patenting about 1300 innovations. These included the phonograph, the electric light bulb and the alkaline battery. He made only one scientific discovery, the Edison Effect. This applies in vacuum tubes, where electricity will flow from a hot electrode to a cool one, but will not do the reverse. This idea formed the basis of thermionic valves.
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