Edisons Life Essay

466 words - 2 pages

The thrust of Edison's work may be seen in the clustering of his patents: 389 for electric light and power, 195 for the phonograph, 150 for the telegraph, 141 for storage batteries, and 34 for the telephone. His life and achievements epitomize the ideal of applied research.He always invented for necessity, with the object of devising something new that he could manufacture. The basic principles he discovered were derived from practical experiments, invariably by chance, thus reversing the orthodox concept of pure research leading to applied research.Edison's role as a machine shop operator and small ...view middle of the document...

As his own boss, he plunged ahead on projects more prudent men would have shunned, then tended to dissipate the fruits of his inventiveness, so that he was both free and forced to develop new ideas. Few men have matched him in the positiveness of his thinking. Edison never questioned whether something might be done, only how.Edison's career, the fulfillment of the American dream of rags-to-riches through hard work and intelligence, made him a folk hero to his countrymen. In temperament he was an uninhibited egotist, at once a tyrant to his employees and their most entertaining companion, so that there was never a dull moment with him.He was charismatic and courted publicity, but he had difficulty socializing and neglected his family. His shafts at the expense of the "long-haired" fraternity of theorists sometimes led formally trained scientists to deprecate him as anti-intellectual; yet he employed as his aides, at various times, a number of eminent mathematical physicists, such as Nikola Tesla and A.E. Kennelly.The contradictory nature of his forceful personality, as well as such eccentricities as his ability to catnap anywhere, contributed to his legendary status.By the time he was in his middle 30s Edison was said to be the best-known American in the world.When he died he was venerated and mourned as the man who, more than any other, had laid the basis for the technological and social revolution of the modern electric world.

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