thomas edison

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Variations on the telegraph

Thomas Edison

Thomas Alva Edison was an American inventor and businessman. He developed many devices
Variations on the telegraph

Riding the rails, Edison learned about the new technology of telegraphy. Morses telegraph, patented in 1840, was the 19th centurys equivalent to the World Wide Web and Edison wanted to learn all he could about navigating this information superhighway.Telegraphers in those days were the links that joined the country together. In many respects the telegraph molded the world in which Edison matured. Major newspapers relied heavily on telegraph reports purchased from news services. The telephone had not yet been invented and email was a long way off For the next 4 years, Al went on the tramp, traveling around the South and Midwest as an itinerant telegrapher, that is, taking jobs as they came, never settling down in any one place for very long. Telegraphers translated messages into electric impulses and sent them over the ribbons of telegraph wires that stretched across the continent. Since telegraphers not only sent and received messages but had to keep the equipment running, Edison learned a lot about practical electricityhow batteries work, how to wire circuits, and all about electromagnetism. This curiosity spurred his first serious efforts at invention.In Boston in 1869, Edison earned his first patent, for an electrical vote recorder designed for the Massachusetts State Legislature. But he found that the politicians werent interested in speeding up their voting process, so they didnt want to use his machine. Edison later quipped that this experience taught him never to invent something people didnt want He refused to become discouraged or view anything as a failure. As he would say, Every wrong attempt discarded is a step forward. (5)

West Orange Laboratory
Telegraph Work
Starting fresh
Menlo Park
Electricity in a box
Edisons Early Years
Early Inventive Career
Variations on the telegraph
Serving the nation
Other Ventures Ore milling and Cement
Motion Pictures
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