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Thomas Edison: Telephone, Electricity and Phonograph, 1915

Introduction: Thomas A. Edison

What was Thomas Alva Edison's most important contribution to the history of science? Improvements to the light-bulb, perhaps? Or, maybe the phonograph? In fact, Edison's most significant contribution was his "method of invention." Nicknamed "The Wizard of Menlo Park," Edison was not particularly wizardly. Rather, he was a savvy businessman who understood the value of iterative invention. His influence on the science and technology of the twentieth century is immeasurable.

But just who was Thomas Alva Edison? How did his inventive genius contribute to the "well-being, comfort, and pleasure of the human race?" And how did Edison's determination and quest for knowledge factor into his success?

These pages hold the answers to these questions and tell the fascinating story of this man's lifelong work.