Born on February 11th 1847, little did the world know it would be changed forever. Thomas Edison was evidently brought on this planet to innovate and push boundaries. He created the impossible and his inventions still are part of our lives today. Edison paved the way for many of us in Consumer Electronics design, inventors in the electronics industry, and beyond.
Edison began his career in 1863 during the telegraph industry. This was back when the only source of electricity was batteries which put out a low-voltage current. By the time he died in 1931, Edison had played a critical role in introducing and improving electricity. Over his lifetime, that wasn’t all he had a hand in developing. The businessman held more than 1,000 patents for his inventions in his lifetime and these are just a few of those notable inventions.
This was considered to be Edison’s first inventions, the phonograph recorded the spoken voice and would play it back. The first variation of this invention was a drum wrapped with tin foil which later would be transformed into a consumer electronics design that allowed people to permanently record music. What was the first recorded message? Edison recited “Mary Had A Little Lamb.”
The light bulb
Thank you Edison for not making me sit in the dark right now. Yes, we can thank Edison for the invention of the light bulb. But not the light bulb itself, contrary to popular belief. The bulb had been around for years, however, Edison improved the consumer electronics design. Lights at the time were unreliable, expensive and didn’t last long so the brilliant innovator created a way for the light bulb to last for many hours which made them more practical and eventually more economical. Edison later invented the first electricity distributing company in America which ensured more people had access to electricity.
The motion picture
Inspired by motion, Edison created a device called the kinetograph (a motion picture camera) and the kinetoscope (a peep-hole motion picture viewer). These devices allowed for the entertainment industry to blossom in less than a decade, allowing for the kinetoscope to project films for mass audiences.
Thomas Edison was a man with a brilliant mind, one that not many people, if anyone will ever compare to. His innovations and inventions in consumer electronics design and beyond changed the way people lived their lives and played a huge role in how we get to live our lives today.
Article Author: MAKO Design + Invent
MAKO Design + Invent is a full-service consumer product development firm servicing both high-growth corporate manufacturers and invention startups. With a 25-person team across 3 offices (Austin, England, Toronto), MAKO has complete in-house industrial design, mechanical engineering, and electrical engineering design and prototyping services. To assist our start-up inventor clients, we also have a subsidiary branch called Mako Invent that, in addition to above, helps start-ups with patenting, strategy, marketing, and sales/distribution for all consumer product categories. For our corporate clients, MAKO Design develops world-class consumer electronics designs through our industrial, mechanical, and electrical design teams.
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