The Lesser Known Edison; February 1997; Scientific American Magazine; by Baldwin; 6 Page(s)
As we celebrate the sesquicentennial this month of the birth of America¿s most renowned inventor, Thomas Alva Edison (1847-1931) , our thoughts turn naturally to his "big three"--the electric lightbulb, the phonograph and the motion-picture camera. In fact, his creative energies were much more prolific: Edison obtained some 1,000 patents over six decades.
An essentially uneducated man, a dropout from the first grade, Edison¿s genius lay in hiring the best scientists and engineers to help fill the lacunae in his knowledge. His compulsive mind filled hundreds of laboratory notebooks with ideas to be enacted by this cadre of experienced co-workers.