Thomas Edison’s 31 Greatest Inventions

Tom Edison Wikipedia

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You probably knew that Thomas Edison gave us the first commercial light bulb, but did you also know he invented alkaline batteries and an electric train?As an inventor, scientist, and businessman, Edison developed many devices that greatly influenced life around the world. 

In addition to a longer-lasting light bulb, he also gave us a universal stock ticker, a mechanical vote recorder, electrical power, recorded music, motion pictures, and more.

Edison holds over a thousand U.S. patents in his name, as well as many patents in the United Kingdom, France, and Germany.

We pored over those patents and picked out the best of Edison’s 1,093 patents, in chronological order.

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[slide
permalink=”the-electrographic-vote-recorder-edisons-first-patent-it-permitted-a-yes-or-no-vote-via-one-of-two-switches-1″
title=”THE ELECTROGRAPHIC VOTE RECORDER: Edison’s first patent. It permitted a “yes” or “no” vote via one of two switches.”
content=”Click here to read the complete patent.

6/1/1869″
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[slide
permalink=”simplified-telegraph-in-an-effort-to-improve-the-telegraph-edison-produced-one-that-did-not-require-someone-to-manually-tap-out-the-message-at-the-receiving-end-2″
title=”SIMPLIFIED TELEGRAPH: In an effort to improve the telegraph, Edison produced one that did not require someone to manually tap out the message at the receiving end.”
content=”Click here to read the complete patent.

6/22/1969″
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[slide
permalink=”faster-electric-telegraph-edisons-electric-telegraph-improved-the-speed-in-which-signals-were-sent-and-received-compared-to-earlier-models-3″
title=”FASTER ELECTRIC TELEGRAPH: Edison’s electric telegraph improved the speed in which signals were sent and received compared to earlier models.”
content=”Click here to read the complete patent.

2/10/1874″
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[slide
permalink=”perforating-pen-powered-by-a-foot-pedal-the-perforating-pen-punctured-sheets-of-paper-creating-stencils-of-handwritten-documents-and-drawings-4″
title=”PERFORATING PEN: Powered by a foot pedal, the perforating pen punctured sheets of paper, creating stencils of handwritten documents and drawings.”
content=”Click here to read the complete patent.

6/28/1977″
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[slide
permalink=”stencil-pen-the-stencil-pen-was-the-predecessor-to-tattoo-pens-5″
title=”STENCIL PEN: The stencil pen was the predecessor to tattoo pens.”
content=”Click here to read the complete patent.

11/6/1877″
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[slide
permalink=”phonograph-the-phonograph-recorded-and-reproduced-audible-sounds-using-metallic-foil-on-a-cylinder-6″
title=”PHONOGRAPH: The phonograph recorded and reproduced audible sounds using metallic foil on a cylinder.”
content=”Click here to read the complete patent.

2/19/1878″
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[slide
permalink=”carbon-telephone-in-the-history-of-the-telephone-edison-is-best-known-for-the-carbon-transmitter-that-became-the-basis-of-telephone-transmitters-for-more-than-a-century-7″
title=”CARBON TELEPHONE: In the history of the telephone, Edison is best known for the carbon transmitter that became the basis of telephone transmitters for more than a century.”
content=”Click here to read the complete patent.

12/9/1879″
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[slide
permalink=”practical-electric-lamp-edisons-carbon-filament-light-bulb-was-the-first-commercially-viable-electric-light-previous-versions-were-not-as-durable-and-used-expensive-materials-such-as-platinum-8″
title=”PRACTICAL ELECTRIC LAMP: Edison’s carbon filament light bulb was the first commercially viable electric light. Previous versions were not as durable and used expensive materials such as platinum.”
content=”Click here to read the complete patent.

1/27/1880″
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[slide
permalink=”electric-lighting-system-edisons-system-of-electric-lighting-was-designed-to-maintain-the-same-amount-of-electricity-throughout-the-device-9″
title=”ELECTRIC LIGHTING SYSTEM: Edison’s system of electric lighting was designed to maintain the same amount of electricity throughout the device.”
content=”Click here to read the complete patent.

3/22/1881″
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[slide
permalink=”motor-that-regulates-electricity-edison-designed-a-motor-to-help-control-the-supply-of-electricity-between-devices-such-as-lamps-10″
title=”MOTOR THAT REGULATES ELECTRICITY: Edison designed a motor to help control the supply of electricity between devices such as lamps.”
content=”Click here to read the complete patent.

10/18/1881″
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[slide
permalink=”fruit-preserver-edison-designed-a-fruit-preserver-that-sucked-the-oxygen-out-of-the-glass-jars-producing-vacuum-sealed-jars-of-fruit-11″
title=”FRUIT PRESERVER: Edison designed a fruit preserver that sucked the oxygen out of the glass jars, producing vacuum-sealed jars of fruit.”
content=”Click here to read the complete patent.

10/18/1881″
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[slide
permalink=”electro-magnetic-brake-the-electro-magnetic-brake-was-designed-to-stop-vehicles-on-a-railroad-12″
title=”ELECTRO MAGNETIC BRAKE: The electro magnetic brake was designed to stop vehicles on a railroad.”
content=”Click here to read the complete patent.

10/18/1881″
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[slide
permalink=”incandescent-chandelier-edison-grouped-several-incandescent-lamps-together-to-create-the-chandelier-13″
title=”INCANDESCENT CHANDELIER: Edison grouped several incandescent lamps together to create the chandelier.”
content=”Click here to read the complete patent.

12/27/1881″
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4d9c8e3d4bd7c8794f270000″
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[slide
permalink=”turn-table-for-electric-railway-edisons-invention-was-powered-by-an-electric-current-that-ran-through-the-rails-to-reduce-the-chances-of-a-short-circuit-14″
title=”TURN TABLE FOR ELECTRIC RAILWAY: Edison’s invention was powered by an electric current that ran through the rails to reduce the chances of a short-circuit.”
content=”Click here to read the complete patent.

3/6/1883″
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[slide
permalink=”electrical-current-converter-the-device-lowered-electrical-currents-from-high-to-low-tensions-so-as-to-save-energy-15″
title=”ELECTRICAL CURRENT CONVERTER: The device lowered electrical currents from high to low tensions so as to save energy.”
content=”Click here to read the complete patent.

5/29/1883″
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4d9c8c2f49e2ae177d050000″
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[slide
permalink=”electrical-meter-for-dc-power-edison-created-an-electrical-meter-that-measured-the-electrical-energy-used-from-a-dc-generator-as-opposed-to-an-ac-generator-16″
title=”ELECTRICAL METER FOR DC POWER: Edison created an electrical meter that measured the electrical energy used from a DC generator, as opposed to an AC generator.”
content=”Click here to read the complete patent.

2/12/1884″
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4d938792cadcbb1b3d550000″
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[slide
permalink=”perforating-typewriter-edison-improved-the-typewriter-by-creating-a-typewriter-that-made-clearer-marks-it-left-perforated-marks-on-a-sheet-of-paper-which-were-later-filled-with-ink-17″
title=”PERFORATING TYPEWRITER: Edison improved the typewriter by creating a typewriter that made clearer marks. It left perforated marks on a sheet of paper which were later filled with ink.”
content=”Click here to read the complete patent.

4/1/1884″
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4d938850cadcbb1b3d5c0000″
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[slide
permalink=”universal-stock-ticker-edison-claimed-his-stock-ticker-or-telegraph-was-faster-and-easier-to-repair-than-existing-print-telegraphs-18″
title=”UNIVERSAL STOCK TICKER: Edison claimed his stock ticker, or telegraph, was faster and easier to repair than existing print telegraphs.”
content=”Click here to read the complete patent.

3/17/1885″
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4d94d971cadcbb2e701f0000″
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[slide
permalink=”electric-railway-edisons-electric-railway-consisted-of-conductors-that-were-concealed-between-the-rails-protecting-them-from-short-circuiting-19″
title=”ELECTRIC RAILWAY: Edison’s electric railway consisted of conductors that were concealed between the rails, protecting them from short-circuiting.”
content=”Click here to read the complete patent.

4/6/1886″
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[slide
permalink=”ore-separator-edison-designed-an-device-that-separates-magnetic-and-non-magnetic-materials-20″
title=”ORE SEPARATOR: Edison designed an device that separates magnetic and non-magnetic materials.”
content=”Click here to read the complete patent.

3/26/1889″
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4d9ca78acadcbbca73300000″
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[slide
permalink=”doll-phonograph-edison-sought-to-create-a-phonograph-that-was-small-and-cheap-enough-to-be-reproduced-for-dolls-21″
title=”DOLL PHONOGRAPH: Edison sought to create a phonograph that was small and cheap enough to be reproduced for dolls.”
content=”Click here to read the complete patent.

7/21/1891″
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[slide
permalink=”speaking-telegraph-edison-further-improved-the-telegraph-by-creating-a-speaking-telegraph-that-transmitted-words-that-were-clearer-and-more-distinct-22″
title=”SPEAKING TELEGRAPH: Edison further improved the telegraph by creating a “speaking telegraph” that transmitted words that were clearer and more distinct.”
content=”Click here to read the complete patent.

5/3/1892″
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4d9870acccd1d5c1621c0000″
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[slide
permalink=”electric-locomotive-edison-created-the-electric-locomotive-for-areas-where-traffic-was-too-light-for-the-typical-steam-locomotives-23″
title=”ELECTRIC LOCOMOTIVE: Edison created the electric locomotive for areas where traffic was too light for the typical steam locomotives.”
content=”Click here to read the complete patent.

5/24/1892″
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4d9c3cb5cadcbb62364b0000″
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[slide
permalink=”electricity-from-dry-chemical-reactions-edison-realized-he-could-generate-electricity-by-filling-an-iron-pot-with-iron-oxides-24″
title=”ELECTRICITY FROM DRY CHEMICAL REACTIONS: Edison realised he could generate electricity by filling an iron pot with iron oxides.”
content=”Click here to read the complete patent.

1/31/1893″
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[slide
permalink=”kinetographic-camera-the-camera-showed-successive-photos-in-a-rapid-speed-so-as-to-make-them-appear-to-be-moving-25″
title=”KINETOGRAPHIC CAMERA: The camera showed successive photos in a rapid speed so as to make them appear to be moving.”
content=”Click here to read the complete patent.

8/31/1897″
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4d986f7dccd1d51c59640000″
caption=””
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[slide
permalink=”rock-crusher-edison-used-two-hard-rollers-to-crush-rocks-26″
title=”ROCK CRUSHER: Edison used two hard rollers to crush rocks.”
content=”Click here to read the complete patent.

4/23/1901″
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4d988b9dccd1d51a140b0000″
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[slide
permalink=”wood-and-rubber-wheel-edison-designed-a-wheel-that-contained-a-tire-made-from-wood-and-rubber-for-added-traction-27″
title=”WOOD AND RUBBER WHEEL: Edison designed a wheel that contained a tire made from wood and rubber for added traction.”
content=”Click here to read the complete patent.

10/18/1904″
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4d9889afcadcbb2c13660000″
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[slide
permalink=”cheaper-photographic-film-edison-sought-to-improve-film-with-a-more-affordable-version-that-allowed-more-light-to-pass-through-he-used-a-strip-of-low-carbon-steel-that-was-perforated-28″
title=”CHEAPER PHOTOGRAPHIC FILM: Edison sought to improve film with a more affordable version that allowed more light to pass through. He used a strip of low carbon steel that was perforated.”
content=”Click here to read the complete patent.

10/19/1904″
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4d988d0ecadcbbd71a530000″
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[slide
permalink=”alkaline-battery-while-experimenting-with-an-iron-and-nickle-battery-edison-discovered-an-alkaline-solution-that-produced-an-longer-lasting-battery-29″
title=”ALKALINE BATTERY: While experimenting with an iron and nickle battery, Edison discovered an alkaline solution that produced an longer-lasting battery.”
content=”Click here to read the complete patent.

7/31/1906″
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4d988e404bd7c8fa22480000″
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[slide
permalink=”fluorescent-electric-lamp-edison-created-a-fluorescent-electric-lamp-using-tungsten-of-calcium-and-strontium-30″
title=”FLUORESCENT ELECTRIC LAMP: Edison created a fluorescent electric lamp using tungsten of calcium and strontium.”
content=”Click here to read the complete patent.

9/10/1907″
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4d9874304bd7c8d17e1a0000″
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[slide
permalink=”improved-automobile-although-nicolas-joseph-cugnot-built-the-first-self-propelled-automobile-in-1769-edison-designed-an-automobile-whose-wheels-were-better-aligned-with-the-car-31″
title=”IMPROVED AUTOMOBILE: Although Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot built the first self-propelled automobile in 1769, Edison designed an automobile whose wheels were better aligned with the car.”
content=”Click here to read the complete patent.

2/1/1910″
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[slide
permalink=”do-you-know-who-invented-bendable-straws-find-out-here-32″
title=”Do you know who invented bendable straws? Find out here:”
content=”The Unknown Geniuses Behind 10 Of The Most Useful Inventions Ever >>
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