Biography of Thomas Edison

Thomas Edison was an amazing man who accomplished many historically important successes during his lifetime. Learning from his failures seems to be how Edison obtained 1,093 United State Patents in his 84 years on this earth. His curiosity & desire to help people is what is believed to be his inspiration for all his years of hard work.

For the purposes of this Web Site we will concentrate on Edison's contributions to the Cinema. Edison helped found the Motion Picture Industry. He wrote, "I am experimenting upon an instrument which does for the Eye what the phonograph does for the Ear". It took Edison, with the help of his assistants, approximately 5 years to come up with the Kinetoscope. This device allowed users to put in a coin and watch a short motion picture through the hole. A far cry from today's motion picture experience but a big step for Edison and his crew. Edison predicted that someday Motion Pictures would replace other methods of teaching. One has to wonder what Edison would think of the role Motion Pictures play in today's society.

Edison's film studio, the Black Maria, was the first building designed for the purpose of making commercial motion pictures. The Motion Picture Patents Company was formed by Edison & other movie inventors. They controlled much of the motion picture industry until The United States Supreme Court upheld a ruling that the company was an illegal monopoly. Soon after Edison was out of the motion picture business.

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