The Papers of Thomas A. Edison
The Wizard of Menlo Park, 1878
Publication Year: 1998
Published by: The Johns Hopkins University Press
Series: The Papers of Thomas A. Edison
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Title Page, Frontispiece, Copytight, Dedication
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Calendar of Documents
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List of Editorial Headnotes
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This volume chronicles one year, Thomas Edison's annus magus. In January 1878, Edison was an inventor famed in the powerful but limited financial and technical world surrounding the telegraph and telephone, supported largely by Western Union. As the winter wore on, the repercussions
Chronology of Thomas A. Edison, 1878
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List of Abbreviations
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1 January-February 1878: (Docs. 1164-1227)
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As the new year began, Edison was busy exhibiting and experimenting with the two inventions that had emerged from the Menlo Park laboratory at the end of 1877—the phonograph and the carbon telephone transmitter. The effort to develop these inventions into commercial products would remain the...
2 March-April 1878: (Docs. 1228-1310)
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March began with Edison's attention focused on testing and modifying his carbon telephone transmitter. By mid-March, the tests he was making with Henry Bentley between Menlo Park and Philadelphia produced such a markedly improved design that Edison decided to send James Adams to introduce...
3 May-June 1878: (Docs. 1311-1369)
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The phonograph continued to occupy much of Edison's time during May and June. Fascination with the invention continued to bring visitors to Menlo Park, including reporters from out of state, and Edison took up the challenge to develop an improved machine for the new exhibition business. Edward...
4 July-August 1878: (Docs. 1370-1417)
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Edison spent most of the summer in the western United States after leaving on 13 July with George Barker to join Henry Draper's solar eclipse expedition at Rawlins, Wyoming. 1 Edison had another reason for this trip. As he told a reporter who saw him off at the Pennsylvania Railroad,...
5 September 1878: (Docs. 1418-1463)
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After Edison returned from the West, George Barker arranged a visit to William Wallace's shop in Ansonia, Connecticut, to see his electric light and power experiments. On Sunday, 8 September, they traveled by train to Ansonia, accompanied...
6 October 1878: (Docs.1464-1538 )
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At the beginning of October, negotiations intensified between Grosvenor Lowrey and potential investors in Edison's lighting experiments. They soon reached an agreement and on 16 October the Edison Electric Light Company was incorporated with a capital stock of $300,000. Most of the investors in the...
7 November 1878: (Docs. 1539-1594)
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During November, Edison began to pay increasing attention to the system requirements for electric lighting. To aid in his research, he purchased a large number of books and journals related to the subject, including several on gaslighting.1 These last were useful for the comparisons he was beginning to make...
8 December 1878: (Docs. 1595-1651)
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During December work in the laboratory focused on dynamo design. Edison borrowed a Gramme dynamo from Princeton and a Siemens from William Wallace to study along with the Wallace and Weston dynamos he already had at Menlo Park. Francis Upton, who joined the laboratory staff in...
Appendix 1. Edison's Autobiographical Notes
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Appendix 2. Charles Batchelor's Recollections of Edison
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Appendix 3. "Thomas A. Edison" (Chicago Tribune), by George Bliss
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Appendix 4. Edison's U.S. Patents, 1878
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Page Count: 966
Illustrations: 772 b&w illus.
Publication Year: 1998
Volume Title: The Wizard of Menlo Park, 1878
Series Title: The Papers of Thomas A. Edison
Published in cooperation with Rutgers University's Thomas A. Edison Papers project, the fifteen volumes of The Papers of Thomas A. Edison are intended to allow readers from all walks of life to rediscover Edison, his career, his work habits, his creative strategies, and even the processes of invention and innovation he experienced. The transcriptions, explanatory annotations, chapter headnotes, and detailed indexes are designed as much to satisfy the most demanding scholarly inquiries as to offer new opportunities for lifelong learning. Six of the anticipated fifteen volumes have been published. Volume 7 is scheduled for publication in Fall 2015.