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The New Technical World: Part 1



Edison worked with this small group to improve the phonograph in 1888

 
The spirit of Menlo Park was sometimes recaptured at the West Orange laboratory, as when Edison worked with this small group to improve the phonograph in 1888.
 


   

Edison did not retrain himself for new technologies. He avoided almost entirely the area of electronics. He ignored a new discovery - radio waves. He did not investigate alternating-current systems.

In his new laboratory he pushed forward in familiar areas or explored new subjects that did not require radically new techniques. He improved the phonograph, invented a way of producing motion pictures, devised a method of separating iron ore magnetically, built concrete homes, tried to develop a storage battery for automobiles, and searched for a source of rubber. Some of his ventures were successful; others, like iron-ore separation, were spectacular failures.

Edison's attempts to increase his productivity tenfold were probably doomed as long as he considered his new laboratory as a larger version of the old one. His first laboratory had been basically an extension of himself; other people were there to help facilitate his ideas. West Orange was too big for that. Structuring and managing a laboratory so scores of inventors could create and contribute to many new inventions was not his style.

 

 

 


Manufacture of phonographs and records - one of Edison's 
most profitable ventures

 
Manufacturing phonographs and phonograph records was one of Edison's most profitable ventures, about 1920.
 




Assembly line for talking dolls, about 1890

 
Assembly line for talking dolls, about 1890
 




Phonograph manufacturing, 1915

 
Phonograph manufacturing, 1915
 


Edison with a kinetoscope, 1912

 
Edison with a kinetoscope, 1912
 

"Black Maria" motion picture studio, 1893 or 94

 
"Black Maria" motion picture studio, 1893 or 1894
 


Edison in his office, 1911

 
Edison in his office, 1911
 


Waiting for the next invention, about 1915

 
Waiting for the next invention, about 1915
 

Previous Gallery   New World: part 2

 

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Electricity Collections

 

The Challenge of Success
Before Forty
Changes At Forty
Home Life
The New Technical World
Fame And Its Distractions
Edison In His Eighties