A Brief, Animated Introduction to Thomas Edison (and Nikola Tesla)

Last year, Jere­mi­ah War­ren cel­e­brat­ed the 154th birth­day of Niko­la Tes­la by cre­at­ing (in less than 36 hours) a short, ani­mat­ed intro­duc­tion to Tes­la’s work, which con­tributed to the birth of com­mer­cial elec­tric­i­ty. Now War­ren turns to Thomas Edi­son, the great inven­tor, who gave us the phono­graph, the motion pic­ture cam­era, the long-last­ing elec­tric light bulb, among oth­er inven­tions. Hold­ing 1,093 US patents in his name, Edi­son is appar­ent­ly the fourth most pro­lif­ic inven­tor in his­to­ry. And, it’s worth not­ing, he once employed Tes­la before lat­er becom­ing his rival.

In times past, we have high­light­ed Edis­on’s tech­nol­o­gy in action. Don’t miss Mark Twain Cap­tured on Film by Thomas Edi­son (1909), Edi­son him­self recit­ing “Mary Had a Lit­tle Lamb” in an Ear­ly Voice Record­ing, Bike Tricks Caught on Film Cour­tesy of Mr. Edi­son, and The World’s First (and Slight­ly Scan­dalous) Hand-Tint­ed Motion Pic­ture, anoth­er Edi­son cre­ation.

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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.