Thomas Edison Inventor

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Thomas Alva Edison was the most prolific inventor in American history. As a 19th century pioneer, he introduced America to innovation or invention, research, development and commercialization. His largest contributions to cinema include the phonograph, light bulb, kinetoscope, the first motion picture and the first film production studio. The inventor was born to Sam and Nancy on February 11th, 1847 in Milan, Ohio. As a child, Edison was a poor student and teachers saw little potential in him. “His teacher, Mr. Crawford, called him “addled” and said that he had something wrong with his brain and would never be able to learn” (Trayson). Yet, Edison soon started exceeding expectations. In 1854, he worked at the Grand Trunk Railroad in Port Huron, …show more content…
In 1888, Edison met Eadweard Muybridge at West Orange and saw his zoopraxiscope, a device that displayed motion pictures. The zoopraxiscope was based of a children’s toy and it projected images drawn by artists off a circular glass slide when light shined. Stubbornly independent, Edison declined to work with Muybridge on the device and worked on his own motion picture viewer at his laboratory with his associate William K. L. Dickson. In October 1888 at his laboratory, Edison announced his plan to invent “an instrument which does for the Eye what the phonograph does for the Ear, which is the recording and reproduction of things in motion” and appointed Dickson, who would rarely receive credit for his work, to begin working (####). In his quest to produce a motion picture viewer, Dickson made an experimental film in the Edison laboratory to test the original cylinder format of a camera he would later invent. The film became the first motion picture called Monkeyshines and produced in 1889. The silent film showed a blurry white figure making gestures and was only a few seconds long. Dickson had asked a lab worker to goof off in front of the camera and the result was this, which they called Monkeyshines because it means mischievous behavior. Seeing the potential of Monkeyshines, Dickson kept working and finally invented the first motion picture viewer called the Kinetoscope in 1891. The The Kinetoscope was about four feet tall and featured a series of photographs illuminated by a light source and mounted on a cylinder, not unlike that of the phonograph, that rotated to create the illusion of movement. A film was viewed by one person at a time through a peephole in the top. Soon, the Kinetoscope evolved to using celluloid strip film and kinetoscope parlors opened spread to

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