|Wizard of Menlo Park
1870, Edison made his breakthrough, developing an improved
stock ticker. He set up a company in Newark to make the new
ticker. Over the next few years in Newark, he made many improvements
to the telegraph and created an electric pen and a copying
Looking to expand his laboratory, Edison moved to Menlo Park
in 1876. Working with a team of talented assistants, he created
the nation's first industrial research laboratory. Teamwork
was crucial to Edison's success.
Two of Edison's most famous inventions, the phonograph and
the electric light system, were developed at Menlo Park. His
accomplishments earned him the nickname the "Wizard of Menlo
Edison's work to improve the telephone led to the invention
of the phonograph in 1877. The phonograph (similar to a record
player) was the first device that could record and play back
sound. Edison said, "Mary had a little lamb," and the phonograph
played his voice back.
The next year, Edison began working on an electric light system
that could provide light to an entire city. After developing
the first light bulb that lasted long enough to light a home,
he and his team created a system of power plants and wiring
to bring electric current into people's homes.
The first electric light factory opened in Newark in 1881.
By the next year Edison had installed a light system in the
financial district of Lower Manhattan that supported 400 lamps.
By 1883, the system supported more than 10,000 lamps. Edison
remained in the electric lighting business until 1892, when
Edison General Electric merged with the Thomson-Houston Company
to form General Electric.
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