Did you know that Thomas Edison obtained 2,332 patents worldwide for his inventions? 1,093 of Edison’s patents were in the United States, but other patents were approved in other countries. I think Thomas Edison, the Wright Brothers, and Alexander Graham Bell are the most important Americans inventors.
Thomas Edison is probably the most famous inventor. When he was a young man, he was a telegraph operator and he experimented in his extra time. He started by improving other inventions, like the telephone and the typewriter. However, Edison soon started inventing on his own. Edison came up with the first research laboratory, where inventors, workers, and engineers could work together. His most famous laboratory, which he named Menlo Park, is called “The Invention Factory”. Edison wanted to build a ‘talking machine’. Since his idea was seemingly impossible, the others inventors laughed, but soon Edison’s phonograph was repeating, “Mary had a little lamb”. Trying to build a practical lightbulb, He tested thousands of materials before he invented a long-lasting lightbulb. Edison also invented the video camera and the electricity generator. Some of Edison’s sayings state:
“Our greatest weakness is giving up. The best way to succeed is to try one more time.”
“I have not failed. I have just found 10,000 ways that do not work.”
“Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.” Because of all this, Great Inventor Thomas Edison is called ‘The Wizard of Menlo Park’.
Alexander Graham Bell was born in Edinburgh, Scotland on March 3, 1841, but moved to America as a young man. When he was 12 years old, he realized that the grain mill in his town was slow, so he made a faster one. When he was an adult, he taught deaf people and met Hellen Keller. However, most people think of Bell as the inventor of the telephone. In 1876, Bell wanted to improve the telegraph so that all messages were on one line. He got distracted, so his funders hired Thomas Watson to keep Bell focused. However, Watson was just as intrigued in the idea of a phone as Bell was! Watson and Bell to the phone to exhibitions, and at one, the Emperor of Brazil shouted, “My God, it talks!’ In ten years, more than 150 Americans had a phone, and in 1915, the first long-distance call was made, which was from New York to California. Alexander Graham Bell predicted a ‘see-phone’, where you could see who you were talking to. When he died on August 2, 1992, the phone system was shut down for one minute in his honor. Great Inventor Alexander Graham Bell’s phone has been improved a lot since he invented it, but it still has the same purpose.
Orville and Wilbur Wright were extensively renowned for building and flying the first motorized airplane. As teenagers, they built bicycles, but experimented with gliders. In 1900 and 1901 they traveled by train to Kitty Hawk, North Carolina to test their new glider, which failed. 1902 took them back home so they could build a wind tunnel and experiment with different wing shapes. When they had what they thought was the best shapes, they returned to Kitty Hawk to see if the glider now worked. It did! Now they were ready to add power. After they built a motor, they returned yet again to Kitty Hawk to test. Only four men and one boy witnessed their historic flights on December 17, 1903 because no one else believed that they could fly. Orville made the first flight of 120 ft and Wilbur made the longest of 852 ft. Even after a horrible crash and Orville almost died, they did not stop. Great Inventors Orville and Wilber Wright are remembered for their work in making flight possible.
Great Inventor Thomas Edison invented the first practical lightbulb. Great Inventor Alexander Graham Bell created the telephone. Great Inventors Orville and Wilbur Wright flew the first airplane. All of these people were successful, but I think Edison was the most important because he paved the way for all the others.
Verstegen, Lori. “A Man of Honor” U. S. History-Based Writing Lessons. Locust Grove: Institute for Excellence in Writing, 2016. Print. 140
Verstegen, Lori. “An Amazing Inventor” U. S. History-Based Writing Lessons. Locust Grove: Institute for Excellence in Writing, 2016. Print. 135.
Verstegen, Lori. “Great Americans” U. S. History-Based Writing Lessons. Locust Grove: Institute for Excellence in Writing, 2016. Print. 147.
Verstegen, Lori. “Thank You, Alexander Graham Bell” U. S. History-Based Writing Lessons. Locust Grove: Institute for Excellence in Writing, 2016. Print. 141.
Verstegen, Lori. “The Age of Flight Begins” U. S. History-Based Writing Lessons. Locust Grove: Institute for Excellence in Writing, 2016. Print. 146.
Verstegen, Lori. “The Wizard of Menlo Park” U. S. History-Based Writing Lessons. Locust Grove: Institute for Excellence in Writing, 2016. Print. 134.