Thomas Edison – Leading Light of 20th Century

Day 280 of Colourisation Project – February 11

Challenge: to publish daily a colourised photo that has some significance around the day of publication.

Born this day, February 11, in 1847, American inventor Thomas Edison was responsible for giving ‘after sunset’ new meaning. Before electric light came along, human activity was largely limited by the rising and the setting of the sun.

Thomas Edison

Photographer: Louis Bachrach – Thomas Edison c 1932 – Coloured by Loredana Crupi

It has been often said of Edison, that he “single-handedly invented the 20th century.” He developed many devices that greatly impacted on society and profoundly influenced the way we use our time. The phonograph, the motion picture camera, and the electric light bulb or as he called it, the ‘Incandescing Electric Lamp’, were just three of his 1,093 inventions which helped set the stage for a new era of electricity.

A prolific inventor, Edison also held many patents in the United Kingdom, France, and Germany. His legacy lies in the critical role he played in shaping the modern world and developing major new industries, such as tele-communications, motion pictures and musical entertainment.

Edison was a workaholic and reportedly slept just three to four hours at night. He regarded “sleep as a waste of time, a heritage from our cave days.” However, he was also famous for sneaking in several power-naps a day. He had napping cots in his labs and in his library, and he would think nothing of taking a midday nap under a tree.

When Edison died of complications of diabetes on October 18, 1931, at his home in New Jersey, at the age of 84, electric lights were dimmed for one minute throughout the United States to commemorate his passing.

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“Nonviolence leads to the highest ethics, which is the goal of all evolution. Until we stop harming all other living beings, we are still savages.”     –   Thomas Edison

 

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