After Thomas Edison was fired from several jobs as a telegraph operator, he went to Boston to be an inventor. One of his first projects led him to NY where he was able to make many successful inventions. Thomas invented a device that could calculate the price of gold or silver. Thomas called this the gold ticker. Edison’s next project was setting up the factories to make stock tickers for the Western Union Company.
At Western Union he met John Ott, Charles Batchelor, John Kruesi, and Sigmung Bermann, all of whom were famous inventors of Edison’s era. Throughout all the years he was an inventor, he never kept track of finances or income. He owed money and the sheriff threatened to close his factories unless he paid the bills. To earn money Edison made new inventions and sold them to pay his bills.
He created a signal box which was used as an alarm or message to get help in case of a fire, burglary, sudden illness or any other emergency. He invented an electric pen which worked for small battery operated motor and a device for making copies of letters that he called the Mimeograph. He created a quadruplex telegraph that could send 2 messages in one direction and 2 in another direction.
As a result of these successful inventions, Edison was able to save some money and build his own factory. He set up research and an inventing center in Menlo Park, NJ. There he started inventing a speaking telegraph but Alexander Graham Bell beat him to it. Edison analyzed Bell’s new invention called the telephone, and saw that it did not have a good transmitter so he invented a transmitter that enabled voices to be heard at long distances.
One of the trips that Edison took was to a light factory in Ansonio, Conecticut owned by William Wallace and Mosses Farmer. From that visit to the factory he got an idea that started working to make electric lighting. He did this by burning a strip of tough carbonized cardboard. The bulbs burned up to 170 hours. On November 1, 1879 he filed a patent for his invention and the first light bulbs went into production. That year he lighted up Menlo Park with about 40 light bulbs.
This led Edison to make outdoor lamps. The power lines were run underground and he set them up all over Menlo Park. Edison started his first lamp company and called it the Edison Lamp Company. In September 1882 he lit up Wall Street. Many people doubted him but he proved them wrong. Edison made all the inventions he had ever dreamed of and decided to spend more time with his family.