Thomas Edison

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Inventor Called 'Bill Gates of Home Repair' Dies at 96

German creator Artur Fischer had more patents than Thomas Edison

(Newser) - Think "inventor," and Thomas Edison's name will likely come to mind. But German creator Artur Fischer had a handful more patents to his name (over 1,100) than the famous US inventor (1,093), earning him a lifetime achievement award from the European Patent Office. That prolific... More »

Thomas Edison's Creepy Dolls Can Finally Talk Again

New technology re-creates voices from wax cylinders

(Newser) - We can thank Thomas Edison for plenty of things, but the world had little use for one of his inventions. Edison's talking dolls were among the first of their kind, NPR reports. But even in the 1890s, they scared kids—and were expensive—and only about 500 of them... More »

Here Are the 10 Most Popular Americans

Johnny Depp manages to make the list

(Newser) - MIT researchers recently released Pantheon , which analyzes data (including Wikipedia page views, among other things) in order to determine the "global popularity of historical characters." From that, the San Francisco Chronicle compiled the study's top 25 Americans. Here are the top 10, though Pantheon warns that data... More »

World's Oldest Recording Goes Digital

The century-old soundbite was made on an early Edison prototype

(Newser) - It's not exactly a masterpiece, but a 78-second soundbite that's now been captured by computers (and YouTube) is perhaps the oldest known playable recording of a piece of music, and one of the first American voices to ever be replayed, dating all the way back to 1878, reports... More »

How Edison Differed From Steve Jobs

He was a larger-than-life 'wizard,' while Jobs was more human: Randall Stross

(Newser) - The death of Steve Jobs brought no end of Thomas Edison comparisons, but given that Randall Stross has written books on both men, he's probably in a better position than most to weigh in. The two inventors had much in common—less formal schooling than their peers, incredible vision,... More »

Steve Jobs: A Legacy Like No Other

His heirs may struggle as technology moves forward

(Newser) - Steve Jobs wasn't the Thomas Edison or Henry Ford of his time, but some future American business visionary may be known as the Steve Jobs of his time, writes Michael Hiltzik. Jobs—a "master of bare-knuckled business strategies from the old school"—wasn't known as an... More »

Top American Inventions

(Newser) - President Obama has called on Americans to innovate their way to a speedy economic recovery. In that spirit, Live Science rounds up the top 10 US innovations:
  1. Flight. The Wright Brothers’ 12-second flight in 1903 ushered the world into the age of aviation.
  2. Atomic bomb. The Manhattan project left a
... More »

Strange Movie Facts, Take 1

Discover lists 20 little-known cinematic tidbits

(Newser) - Did you know film’s been around since 1887? Or that an IMAX projector is so bright, if aimed upward it could be seen from space? Discover lists 20 little-known movie facts:
  • Thomas Edison’s firm made the first motion-picture camera in 1891—but didn’t invent a projector.
  • The
... More »

Brits Hunt for Oldest Bulb

(Newser) - The UK’s Royal Society of Chemistry has offered a $700 prize for the lucky Briton who turns up with the oldest working light bulb in the nation, the Telegraph reports. The society hopes the search will produce a bulb even older than the current world record holder—a lamp... More »

EU May Turn Off Edison's Bulbs

Switch to low-energy bulbs could save $12b a year

(Newser) - The European Union may ban incandescent light bulbs, replacing them with low-energy lighting that would slash 13.2 million tons of carbon emissions and create energy savings equal to taking 11 million European households off the grid, reports the BBC. A new report urges the European parliament to follow the... More »

Earliest Recording of Sound Finally Played Back

1860 snippet, made before playback even imagined, 17 years ahead of Edison patent

(Newser) - Thomas Edison and associates might've been first to hear recorded sound, but scientists have revealed they weren’t the first to create it, the New York Times reports. A 10-second recording of “Au Clair de la Lune” made in 1860—17 years before Edison patented the phonograph—has finally... More »

HS Kids Take Color-Blind View of History

Women, blacks dominate students' list of famous Americans

(Newser) - Martin Luther King Jr. is the most famous American in history, according to 2,000 high school students asked to name the top 10, reports USA Today. In a dramatic break from the "dead white male" paradigm, African Americans, women, and Arfican-American women dominated the list, with Rosa Parks... More »

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