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AN AMERICAN FOLK HERO
Back in the 19th century, even though America
was still in its infant stages, we were regarded as
the most inventive nation in the world. Samuel
Morse had invented the telegraph, Alexander
Graham Bell the telephone, Cyrus McCormick the
reaper, Elias Howe the sewing machine, Charles
Goodyear vulcanized rubber, George Eastman
photographic roll film . . . even Abraham Lincoln
had patented an invention of a novel riverboat.
But all through this revolutionary period of technical progress, the accomplishments of Thomas Alva Edison placed him head and shoulders above all other inventors.
Edison was a driving, self-taught American who used his intellect and burning curiosity to become perhaps the most productive inventor known to history. To the people of his time, he grew to be one of their greatest folk heroes. He was the man who was forever “making things.”
Along with hundreds of other contributions, Edison gave us the phonograph, motion picture camera, nickel-iron battery, electric railroad, mul- tiplex telegraph, carbon microphone, and, of course, the electric light. Truly he belongs among the great builders of our country, now celebrating the 200th anniversary of its existence.
As a Bicentennial tribute to the master inventor, the Thomas Alva Edison Foundation is publishing this newest experiment booklet. It contains selected, revised experiments from Foundation booklets now out of print. Most of the experiments and projects relate directly to Edison’s more famous inventions. The others deal with some of the scientific principles he used in achieving the 1093 inventions he gave us.