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Bedtime Biography: Edison

A look into the unknown stories of Thomas Edison's life

By Edmund Morris
  • Read in 9 minutes
  • Audio & text available
  • Contains 6 key ideas
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Bedtime Biography: Edison by Edmund Morris

Narrated by Oliver Mains

Edison (2019), tells the story of Thomas Alva Edison, the most famous inventor of all time. Edison is seen by many as an almost mythical figure; an untouchable genius of invention rather than a fallible human being. In Edison, we learn about the real Thomas Edison, the flawed family man, the clever business leader, the creative whirlwind.

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When Thomas Edison was born in 1847, the world was a different place. There was no electric light. No recorded music. No moving pictures. No high-speed vehicles. Life was dictated by the rhythms of the natural world: get up at sunrise, go to bed at sunset. Walk to school, ride a carriage to work.

By the time Edison died in 1931, everything had changed. Buildings shone brilliantly throughout the night, illuminated by dazzling incandescent lightbulbs. People danced to jazz and big-band music, recorded forever on vinyl discs and played loudly from whirling phonograph machines. Viewers around the globe flocked to “movie palaces,” staring up in awe at the silver screen. The world had been electrified, all thanks to inventions by Thomas Edison.

Who was this relentlessly creative man, an inventor so prolific he averaged one patent every ten days of his adult life? What drove Edison to create the lightbulb, the phonograph, the power grid, the motion picture camera, the X-ray? How did Edison do it? How did he keep churning out invention after invention?

Few people have changed history quite like Thomas Alva Edison. So sit back, dim the lightbulbs, and enjoy the story of Edison, inventor of the modern world.

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