Thomas Edison
Thomas Alva Edison was an American inventor and businessman. He developed many devices that greatly influenced life around the world, including the phonograph
The phonograph record player, or gramophone is a device introduced in 1877 that has had continued common use for reproducing sound recordings, although when first developed, the phonograph was used to both record and reproduce sounds...

, the motion picture camera
Movie camera
The movie camera is a type of photographic camera which takes a rapid sequence of photographs on strips of film which was very popular for private use in the last century until its successor, the video camera, replaced it...

, and a long-lasting, practical electric light bulb. In addition, he created the world’s first industrial research laboratory. Dubbed "The Wizard of Menlo Park" (now Edison, New Jersey
Edison, New Jersey
Edison Township is a township in Middlesex County, New Jersey. What is now Edison Township was originally incorporated as Raritan Township by an Act of the New Jersey Legislature on March 17, 1870, from portions of both Piscataway Township and Woodbridge Township...

) by a newspaper reporter, he was one of the first inventors to apply the principles of mass production
Mass production
Mass production is the production of large amounts of standardized products, including and especially on assembly lines...

 and large teamwork to the process of invention, and therefore is often credited with the creation of the first industrial research laboratory.

Edison is the fourth most prolific inventor in history, holding 1,093 US patents in his name, as well as many patents in the United Kingdom, France, and Germany.

1869    Thomas Edison receives a patent for his electric voting machine.

1876    Thomas Edison receives a patent for his mimeograph.

1877    Thomas Edison announces his invention of the phonograph, a machine that can record and play sound.

1877    Thomas Edison demonstrates his phonograph for the first time.

1877    Thomas Edison, first human voice recorded, {Mary had a little lamb.}

1878    Thomas Edison patents the phonograph.

1879    Using a filament of carbonized thread, Thomas Edison tests the first practical electric incandescent light bulb (it lasted 13½ hours before burning out).

1879    Thomas Edison demonstrates incandescent lighting to the public for the first time.

1880    Thomas Edison observes the Edison effect.

1880    In Menlo Park, New Jersey, Thomas Edison performs the first test of his electric railway.