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The Papers of Thomas A. Edison

The Papers of Thomas A. Edison, v.3
, 776 pages
January 2014


The Papers of Thomas A. Edison

Menlo Park: The Early Years, April 1876-December 1877

Volume 3

The third volume of this widely acclaimed series reveals the breath-taking intensity, intellectual acumen, and vast self-confidence of twenty-nine-year-old Thomas Edison. In the depths of the 1870s depression, he moved his independent research and development laboratory from industrial Newark to pastoral Menlo Park, some fifteen miles to the south on the main line of the railroad from New York to Philadelphia. There, equipped with resources for experimental development that were extraordinary for their time, Edison and a few close associates began twenty months of research that expanded their well-established accomplishments in telegraphy into pioneering work on the telephone. Edison's ideas and techniques from telegraph message recording and the telephone next led to his invention of the phonograph, the first patent for which was filed in December 1877. This invention ultimately gave Edison a world-wide reputation—and the nickname "the wizard of Menlo Park."

Robert A. Rosenberg, Paul B. Israel, Keith A. Nier, and Martha J. King are volume editors for Volume 3 at the Thomas A. Edison Papers at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.

"We have come to expect that the editors will provide helpful explanations and useful connections where needed. In the end, they, and Edison, do not disappoint."

"The essence of the volume is Edison's technical notebooks, a window onto the inventor's workshop. His lucidity comes through everywhere... His writing and drawing come together as a single, vigorous thought process."

"A mine of material... Scrupulously edited... No one could ask for more... A choplicking feast for Edison biographers—well into the next century, and perhaps beyond."

"A triumph of the bookmaker's art, with splendidly arranged illustrations, essential background information, and cautionary reminders of the common sources on which Edison's imagination drew."

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