Author Archives: Edison Innovation Foundation

Edison’s Desk: How did Thomas Edison Stay Organized?

An ongoing series about Thomas A. Edison’s desk, a popular and sought-out artifact at Edison’s historical laboratories where he ran his businesses and invented from for 20+ years, today known as the Thomas Edison National Historical Park. The desk was frozen in time the day that Edison died, left untouched as a symbol of historic and scientific innovation for hundreds of years to come. As one of the most awe-inspiring stops of the lab’s tour, it leaves visitors with many questions about Edison’s work and life which we will answer in this series.

If you have seen pictures of Thomas Edison’s roll-top desk or better yet, stood close by it, you cannot help but be awed by what the great inventor accomplished from there..including one of his most helpful talents – Organization!

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Edison’s Desk: What did Thomas Edison do at work?

An ongoing series about Thomas A. Edison’s desk, a popular and sought-out artifact at Edison’s historical laboratories where he ran his businesses and invented from for 20+ years, today known as the Thomas Edison National Historical Park. The desk was frozen in time the day that Edison died, left untouched as a symbol of historic and scientific innovation for hundreds of years to come. As one of the most awe-inspiring stops of the lab’s tour, it leaves visitors with many questions about Edison’s work and life which we will answer in this series.

Thomas Edison’s many titles from inventor to chemist to businessman are inspiring but also beg the question – What did he actually do at work? How did he get it all done in 24 hours of a day? Well, he seldom worked alone…almost always in teams and partnerships. He spent lots of time in leadership and management, as much as actually inventing. With Edison the lone-wolf inventor starts disappearing in industry.

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Thomas Edison in The Big Apple

Thomas Edison lived in New York City for 3 exciting years at the beginning of his career. He moved to the Big Apple in 1869; Broke, bright-eyed, and bushy-tailed. He had already worked in a number of U.S. cities as a telegrapher, but he came to the city with hopes of shifting his career path towards “inventor.”

Fresh from his first patent (an electric vote recorder) and first commercial failure (the Senate rejected the idea of speeding the voting process up), he was on a mission to “only invent things that he was certain the public would want.”

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