Part I: 1850-1878

Photo: Menlo Park Staff on Steps.Part I Series Notes and Images

This part of the Edison Papers provides the documentary foundation for any study of Edison's life and times. Through his notebooks, letters, and other documents, researchers can follow Edison from his roots in the Midwest to his inventive work on telegraphy in Boston in 1868; from Boston to New York in 1869, where he made his first contacts with the world of high finance; to Newark in 1870, where he established workshop–laboratories; and to Menlo Park in 1876, where during the next several years he developed many of his most important inventions.

Part I covers Edison's major inventions in the field of telegraphy, his early chemical experiments, his development of the electric pen, his observation of "etheric force," his invention of the carbon-button transmitter (still one of the basic mechanisms of the telephone), his invention of the phonograph, and his initial work on the incandescent lamp.

Part I || Part II || Part III || Part IV || Part V || Part VI || Edison-Miller Family || Outside Repositories