Edison as the Wizard of Menlo Park
This iconic illustration, from the front page of the 9 July 1879 New York Daily Graphic, captures a popular image of Edison. At the time, he was searching for platinum to use as a "burner" in his incandescent lamp. His robe is covered with drawings of his inventions; the device on his hat is a galvanometer. The paper at his feet is a copy of the circular he sent to every major mining area in the country, asking the recipient "if the metal platinum occurs in your neighborhood."