|Speaks about the immorality of the soul in a controversial interview in The Columbian Magazine.
|The National Phonograph Co. is reorganized and incorporated as Thomas A. Edison, Inc.
|Executes a patent application, which he ultimately abandons, for concrete furniture.
|Tours Europe with his wife, Mina, and their children, Charles, Madeleine, and Theodore.
|Makes Miller Reese Hutchison his personal representative at the West Orange laboratory.
|Executes a successful patent application for a small-capacity storage battery suitable for portable lamps; the battery will subsequently be used in his miner's safety lamp.
|Executes a successful patent application for an automobile starter motor and battery.
|Appoints Miller Reese Hutchison chief engineer of the West Orange laboratory, replacing Donald Bliss.
|The U.S. Department of Justice initiates an anti-trust suit against the Motion Picture Patents Co.
|c. Sep 11
|Along with six employees, begins an intensive campaign to perfect the process for the mass production of disc records; the group works night and day for five weeks and becomes known as the "Insomnia Squad."
|Announces his support for Progressive party candidate Theodore Roosevelt in the upcoming presidential election and comes out in favor of women's suffrage.
|Begins shipment of Blue Amberol cylinder machines and records to phonograph dealers.
|The disc phonograph is exhibited at the Boston Electric Show; by the end of the year, it is being marketed throughout the United States.
|Frank Dyer resigns as president of Thomas A. Edison, Inc.; Edison subsequently assumes the presidency of his company and remains in that position until 1926.
|Signs an agreement with Henry Ford for a loan of $500,000 to construct a new factory to manufacture storage batteries for Ford automobiles; over the next two and one half years, Ford lends Edison $1,200,000.
|Begins marketing the home projecting kinetoscope.
|Is awarded the Rathenau Medal by the American Museum of Safety for the development of a non-sparking, battery-powered safety lamp for use in mines and other enclosed spaces.
|Introduces talking pictures to American theatergoers by attending a performance of his Kinetophone (a phonograph connected by pulleys to a film projector) at the Colonial Theater in New York City. For the next several months, talking movies play in cities across North America. They are later introduced to South America, Europe, and Asia. Although initially enthusiastic, audiences soon lose interest because of problems in synchronization and sound quality.
|Is named "most useful" man in America by a survey of readers of Independent magazine.
|Feb 23-Apr 17
|Vacations in Fort Myers, Florida, with the Ford family and John Burroughs; explores the Everglades and later remembers this excursion as his first camping trip with Ford and Burroughs.
|Inspired by Henry Ford's anti-cigarette campaign, bans cigarettes from all his plants, although he continues to smoke cigars and chew tobacco; subsequently engages in a newspaper debate with Percival S. Hill of the American Tobacco Co. regarding the merits of cigarette smoking.
|Five weeks after the outbreak of war in Europe, announces the erection of a plant for the manufacture of phenol and other chemicals now in short supply. Known as Phenol Plant No. 1, it is the first of five chemical plants constructed at Silver Lake, N.J., during the war and the only one owned by Thomas A. Edison, Inc.
|Announces the commercial introduction of the telescribe -- a combination telephone and phonograph that permits the recording of both sides of a telephone conversation.
|An explosion in the Film Inspection Building triggers a conflagration that destroys or damages more than half of the buildings in the West Orange laboratory complex.
|Announces his new divisional policy for Thomas A. Edison, Inc. Three days later, Steven B. Mambert is named efficiency engineer in charge of implementing the policy.
|Is invited by U.S. Secretary of Navy Josephus Daniels to head the Naval Consulting Board; meets with Daniels later in the month and accepts the offer.
|Begins a series of nationwide "tone tests," during which recording artists alternate their live performance on a darkened stage with Edison Diamond Disc recordings and challenge audiences to detect the difference.
|Along with Mina Miller Edison, departs by train for California to attend events in his honor at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco. Meets Luther Burbank for the first time and visits the exhibits with Henry Ford. Visits Los Angeles and San Diego before departing for the East Coast on November 1.
|Learns of an explosion aboard the U.S. Navy's E-2 submarine in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. The accident, which kills five men and injures ten others, is attributed to the hydrogen gas emitted by the Edison batteries installed a few weeks earlier.
|Stephen B. Mambert is elected vice president and financial executive by the Board of Directors of Thomas Edison, Inc. one day after the resignations of secretary-treasurer Ernest Berggren and assistant general manager Harry T. Leeming are announced to the press.
|Testifies before the Naval Affairs Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives in favor of an appropriation of $1.5 million for a naval research laboratory.
|Comes out in support of Theodore Roosevelt for president; subsequently endorses Woodrow Wilson after Roosevelt fails to win the Republican nomination.
|Charles Edison is elected chairman of the Board of Directors of Thomas A. Edison, Inc.; he is subsequently also elected chairman of the Edison Storage Battery Co.
|Leaves West Orange for a camping trip in the Adirondack and Berkshire mountains with Harvey Firestone and John Burroughs. They are joined by Henry Ford in Plattsburgh, N.Y., on September 6.
|Presents a minority report in favor of Sandy Hook, New Jersey as the site of the naval research laboratory after the Naval Consulting Board Committee on Sites reports in favor of Annapolis.
|Two months before the entry of the United States into World War I, begins devoting nearly all of his time to experiments for the U.S. government in a laboratory established in a large casino on Eagle Rock Mountain in West Orange. Over the next two years, devises more than forty inventions, including methods for detecting submarines, torpedoes, and airplanes; blinding submarines and periscopes; and camouflaging ships.
|U.S. Supreme Court decides against Edison in Motion Picture Patents Company v. Universal Film Manufacturing Company, making the Motion Picture Patents Company's licensing agreements illegal.
|Aug 21-Oct 6
|Spends six weeks on Long Island Sound conducting experiments aboard the USS Sachem.
|Departs for Washington, D.C.; sets up an office in the Navy Annex in a room once occupied by Admiral George Dewey, where he remains until the end of January. Research operations on Long Island Sound continue until early December.
|Leaves Washington with Mina Miller Edison for Key West, where they stay at the U.S. Naval Station in a house provided by Commandant Frederick A. Traut. Conducts research there until the end of April.
|Ends his involvement in the motion picture business by selling his studio in the Bronx to the Lincoln & Parker Film Co. Subsequently re-acquires his motion picture assets after Lincoln & Parker declare bankruptcy and sells them to producer Robert L. Giffen in October 1919.
|Miller Reese Hutchison resigns as chief engineer of the West Orange laboratory and is succeeded by John P. Constable, a friend and former MIT classmate of Charles Edison.
|Begins a two-week camping trip in the Shenandoah Valley and Great Smoky Mountains with John Burroughs, Harvey Firestone, and Henry Ford.
|Charles Edison becomes vice president and general manager of Thomas A. Edison, Inc. following the resignation of Carl H. Wilson.
|Comes out in support of President Woodrow Wilson's plan for a League of Nations.
|Leaves West Orange for a camping trip in the Green Mountains of Vermont and the White Mountains of New Hampshire with John Burroughs, Henry Ford, and Harvey Firestone; is back in West Orange by the end of the month.
|Begins a campaign to produce a starter battery for Ford automobiles.
|Sends the Department of the Navy his "final bill" for the cost of experimental work, thus ending his involvement in military research.
|In the wake of the postwar economic downturn, initiates an "economy campaign" that leads to the dismissal or resignation of several top managers and a drastic reduction in the manufacturing labor force.