Edison in World War I

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Edison kept busy during World War I. He became a vocal proponent of military preparedness, faced the challenges of rebuilding his West Orange factory after a disastrous fire, chaired the Naval Consulting Board and conducted research aimed at helping the U.S. Navy respond to submarine warfare.

  • Naval Consulting Board

    The outbreak of war in Europe in August 1914 had a profound effect not only on Thomas Edison, but also on his businesses and his family. On May 7, 1915, a German U-boat torpedoed and sank the Cunard passenger liner RMS Lusitania off the coast of Ireland. In total, almost 1,200 passengers and crew,...
  • Edison and Pre-World War 1 Chemical Plants

    In addition to serving as chairman (and later president) of the Naval Consulting Board, Edison contributed in other ways to the war effort. To overcome the shortages of chemicals previously obtained from Germany and England, Edison quickly built new manufacturing plants and became a major chemical...
  • Edison and World War I Experiments

    Edison and World War I Experiments In January 1917, a few months before the United States formally entered the war, Edison and his assistants began conducting experiments for the Navy, as well as other military research, at a specially equipped new laboratory at the top of Eagle Rock Mountain in...
  • The Edison Family and WWI

    The Edison Family and WWI The war also had a profound effect on Edison's family. His eldest daughter Marion had been living in Germany since the 1890s with her husband Oscar Oeser, an officer of the Imperial German Army. After the United States declared war on Germany, she found herself trapped...
  • Thomas Edison and World War I: Collections in the Thomas A. Edison Papers

    THOMAS EDISON AND WORLD WAR I: COLLECTIONS IN THE THOMAS A. EDISON PAPERS WARTIME RESEARCH - DIGITAL FAMILY CORRESPONDENCE -DIGITAL WARTIME RESEARCH - MICROFILM CHEMICAL PLANTS - MICROFILM FAMILY CORRESPONDENCE - MICROFILM The following is an annotated list of collections in the Thomas Edison...
  • Wartime Research

    Library of Congress: Josephus Daniels Papers (Thomas A. Edison Correspondence)The following is an annotated list of collections in the Thomas Edison Papers image edition that contain documents relating to World War I. The links for each collection lead to editorial introductions ("targets") that...