Edison's Sixty Year Inventive Career!
Thomas Edison is unquestionably the greatest inventor who has ever lived and walk on the face of this our planet earth. His extensive collection of papers preserved in the archive at the Edison National Historic Site could be around 5 million pages or more relating to the products of Thomas Edison's sixty year career as an inventor, developer, manufacturer, entrepreneur and judicious businessman. Until now, the sheer size and organised convolution of the stored data have dissuade researchers from delving extensively into its wealth of incredible resources stored on sensitive microfilms along with volumes of books being published!
Those critical historically annotations became readily available for the first time to college students and other institutions! The arrangement of the written material on the microfilm is comparable with organisational structural embodiment of the documentation, is helpful to understand how the accounts of Edison's laboratories and companies were put together over the years during his own lifetime and how the archivists entrusted with their protection have subsequently treated them!
Recordings and Storage Batteries!
On the contrary, not all of Thomas Edison's notebooks are experimental in nature. His earlier notebooks contain accounting records, experimental and financial material unsystematically muddled up together in the same notebook. At his West Orange laboratory, Thomas Edison used some of the standard size books, as well as numerous pocket notebooks, to record ideas about the operations of his factories and businesses. In addition, there are numerous notebooks containing evaluations of phonograph recordings and of storage batteries investigation. Thomas Edison and his associates used ledger volumes, pocket notebooks, and unbound scraps of paper on an irregular basis throughout the inventor's career. In 1877, however, Thomas Edison instituted a more regular practice for note keeping, with sketches and refinements that he constantly repeated throughout his life! At first he used 9" × 11" soft cover tablets, with sheets torn away from the top edge though they were still effective!
Tom Edison's Manuscripts!
Only a few of these notebooks were retained in their original format! The majority were taken apart and, put together with material on other loose pieces of paper, they were organized according to the specific invention to which they related to! In 1878, the number of notes and drawings from Edison work on the electric light had grown so large that he adopted a standard size hardbound notebook that
had to remained intact to be used as his permanent data! Those notebooks that were placed all over within the laboratory, often recorded his work of more than one experiment. The first of these notebooks dates from November of 1878! Thomas Alva Edison and his many associates used notebooks for duplication for making tentative notes at Menlo Park and at the Edison laboratories! The manuscripts at the Thomas Edison's National Historic Site has over 3,000 such notebooks, measuring 6" × 9" and containing between 250 to roughly about 300 pages! Thomas Edison encouraged contemporaries to make notes of every little nitty gritty act that the group had executed in the lab and noted into the notebooks!