Thomas Alva Edison (1847 – 1931) who was born in Milan, Ohio was known as the “Wizard of Menlo Park.” He worked at many jobs, including as a telegraph operator, until moving to New York. He improved the telegraph system, set a stock ticker and invented the electric pen, microphone, transistors, phonograph, light bulb. He also developed a system of generators for distributing current for lighting and wiring for the home.
In 1879 he constructed the first electric motor ever made for a 110 to 120 volt line atMenlo Park, N. J. which remains operative. On December 31 using underground mains, he gave the first public demonstration of an electric lighting system in streets and buildings atMenlo Park, N J. In the following years he opened factories for the large-scale distribution of his lighting and electrical products. He developed the foundation principles for the diode, radio, television, and computer transistors. He also invented a wireless system of communication between ships at sea, ships and shore and ships and distant points on land.
In 1891 he invented and patented the motion picture camera which made it possible to take, reproduce, and project motion pictures. A few years later he developed a system for recording voice with his motion picture. He also improved his batteries and phonograph and invented a dictating machine.
Edison obtained 1,093 patents. His famous quote embodies the American work ethic: “Genius is one percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration.” Tomorrow, The Auto Men. Rita Bay
Galileo Galilei (1564 – 1642) was another Renaissance man. He was Italian, a Catholic, and often at odds with the Catholic Church. He was a physicist, mathematician, astronomer, and philosopher—a major leader in the Scientific Revolution. He fostered the “Heliocentric Model of the Solar System in which the sun was the center of solar system rather than the earth. He was accused of heresy and narrowly escaped burning at the stake but was forced to recant.
In 1597 Galileo invented the geometric compass which he used for his celestial observations and the microscope. In 1609 he improved ten fold on the telescope that had been invented the year before . He also invented a thermometer which used the expansion and compression of air to lift and lower water in a tube. Between 1595 and 1598, Galileo devised and improved a Geometric and Military Compass for use by gunners and surveyors. (See pendulum, telescope and clock)
Tomorrow, Two Medical Giants Rita Bay
Leonardo da Vinci (1452 –1519) was a Renaissance man. One of the greatest painters and sculptors of all time, he was also was a scientist, mathematician, engineer, and inventor. Many of his inventions were creations on paper that were not built for four hundred years. He invented a mechanical calculator, scuba equipment, and improved on several weapons. He illustrated designs for a glider-style flying machine, a helicopter, bike, a military tank, concentrated solar power, the double hull ship and developed theoretical work plate tectonics and evolution.
Tomorrow, another Renaissance man. Rita Bay