Thomas Edison Patents

In his lifetime, Thomas Edison was awarded 1,093 U.S. patents across a wide variety of technologies. Including his foreign patents filed in other countries, his total is 2,332. His record wasn’t surpassed until 2003 by a Japanese inventor, 72 years after Edison’s final patent application. 

 

Some of Edison's most famous patents are the light bulb, phonograph, motion picture camera, and storage battery. However, what makes Edison such an important figure in the world of invention isn't the success of few patents, but instead is the depth and breadth of his work. His patents can be grouped into roughly eight categories:

•  Electric light & power: 425
•  Phonographs and recorded sound: 200
•  Telegraphy and telephony: 185
•  Batteries: 145
•  Mining and iron ore milling: 50
•  Cement: 40
•  Motion pictures: 10

•  Miscellaneous: 50

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1093

PATENTS

Edison appears to have had two great periods where his patent applications soared, 1872-1890 and 1897-1912; but throughout his career there was a steady flow of ideas and concepts for new products. He also meticulously recorded his work in 4,000 notebooks to protect his intellectual property, influencing generations of inventors and entrepreneurs who would follow in his footsteps.

The Emergence of Research & Design

 

Thomas Edison's legendary labs in West Orange, New Jersey are the culmination of the inventive work started in his earlier labs in Newark, New Jersey and Menlo Park, New Jersey. At West Orange, Edison combined invention and entrepreneurial activities, demonstrating how invention had grown from its cottage industry roots to a full-scale commercial enterprise, destined to be an essential part of modern business. Here, he perfected the embodiment of the Research & Design labs in support of new product development.

 

From his office/library at West Orange, the great inventor managed thirty companies under the umbrella of Thomas A. Edison Industries, Inc., employing over 10,000 workers in the design, prototyping and commercialization of many new patents and products to be sold around the world.

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Thomas Edison's Top 100 Patents:

  1. Patent #90,646 – June 1, 1869 – Improvement in Electrographic Vote-Recorder

  2. Patent #91,527 – June 22,1869 – Improvement in Printing-Telegraphs

  3. Patent #96,681 – November 9, 1869 – Automatic Electrical Switch for Telegraph Apparatus

  4. Patent #111,112 – January 24, 1871 – Improvement in Governors for Electro-Motors

  5. Patent #114,656 – May 9,1871 – Improvement in Telegraphic Transmitting Instruments

  6. Patent #114,657 – May 9,1871 – Improvement in Relay-Magnets for Telegraph Instruments

  7. Patent #128,608 – July 2, 1872 – Improvement in Printing-Telegraph Instruments

  8. Patent #130,795 – August 27, 1872 – Improvement in Electro-Magnets

  9. Patent #131,334 – September 17, 1872 – Improvement in Rheotomes or Circuit-Directors

  10. Patent #132,455 – October 22, 1872 – Improvement in Paper for Chemical Telegraphs

  11. Patent #133,841 – December 10, 1872 – Improvement in Type-Writing Machines

  12. Patent #141,777 – August 12,1873 – Improvement in Relay-Magnets

  13. Patent #142,999 – September 23, 1873 – Improvement in Galvanic Batteries

  14. Patent #146812 – January 27, 1874 – Improvement in Telegraph-Signal Boxes

  15. Patent #147,917 – February 24, 1874 – Improvement in Duplex Telegraphs

  16. Patent #150,848 – May 12, 1874 – Improvement in Chemical or Automatic Telegraphs

  17. Patent #154,788 – September 8, 1974 – Improvement in District Telegraph Signal-Boxes

  18. Patent #169,972 – November 16, 1875 – Improvement in Electric-Signaling Instruments

  19. Patent #200,521 – February 19,1871 – Improvement in Phonograph or Speaking Machines

  20. Patent #201,760 – March 26, 1878 – Improvement in Speaking-Machines

  21. Patent #203,017 – April 30, 1878 – Improvement in Telephone Call-Signals

  22. Patent #203,329 – May 7, 1878 – Improvement in Perforating-Pens

  23. Patent #205,370 – June 25, 1878 – Improvement in Pneumatic Stencil-Pens

  24. Patent #210,767 – December 10, 1878 – Improvement in Vocal Engines

  25. Patent #214,637 – April 22, 1879 – Improvement in Thermal Regulators for Electric Lights

  26. Patent #217,781 – July 22, 1879 – Improvement in Sextuplex Telegraphs

  27. Patent #218,166 – August 5, 1879 – Improvement in Magneto-Electric Machines

  28. Patent #218,866 – August 26, 1879 – Improvement in Electric Lighting Apparatus

  29. Patent #222,390 – December 9, 1879 – Improvement in Carbon-Telephones

  30. Patent #223,898 – January 27, 1880 – Electric Lamp

  31. Patent #228,329 – June 1, 1880 – Magnetic Ore-Separator

  32. Patent #228,617 – June 8, 1880 – Brake for Electro-Magnetic Motors

  33. Patent #230,621 – August 3, 1880 – Addressing-Machine

  34. Patent #238,868 – March 15, 1881 – Manufacture of Carbons for Incandescent Electric Lamps

  35. Patent #239,148 – March 22, 1881 – Treating Carbons for Electric Lamps

  36. Patent #239,151 – March 22, 1881 – Method of Forming Enlarged Ends on Carbon Filaments

  37. Patent #239,153 – March 22, 1881 – Electric Lamp

  38. Patent #239,374 – March 29, 1881 – Regulating the Generation of Electric Currents

  39. Patent #240,678 – April 26, 1881 – Webermeter

  40. Patent #242,901 – June 14, 1881 – Electric Meter

  41. Patent #248,425 – October 18, 1881 – Apparatus for Producing High Vacuums

  42. Patent #248,430 – October 18, 1881 – Electro-Magnetic Brake

  43. Patent #248,431 – October 18, 1881 – Preserving Fruit

  44. Patent #248,434 – October 18, 1881 – Governor for Electric Engines

  45. Patent #248,435 – October 18, 1881 – Utilizing Electricity as a Motive Power

  46. Patent #251,552 – December 27, 1881 – Underground Conductor

  47. Patent #263,132 – August 22, 1882 – Electro-Magnetic Railway

  48. Patent #263,144 – August 22, 1882 – Mold for Carbonizing Incandescents

  49. Patent #263,149 – August 22, 1882 – Commutator for Dynamo or Magneto Electric Machines

  50. Patent #265,775 – October 10, 1882 – Electric-Arc Light

  51. Patent #271,614 – February 6, 1883 – Shafting

  52. Patent #273,489 – March 6, 1883 – Turn-Table for Electric Railways

  53. Patent #273,491 – March 6, 1883 – Regulator for Driving Engines of Electrical Generators

  54. Patent #273,492 – March 6, 1883 – Secondary Battery

  55. Patent #273,493 – March 6, 1883 – Valve-Gear for Electrical Generator-Engines

  56. Patent #273,715 – March 13, 1883 – Art of Malleableizing Iron

  57. Patent #278,418 – May 29, 1883 – Apparatus for Translating Electric Currents from High to Low Tension

  58. Patent #293,433 – February 12, 1884 – Insulation of Railroad-Tracks Used for Electric Circuits

  59. Patent #295,990 – April 1, 1884 – Type-Writer

  60. Patent #304,084 – August 26, 1884 – Device for Protecting Electric-Light Systems from Lightning

  61. Patent #314,115 – March 17, 1885 – Chemical Stock Quotation Telegraph

  62. Patent #340,707 – April 27, 1886 – Telephonic Repeater

  63. Patent #340,709 – April 27, 1886 – Telephone-Circuit

  64. Patent #350,235 – October 5, 1886 – Railway-Telegraphy

  65. Patent #365,465 – June 28, 1887 – Valve-Gear

  66. Patent #378,044 – February 14, 1888 – Telephone-Transmitter

  67. Patent #380,100 – March 27, 1888 – Pyromagnetic Motor

  68. Patent #382,414 – May 8, 1888 – Burnishing Attachment for Phonographs

  69. Patent #382,416 – May 8, 1888 – Feed and Return Mechanism for Phonographs

  70. Patent #382,419 – May 8, 1888 – Process of Duplicating Phonograms

  71. Patent #386,974 – July 31, 1888 – Phonograph

  72. Patent #393,463 – November 27, 1888 – Machine for Making Phonogram-Blanks

  73. Patent #397,280 – February 5, 1889 – Phonograph Recorder and Reproducer

  74. Patent #397,705 – February 12, 1889 – Method of Winding Field-Magnets

  75. Patent #425,761 – April 15, 1890 – Incandescent Lamp

  76. Patent #430,279 – June 17, 1890 – Voltaic Battery

  77. Patent #434,586 – August 19, 1890 – Electric Generator

  78. Patent #434,587 – August 19, 1890 – Thermo-Electric Battery

  79. Patent #434,589 – August 19, 1890 – Propelling Mechanism for Electric Vehicles

  80. Patent #438,305 – October 14, 1890 – Fuse-Block

  81. Patent #439,391 – October 28, 1890 – Junction-Box for Electric Wires

  82. Patent #457,343 – August 11, 1891 – Magnetic Belting

  83. Patent #465,970 – December 29, 1891 – Armature Connection for Motors or Generators

  84. Patent #470,927 – March 15, 1892 – Driving Mechanism for Cars

  85. Patent #470,928 – March 15, 1892 – Alternating-Current Generator

  86. Patent #470,930 – March 15, 1892 – Dynamo-Electric Machine

  87. Patent #476,984 – June 14,1892 – Expansible Pulley

  88. Patent #476,985 – June 14, 1892 – Trolley for Electric Railways

  89. Patent #479,184 – July 19, 1892 – Fac-Simile Telegraph

  90. Patent #493,426 – March 14, 1893 – Apparatus for Exhibiting Photographs of Moving Objects

  91. Patent #589,168 – August 31, 1897 – Kinetographic Camera

  92. Patent #641,281 – January 16, 1900 – Expanding Pulley

  93. Patent #657,922 – September 18, 1900 – Apparatus for Reheating Compressed Air for Industrial Purposes

  94. Patent #661,238 – November 6, 1900 – Machine for Forming Pulverized Material Into Briquets

  95. Patent #678,722 – July 16, 1901 – Reversible Galvanic Battery

  96. Patent #722,502 – March 10, 1903 – Means for Handling Cable-Drawn Cars on Inclines

  97. Patent #750,102 – January 19, 1904 – Electrical Automobile

  98. Patent #772,647 – October 18, 1904 – Photographic Film for Moving-Picture Machines

  99. Patent #775,600 – November 22, 1904 – Rotary Cement-Kiln

  100. Patent #909,169 – January 12, 1909 – Waterproofing-Paint for Portland-Cement Structures