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
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.
Thomas Edison's Top 100 Patents: