Collection Inventing Entertainment: The Early Motion Pictures and Sound Recordings of the Edison Companies

Articles and Essays

  • Timeline

    The following timeline focuses on major events in Thomas A. Edison's personal life and on his motion picture and phonograph inventions. For a more detailed chronology of Edison's life and work, please consult the Thomas A. Edison Papers website at Rutgers University External.

  • Biography

    Inventor Thomas Alva Edison profoundly influenced modern life through inventions such as the incandescent light bulb, the phonograph, and the motion picture camera. During his lifetime, he acquired 1,093 patents, and marketed many of his inventions to the public.

  • History of Edison Motion Pictures

    "I am experimenting upon an instrument which does for the eye what the phonograph does for the ear, which is the recording and reproduction of things in motion ...."

  • History of Edison Sound Recordings

    "I was never so taken aback in my life--I was always afraid of things that worked the first time."

  • Who's Who in the Film Game

    Facts and Fancies About a Man You Know or Ought to Know

  • Edison Views the World at Seventy

    Edison Diamond Points, February 1917, p. 14-16

  • Early Edison Experiements with Sight and Sound

    Frames from early experimental attempt to create sound motion pictures by the Edison Manufacturing Company. W.K.L. Dickson plays the violin in front of a horn connected to a cylinder recording machine. From the inception of motion pictures, various inventors attempted to unite sight and sound through "talking" motion pictures. The Edison Company is known to have experimented with this as early as the fall ...