Collection Items

  • Article
    Life of Thomas Alva Edison - Inventing Entertainment: The Early Motion Pictures and Sound Recordings of the Edison Companies - Digital Collections One of the most famous and prolific inventors of all time, Thomas Alva Edison exerted a tremendous influence on modern life, contributing inventions such as the incandescent light bulb, the phonograph, and the motion picture camera, as well as improving the telegraph and telephone. In his 84 years, he acquired an astounding 1,093 patents. Aside from being an inventor, Edison also managed to become...
  • Film, Video
    Edison kinetoscopic record of a sneeze, January 7, 1894
    Sneeze | Fred Ott's sneeze | Ott's sneeze | Kinetoscopic record of a sneeze
    Film made for publicity purposes, as a series of still photographs to accompany an article in Harper's weekly.
    • Contributor: Dickson, W. K.-L. (William Kennedy-Laurie) - Ott, Frederic P. - Heise, William - Thomas A. Edison, Inc - Hendricks (Gordon) Collection (Library of Congress) - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Date: 1894
  • Film, Video
    A day with Thomas A. Edison A six-part documentary recording the 74-year-old Edison's collaborations with his staff, conversations with industrial leaders, and supervision of the factory's production line. The majority of the film (parts 3, 4, and 5) chronicles Edison's trip to the incandescent light bulb factory and details its manufacturing process.
    • Contributor: Schroeder, A. - General Electric Company - Bray Studios - Edison Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Date: 1922
  • Article
    Timeline - Inventing Entertainment: The Early Motion Pictures and Sound Recordings of the Edison Companies - Digital Collections 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. 1847 Thomas Alva Edison born on February 11 in Milan, Ohio. 1854 Edison's family moves to Port Huron, Michigan. 1859 Edison...
  • Article
    Selected Bibliography - Inventing Entertainment: The Early Motion Pictures and Sound Recordings of the Edison Companies - Digital Collections General Biographies Baldwin, Neil. Edison: Inventing the Century. New York: Hyperion, 1995. Conot, Robert. Thomas A. Edison: A Streak of Luck. New York: Da Capo Press, Inc., 1979. Dyer, Frank Lewis, and Thomas C. Martin, Edison, His Life and Inventions. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1910. Jehl, Francis. Menlo Park Reminiscences. New York: Dover Publications, 1990. Josephson, Matthew. Edison: A Biography. New York: John...
  • Article
    Biography - Inventing Entertainment: The Early Motion Pictures and Sound Recordings of the Edison Companies - Digital Collections 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. A brief biography of Edison is featured here, along with articles from journals of his day in which he offered his views on music, films,...
  • Article
    Early Edison Experiements with Sight and Sound - Inventing Entertainment: The Early Motion Pictures and Sound Recordings of the Edison Companies - Digital Collections 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
  • Article
    Who's Who in the Film Game - Inventing Entertainment: The Early Motion Pictures and Sound Recordings of the Edison Companies - Digital Collections Facts and Fancies About a Man You Know or Ought to Know The Nickelodeon, August 1, 1910, pp. 63-64.
  • Article
    History of the Edison Disc Phonograph - Inventing Entertainment: The Early Motion Pictures and Sound Recordings of the Edison Companies - Digital Collections Photograph of Thomas A. Edison listening to the New Edison Diamond Disc Phonograph. Advertisement in The Gramophone, December 1923. Cylinders peaked in popularity around 1905. After this, discs and disc players, most notably the Victrolas, began to dominate the market. Columbia Records, an Edison competitor, had stopped marketing cylinders in 1912. The Edison Company had been fully devoted to cylinder phonographs, but, concerned with...
  • Article
    Origins of Motion Pictures - Inventing Entertainment: The Early Motion Pictures and Sound Recordings of the Edison Companies - Digital Collections An overview of Thomas A. Edison's involvement in motion pictures detailing the development of the Kinetoscope, the films of the Edison Manufacturing Company, and the company's ultimate decline is given here. This essay relies heavily on the research and writings of film historians Charles Musser, David Robinson, and Eileen Bowser. More detailed information can be found in their books listed in the Bibliography, as...
  • Film, Video
    [Dickson greeting]
    Early Edison camera tests
    Experimental film made with the Edison-Dickson-Heise experimental horizontal-feed kinetograph camera and viewer, using 3/4-inch wide film.
    • Contributor: Dickson, W. K.-L. (William Kennedy-Laurie) - Heise, William - Thomas A. Edison, Inc - Edison Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Date: 1891
  • Film, Video
    [Men boxing]
    Early Edison camera tests
    Experimental film made with the Edison-Dickson-Heise experimental horizontal-feed kinetograph camera and viewer, using 3/4-inch wide film.
    • Contributor: Dickson, W. K.-L. (William Kennedy-Laurie) - Heise, William - Thomas A. Edison, Inc - Edison Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Date: 1891
  • Film, Video
    Uncle Josh's nightmare D6366 U.S. Copyright Office Copyright: Thomas A. Edison; 21Mar1900; D6366. Duration: 2:27 at 16 fps. Filmed ca. March 1900. Available also through the Library of Congress Web site as digital files. Sources used: Copyright catalog, motion pictures, 1894-1912; Musser, C. Edison motion pictures 1890-1900, 1997, p. 585; Niver, K.R. Early motion pictures, 1985.
    • Contributor: Thomas A. Edison, Inc - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Date: 1900
  • Film, Video
    Life rescue at Long Branch
    Life rescue at Atlantic City | Life rescue scene, Atlantic City, N. J.
    H8692 U.S. Copyright Office Copyright: Thomas A. Edison; 16Sept1901; H8692. Duration: 2:19 at 16 fps. Filmed ca. August to early September 1901. Available also through the Library of Congress Web site as digital files. Sources used: Copyright catalog, motion pictures, 1894-1912; Musser, C. Before the nickelodeon, 1991, p. 180-81; Niver, K.R. Early motion pictures, 1985.
    • Contributor: Thomas A. Edison, Inc - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Date: 1901
  • Film, Video
    Trick bears 77519 U.S. Copyright Office Copyright: Thomas A. Edison; 27Nov1899; 77519. Duration: 1:49 at 16 fps. Filmed ca. June to September 1899, probably in Orange, New Jersey. Sources used: Copyright catalog, motion pictures, 1894-1912; Musser, C. Edison motion pictures 1890-1900, 1997, p. 526; Niver, K.R. Early motion pictures, 1985. Available also through the Library of Congress Web site as digital files.
    • Contributor: White, James H. (James Henry) - Thomas A. Edison, Inc - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Date: 1899
  • Film, Video
    Tenderloin at night
    Tenderloin after two in the morning
    77521 U.S. Copyright Office Copyright: Thomas A. Edison; 27Nov1899; 77521. Duration: 2:02 at 16 fps. Filmed ca. June to September 1899, probably in West Orange, New Jersey. Sources used: Copyright catalog, motion pictures, 1894-1912; Musser, C. Edison motion pictures 1890-1900, 1997, p. 533; Niver, K.R. Early motion pictures, 1985. Available also through the Library of Congress Web site as digital files.
    • Contributor: White, James H. (James Henry) - Thomas A. Edison, Inc - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Date: 1899
  • Film, Video
    Panoramic view of the Champs Elysees D18581 U.S. Copyright Office Copyright: Thomas A. Edison; 29Aug1900; D18581. Duration: 0:48 at 16 fps. Filmed in July 1900, on the Champs Elysées in Paris, France. Available also through the Library of Congress Web site as digital files. Sources used: Copyright catalog, motion pictures, 1894-1912; Musser, C. Edison motion pictures 1890-1900, 1997, p. 611; Niver, K.R. Early motion pictures, 1985.
    • Contributor: White, James H. (James Henry) - Thomas A. Edison, Inc - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress) - Niver (Kemp) Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Date: 1900
  • Film, Video
    An animated luncheon "The scene takes place in a fashionable cafe. A well dressed couple enter and after a careful perusal of the menu, conclude on an order of boiled eggs and Welsh rarebit. The obliging waiter delivers the order. The guests break open the eggs, and two beautiful white chickens fly across the room. The diners then perform a similar trick with the Welsh rarebit just...
    • Contributor: Thomas A. Edison, Inc - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Date: 1900
  • Film, Video
    Maniac chase From Edison films catalog: The picture opens with the interior of a cell in an insane asylum. The inmate, who imagines himself to be Napoleon the Great, is seated at a table dressed in the costume of that world renowned general. A keeper enters with a bowl of soup. "Napoleon" tastes the soup and then dashes the contents of the bowl into the keeper's...
    • Contributor: Thomas A. Edison, Inc - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Date: 1904
  • Film, Video
    President McKinley's speech at the Pan-American Exposition
    President's speech at the Pan-American Exposition
    The film begins by showing the introductory speaker at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo. The speaker introduces the incumbent president of the United States, William F. McKinley. The remainder of the film is a straight-on moving photograph of the president during his last public speech. "In this picture we present a wonderful and life-like likeness of President McKinley. He first walks upon the platform,...
    • Contributor: Thomas A. Edison, Inc - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Date: 1901
  • Film, Video
    The mob outside the Temple of Music at the Pan-American Exposition "The camera was positioned at such a height behind a large group of people outside an exhibit building that mainly hats are visible"--Early motion pictures. On Friday, September 6th, 1901, we had our cameras in position to photograph the President as he left the Temple of Music, but the deplorable assassination, of course, prevented our getting this picture. We did, however, secure an excellent...
    • Contributor: Thomas A. Edison, Inc - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Date: 1901