Thomas Edison – 1877-1879- Phonograph Incandescent Light Bulb

Edison, who was born in Milan, Ohio, in 1847, did not obtain a formal education to the extent that most Americans did at the time. Early on, he experienced significant hearing loss, which served as the inspiration for several of his innovations. He started working as a telegraph operator at the age of 16, and he quickly focused most of his enthusiasm and natural ingenuity on enhancing the telegraph system itself (Hreciuc 219). He started creating professionally in 1869, and in 1876 he relocated to a lab and machine shop in Menlo Park, New Jersey.

While Edison’s experiments were guided by his exceptional intuition, he made sure to use assistance who could fill in for him where he was lacking in technical and mathematical expertise. While working on a method to record telephone conversations in Menlo Park, Edison continued his work on the telegraph and in 1877 struck upon one of his greatest creations—the phonograph. The Yankee inventor, known as the “Wizard of Menlo Park,” became well-known throughout the world after giving public phonograph demonstrations. The phonograph was merely the first of several game-changing discoveries by Edison in the late 1800s, yet the discovery of a way to record and reproduce sound cemented his place in history.

Among other major achievements, Edison and his helpers created the first usable light bulb in 1879 and a forerunner to the motion picture camera and projector in the late 1880s. He established the first industrial research facility in the world in 1887 in West Orange, New Jersey, and hired dozens of personnel to conduct a thorough investigation. His work in electricity made one of the biggest contributions to the current industrial world. He created the first power plant in the world, the alkaline battery, the first electric railroad, as well as many other inventions that set the groundwork for the contemporary electrical world. He also designed a complete electrical distribution system for light and power. He was one of history’s most prolific inventors, working well into his 80s and earning 1,093 patents during his career. At the age of 84, he passed away in 1931.

Nikola Tesla – 1888 – Induction Electric Motor

One of the most significant inventions in contemporary history is the induction motor. It significantly increased the efficiency of power generation and made it possible for energy to be distributed over large distances, igniting the Second Industrial Revolution, and setting the wheels of civilization in motion at a new pace. Modern day mechanical equipment like vacuum cleaners, electric toothbrushes, and the opulent Tesla Motors Model S are all powered by machines in addition to the lights in your home.

The renowned Nikola Tesla created the first induction motor in his New York City factory at 89 Liberty Street in 1887 (de Souza 2024). It is reported that while reciting passages from Goethe’s Faust on a bright day in Budapest in 1882, this talented inventor got a vision of his AC motor. While living in Paris in the summer of 1883, Tesla constructed his first real induction motor and witnessed its use. In 1884, Tesla set sail for America. He arrived in New York with four cents, a handful of his own poems, and calculations for a flying machine. After a few little assignments, Thomas Edison hired him and gave him the responsibility of enhancing the dynamo for his DC motor. Tesla’s ideas for alternating current didn’t interest Edison or Edison’s financiers. The external, static component of a DC motor is made up of the stationary magnet that generates the magnetic field. The stator is what we refer to as.

Thus, up until the 1920s, the standard in US cities and internationally was alternating current generation and transmission paired with direct current by mechanical conversion in substations. A modification was eventually required due to the high expense of a large-scale conversion, advancements in AC power distribution, and steel with better magnetic characteristics. The largest such system was the New York Edison Co. distribution system, which provided 90% of Manhattan’s public electricity and expanded to a total of 41 substations in more than 60 structures with a total of 282 mechanical converters before the switch to alternating current started in 1928. However, parts of the previous system were still in use as of late 2007.

Although shipboard power distribution procedures differ from those used in cities, several of the same issues still exist. For instance, early 20th-century DC motors still provided superior control across a range of loads compared to AC motors. Power factor regulation remained a challenge. Synchronization of generators and specific motor types was necessary for the operation of large-scale AC systems. However, the United States and its municipal electrical systems started to switch to alternating current in 1932, when three-phase alternating current was introduced. DC motors required more intricate design, and DC control systems were bigger and heavier. Although utilized to minimize weight, frequencies up to 400 Hz required mechanical converters in the days before the invention of contemporary solid-state circuits, so AC was not a perfect option. The British Navy is reported to have continued using DC systems for this reason, despite Germany adopting AC systems in the 1930s after the United States.

Orville and Wilbur Wright – 1903 – First airplane

The brothers constructed and flew two full-size piloted gliders in 1900 and 1901 after being inspired by the success of their small wing kite. The Wrights also had to deal with creating an effective airfoil shape and resolving fundamental structural design issues in addition to the control issue. These gliders, like the dragon, were biplanes. The gliders were equipped with horizontal stabilizers installed up front to regulate rise and fall. Both boats lacked tails. Glider flight was not possible at the Wrights’ residence in Dayton, Ohio (Hagler). Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, with its sandy, open expanses and strong, consistent winds, was chosen as the best test site after consultation with the US Weather Bureau. The Wrights visited the modest fishing hamlet they made famous for the first time in September 1900.

They constructed their first powered airplane in the spring and summer of 1903. The propulsion system was the sole fundamentally new component of the 1903 aircraft, which was essentially a larger and more durable version of the 1902 glider. Charles Taylor, the technician at their bicycle store, assisted the Wrights in building a little 12-horsepower gasoline engine. Even while the engine was a noteworthy development, the propellers were the part of the propulsion system that truly stood out. The brothers designed the propellers to provide horizontal thrust aerodynamically by acting as rotary wings. The Wrights believed that a horizontal “lift” force would be produced to move the aircraft forward if they turned the airfoil on its side and rotated it to produce an airstream across the surface. One of the Wrights’ aeronautical work’s most innovative and inventive ideas was the notion. Two propellers were positioned behind the wings of the 1903 aircraft, and they were linked to the engine, which was centered on the lower wing, using a chain and sprocket transmission system.

The aircraft was lent to the Science Museum in London in 1928. The Flyer was thoroughly restored by Orville and Jim Jacobs before being sent to Europe. Although it was made of the same kind of muslin as the original “Pride of the West” cover, the cloth cover was entirely changed for a new one. The 1903 cloth that was still on the aircraft when it took off was recovered, and pieces of it can still be found in a few different places (Slosar). The plane was stored in a subterranean storage facility during World War II close to Corsham, about 160 kilometers (100 miles) from London, where other British national treasures were kept safe. Contrary to what has frequently been stated, the pamphlet was not kept on the London Underground. On December 17, the 45th anniversary of the flights, the plane was brought back to the United States and formally donated to the Smithsonian Institution. Since then, it has been on public exhibit there.

Henry Ford – 1908-1913- Model T Ford – Large Scale Moving Assembly Lind

The moving assembly line seemed to the onlooker as an infinite mechanism of chains and links that allowed the Model T pieces to float through the sea of ​​the assembling process. In total, the production of a car might be divided into 84 processes. Key to the technique, though, were replaceable parts. Unlike other cars of the period, every Model T made on the Ford line utilized the same identical valves, gas tanks, tires, etc., so they could be constructed swiftly and in an organized manner (Whitt). Parts were made in big quantities and then brought straight to workers who were trained to operate at a specific assembly station.

The production Model T had a basic platform, a chassis comprising of an engine, pedals, controls, suspension, wheels, transmission, gas tank, steering wheel, lights, etc. This platform was regularly developed. However, the car body could be one of various vehicle types: car, truck, racing car, wooden car, snowmobile, milk truck, police car, ambulance, etc. At its peak, eleven basic body models were offered with 5,000 bespoke devices, which were developed by external companies that could be chosen by users. The immediate impact of the assembly line was revolutionary. The utilization of replaceable parts permitted a continuous workflow and greater time on job for the personnel. The specialization of workers resulted in reduced waste and improved quality of the final output. Production of the Model T increased considerably.

The assembly line also radically affected the lives of the workers Ford employed. The working day was cut from nine hours to eight hours so that the notion of the three-shift working day could be implemented with greater ease. Although hours were shortened, workers did not suffer lower salaries; instead, Ford nearly quadrupled the current standard rate and began paying its workers $5 a day. Ford’s wager paid off—his workers soon used some of their pay raises to buy Model Ts of their own. By the conclusion of the decade, the Model T had truly become the car for the masses that Ford envisioned. The assembly line is the principal mode of production in industry today. Automobiles, food, toys, furniture, and many other products transit through production lines around the world before landing in our homes and on our tables. While the ordinary consumer doesn’t frequently think about this fact, this 100-year-old idea from a Michigan automaker impacted the way we live and work forever.

Works Cited

de Souza, D. F., Salotti, F. A. M., Sauer, I. L., Tatizawa, H., de Almeida, A. T., & Kanashiro, A. G. “A Performance Evaluation of Three-Phase Induction Electric Motors between 1945 and 2020.” Energies 15.6 (2020): 2024.

Hagler, G. “Orville and Wilbur Wright: The Brothers who Invented the Airplane.” The Rosen Publishing Group, Inc. (2020).

Hreciuc, E. “Ecological Footprint of The Electrical and Energy Industries as Cultural Challenge.” Postmodern Openings, 11.4 (2020): 207-229.

Slosar, N. “Avians to Airplanes: Biomimicry in Flight and Wing Design.” Berkeley Scientific Journal 25.2 (2021).

Whitt, S. A. “False Promises: Race, Power, and the Chimera of Indian Assimilation, 1879–1934.” University of California, Berkeley (2020).