Thomas Edison Digital Collection

INTRODUCTION

“What kind of man was this hero of several generations of Americans? He was not the saintly figure of the many bronze busts and news articles of his day. And yet he was much more than ‘just a country boy’ full of folksy sayings and homilies and the victim of urbane and unprincipled robber barons, the way he liked to picture himself. He survived and often triumphed in the patent quarrels, litigation, and vicious infighting that were characteristic of those survival-of-the-fittest years.

He had an uncanny knack for drama. P.T. Barnum could have learned something from Edison. The Old Man was a born promoter as well as creative genius, and, unlike many of his contemporaries, he was an attractive personality to much of America. He was handsome in a rugged way. He was a small town boy who had made good, and the folks of the day loved to see their ways of practicality and down-to-earth grit put the professors and foreigners to shame…there was a charisma about the man that inspired loyalty and sacrifice.”

George E. Davidson, “Beehives Of Invention”

You are about to experience some of Edison Public Library’s pamphlet file including pamphlets, newsletters, photographs, and periodical articles on the subject of one of Edison, New Jersey’s most celebrated residents, Thomas Alva Edison. We hope you will come to know this man a bit better and, perhaps, be inspired by his spirit of invention.