Thomas Edison: Chemist and Innovator

Noted father of the light bulb, telegraph, and phonograph, Thomas Edison gave us many world altering inventions that would shape the future of technology. From his springboard came numerous ideals and products that have become a mainstay of modern day living. Yet, some of his most important inventions have gone without notice, overshadowed by his major contributions, but they are no less life changing.

Edison the chemical Experimenter

Edison was brilliant in many aspects and this despite the challenge of being completely deaf in his left ear and 80 percent deaf in the other. He could even be credited with the origin of the motion picture camera, which he called a kinetoscope.

With these miraculous inventions under his belt, Edison branched into a new and compelling field where rubber would be his main concentration. This new field of study would come at the request of his friend Henry Ford, the famous car maker, who was looking for an alternative source rubber for his tires. This was because rubber had to be imported since natural rubber trees grow outside the United States. Not only was this inconvenient, but it was also incredibly expensive.

Edison spent years on the project which ended up being his most challenging yet. He tried and finally did formulate a substitute via the use of a plant called the Goldenrod weed. The plant had enough natural rubber in it to supply a viable percentage of rubber to be usable and thereby, cut cost.

Goldenrod Rubber

And thus, Goldenrod rubber was born. It never went pass the experimental stage though it is not known why. Still, it was Edison who was able to rise to that the challenge as he once again staked a small claim in yet another one of histories greatest innovations—the automobile.

For that achievement alone, Thomas Edison could consider himself proud.

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