Edison
and the Rise of Innovation

by Leonard Degraaf

Foreword by Bill Gates

One of history's most prolific inventors, and perhaps America's first celebrity, Thomas Alva Edison did more than bring incandescent light into every household and industry; he created a world-renowned brand, raised capital to support research and business, and pursued patents for his 1,000+ inventions.


Leonard DeGraaf, archivist for the Thomas Edison National Historical Park, chronicles Edison's life and work, making lively and lavish use of never-before-published primary sources, including Edison's personal and business correspondence, lab notebooks, drawings, and advertising material, along with both historic and modern photographs.


Produced in association with the Edison Innovation Foundation, the Charles Edison Fund and the National Park Service with the foreword by Bill Gates, Edison and the Rise of Innovation presents, in intimate detail, the man who engineered the modern world.

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About the Author

Leonard DeGraaf is an archivist at Thomas Edison National Historical Park. Before joining the National Park Service in 1991, he was on the staff of the Thomas A. Edison Papers. DeGraaf is the author of Historic Photos of Thomas Edison (Turner Publishing, 2008), and his articles have appeared in the New York Daily News, Seaport magazine, and Business History Review, among other publications. He received an MA in history from Rutgers University.