Bright ideas

Bright ideas

ZaZu Lippert

“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”-Thomas Edison

Who was Edison?

Born in 1847, Edison was an American inventor who made immense contributions to society that we still use today, although in many cases, in different forms than Edison’s original inventions. Most famous for perfecting the light bulb, Edison’s lesser-known inventions include the phonograph, the carbon microphone, and the movie camera.

While most people look at Edison and see a success story, AP Computer Science teacher David Greenstein sees him in a different light. He looks at Edison in terms of persevering amidst failing many times in his quest to improve the lightbulb.

“The guy was incredibly persistent, and that is a lesson to be learned,” said Greenstein. “If you really believe in something, don’t give up.”


Sophomore Srijani Saha sees one clear answer to why Edison was so successful and was able to come up with all of these ideas of things to make in order to improve the world we live in.
“Curiosity. He was able to look past what we have right now and see the possibilities that could be achieved,” Saha said.



Two of Edison’s numerous inventions were the carbon microphone and the movie camera, which have both made an incredible impact on the way information and culture is spread today. Without these two inventions, many forms of entertainment and art may never have become as popular as they are today, and there would be no way to connect with people across the world.

Senior Zarek Peris recently released his own rap album, which was recorded entirely in his laptop, and without the carbon microphone, which Edison holds the patent to, he may never have had a recording device to put his work on in the first place. The carbon microphone is the first microphone which allowed sound to travel long distances, for radio broadcasts, for example, and makes sound waves into audio.



Edison’s inventions made a huge impact on technology, and technology has definitely changed the way we live.

did you know


But although technology has many pros to it, do we rely too much on technology? And have Edison’s advancements changed more  about the way we live than we really think?






Edison’s inventions led to much of the technology that we use today, some that we have started to take for granted, to even rely on, maybe more than we should. But at the end of the day, what Edison has given us beyond these inventions that have impacted us in more ways than we can count is one lesson: always keep trying. When Edison failed time and time again to perfect the lightbulb, he famously said “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

And to think, it all started with one bright idea.

Music: Used under creative commons license from “Acoustic Breeze,” “Little Idea,” “Memories.” Used with permission from Zarek Peris: “Jet Fuel” by Zarek Peris.

Image of Thomas Edison, used under creative commons license.