Course: COMM 2200-23
Title: Thomas Edison and his obscure and sometimes unsuccessful projects.
Specific Purpose: to inform my audience about some of the more obscure inventions of Thomas Alva Edison.
Central Idea: Thomas Edison is well-known for his inventions of the incandescent light bulb and phonograph, but he had many other obscure inventions as well.
Attention: How many of you have flipped a light switch, started a car, listened to the radio, or watched television this morning? None of this would have been possible without the contributions of “The Wizard of Menlo Park”, Thomas Alva Edison.
Topic: Most of us are aware of ...view middle of the document...
The cracking and hissing of early recordings made the dolls difficult to understand.
2. Because of the poor sound quality the doll would terrify children.
a. They sounded more like monsters than the voices of little girls.
b. Edison later said, “The little monsters were exceedingly unpleasant to hear.”
C. Cost was another sizable problem for Edison’s talking doll.
1. It sold for up to 25 dollars depending on its accessories.
a. This was equal to two week’s salary for an average American at that time.
Edison’s interests were varied. He was deeply involved in the mining industry and spent many years working on a magnetic ore separator.
II. The magnetic ore separator was the largest financial failure of his career.
A. Iron ore was a precious commodity in the 1880’s and 90’s.
B. Edison believed that magnets could be used to separate iron ore from sand.
1. This would enable abandoned mines to become profitable once again.
C. He invested heavily to develop this idea and put it to practical use.
1. Rights to 145 abandoned mines were secured.
2. In order to fund the project, he eventually sold most of his interest in GE.
D. After extensive efforts, Edison abandoned the project.
1. Engineering problems were never worked out.
2. The price of iron ore drastically fell which eliminated incentive to continue.
Some of Edison’s projects were only unsuccessful because they were ahead of their time.
III. This was the case with his work on an alkaline battery for electric cars.
A. Edison believed cars could and would be powered by electricity in the future.
1. He began the development of an alkaline battery.
2. His goal was to develop a car that could drive 100...