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The Rise and Fall and Rise and Fall and Rise of Thomas Alva Edison
Produced by The Kitchen Sisters™, Davia Nelson & Nikki Silva

  • Listen with RealAudio in 14.4, 28.8, or G2 SureStream.
  • Look at the Edison Photo Gallery
  • More about Edison by historian Andre Millard

    EDISON/ CHARRED PHOTO
    A Charred photo of Edison found after his factory burned down.
    Photo Courtesy of Edison National Historic Site

    The Rise and Fall and Rise and Fall and Rise of Thomas Alva Edison is a two-part story that explores the recorded legacy of the near-deaf inventor of the talking machine.

    Part I - Born before the Civil War, Edison died just two years after the stock market crash of 1929. The inventor of the repeating telegraph, the incandescent light bulb, the kinetoscope, x-rays, and the electric pens---Edison came to be known as "The Wizard of Menlo Park". When he died at 84, he held 1,093patents. "But of all of my inventions," Edison said, "I liked the phonograph best.

    Tone Test Picture
    Singer Frieda Hempel staging a Tone Test at the Edison Studios, 79 Fifth Ave. NYC 1918 Courtesy of Edison National Historic Site
    The sounds in the story range from the first ever recorded words to diamond discs cut in 1927. Some of these archival artifacts are worn by time and play. But listen and you will hear some of the oldest sound recordings that exist anywhere.

    The Rise and Fall and Rise and Fall and Rise of Thomas Alva Edison Part I was produced by The Kitchen Sisters, Davia Nelson and Nikki Silva in collaboration with David Giovannoni and Jim Anderson. Mixed by Robin Wise.


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    Copyright 1999 The Kitchen Sisters