Revered as the master inventor, it is difficult to divorce Thomas A. Edison from the world concept of him as a transcendent individual working alone like a great composer, sculptor, painter or writer. So, to form a picture of Edison the manufacturer and Edison the financier, for the moment we must draw a veil over our image of Edison the inventor.
The Thomas A. Edison Industries, the "House of Edison," stands today a world-wide organization creating, manufacturing and marketing many different articles of merchandise through a number of major divisions, each operating independently of the other, yet all responsible to the general executive board, of which Mr. Thomas A. Edison is Chairman and Mr. Charles Edison, President.
The main plants of Thomas A. Edison, Inc., the parent company, and one of its subsidiaries, the Edison Storage Battery Company, are located at West Orange, N.J. These plants include 104 buildings, large and small, many of them six stories in height, of which 85% are of re-inforced concrete, the largest being 1000 feet long. The most important products made in the West Orange plants are:
The Edison Nickel Steel—Alkaline Storage Battery
Edison Radio & Radio Phonograph Combinations
Edison Phonographs and Records
The Ediphone (Mr. Edison's dictating machine)
The Edicraft Siphonator, which makes coffee by a new process.
The Edicraft Toaster
Ediplate Seamless Electroplated Floats for steam traps and automatic regulating devices
Another plant of Thomas A. Edison, Inc., about five miles from West Orange, at Silver Lake, makes Edison Primary Batteries, chemicals for the Edison Storage Battery, Edison Radio and phonograph cabinets, wax masters for phonograph records and wax cylinders for the Ediphone.
It is interesting to note the number of diversified products of the Edison Industries. An example is that of Edison Portland Cement. Edison's entry into the cement industry arose through his nine years of experience in concentrating magnetic iron ore in the hills of New Jersey. To this experience he added many supplemental inventions of a basic nature, among them his invention of the long kiln, which on its inception was derided by his competitors, but which has since been generally adopted throughout the entire industry.
The Edison Portland Cement plant at New Village is a model one in every respect, equipped with all available modern labor-saving devices, and maintaining the integrity of its product (7,500 Barrels daily) by chemical and physical
tests which are continued day and night throughout the year.
The latest product to be introduced to the country is the new line of Edison Radio Receivers, comprising both straight radio sets and radio-phonograph combinations. These receivers are of advanced design, electrically correct and efficiently built; housed in cabinets of true artistic excellence. They reproduce music both from radio broadcasting and from phonograph records, enabling the listener to have entertainment anywhere at any time. Complete electrification of the receivers is peculiarly appropriate to a product bearing the name of Edison, the father of the electrical industry.
New Jersey: Life, Industries and Resources of a Great State, 1928, page 298-299.