Famous Diary Entries: The Most Prolific Inventor in the World’s To-Do List

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To-Do lists are pretty effective for managing your time and keeping organized — so is it any wonder the most prolific inventor in the world would make a habit of keeping them?

This week in our ongoing series looking at diary entries from famous people and historical events we look at a page from a notebook that inventor Thomas Edison began writing in in 1888. Entitled “Private Idea Book”, Edison used it to record his invention ideas. The notebook served a dual purpose of insuring he had a record for any instance where he would have to defend an invention’s origin in court.

The page below was found at The Thomas A. Edison Paper Project on the Rutgers University website. It’s dated January 3rd, 1888 and is the first of a five page list entitled “Things doing and to be done.”

It’s a fascinating look at Edison’s seemingly endless flow or ideas and projects. Is it any wonder this man eventually held 1,093 U.S. patents (a record sum at the time)?

The first half of the page is excerpted below.

                     TAE                  ___Janu 3, 1888____

Things doing and to be done:

Cotton picker
New standard phonograph
Hand-turning phonograph
New slow-speed cheap dynamo
New expansion pyromagnetic dynamo
Deaf apparatus
Electrical piano
Long-distance standard telephone transmitter which employs device of recording phonograph
Telephone coil of Fe by tt in Parafine or other insulation
Platinum Point Trans using new phone Recorder Devices
Grid Battery for Telephone
”           ”            ”            ”             long distance
”           ”            ”            ”             Ponoplex
”           ”            ”     jump telegraph
”           ”            ”    voltometer

The other five pages and many more great Edison artifacts can be found at the Thomas A Edison Paper Project on the Rutgers University website.

 

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2 comments on “Famous Diary Entries: The Most Prolific Inventor in the World’s To-Do List

  1. HOW DID EDISON AND THE OTHERS ORGANIZE THEIR THOUGHTS? WHAT FORMATS DID THEY USE, LIKE? BULLETS, OUTLINE, STORY, PROBLEMS THEY EXPERIENCED OR MONEY-MAKERS…ART ETC… A GREAT IDEA FOR GREAT THINKERS!!!!

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