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Inventing Entertainment: The Motion Pictures and Sound Recordings of the Edison Companies
Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division, Library of Congress

The Motion Pictures and Sound Recordings of the Edison Company collection has been migrated to an improved presentation and will no longer be updated in American Memory. Please visit the new presentation.


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Motion Pictures | Edison Biography | Sound Recordings
Prolific inventor Thomas Alva Edison (1847-1931) has had a profound impact on modern life. In his lifetime, the "Wizard of Menlo Park" patented 1,093 inventions, including the phonograph, the kinetograph (a motion picture camera), and the kinetoscope (a motion picture viewer). Edison managed to become not only a renowned inventor, but also a prominent manufacturer and businessman through the merchandising of his inventions. The collections in the Library of Congress's Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division contain an extraordinary range of the surviving products of Edison's entertainment inventions and industries. This site features 341 motion pictures, 81 disc sound recordings, and other related materials, such as photographs and original magazine articles. Cylinder sound recordings will be added to this site in the near future. In addition, histories are given of Edison's involvement with motion pictures and sound recordings, as well as a special page focusing on the life of the great inventor.
The mission of the Library of Congress is to make its resources available and useful to Congress and the American people and to sustain and preserve a universal collection of knowledge and creativity for future generations. The goal of the Library's National Digital Library Program is to offer broad public access to a wide range of historical and cultural documents as a contribution to education and lifelong learning.

The Library of Congress presents these documents as part of the record of the past. These primary historical documents reflect the attitudes, perspectives, and beliefs of different times. The Library of Congress does not endorse the views expressed in these collections, which may contain materials offensive to some readers.


Understanding the Collection

Timeline

Paper Print Film Collection

Selected Bibliography

Collection Connections

Working with the Collection

How to View Videos

How to Listen to Sound Recordings

How to Order Copies of Films | Sound Recordings

Digitizing the Collection

Copyright and Other Restrictions

Acknowledgments


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