|Edison (ěd'ĭ-sən) Pronunciation Key
American inventor and physicist who took out more than 1,000 patents in his lifetime. His inventions include the telegraph (1869), microphone (1877), and light bulb (1879). He also designed the first power plant (1881-82), making possible the widespread distribution of electricity. During World War I, Edison worked on a number of military devices, including flamethrowers, periscopes, and torpedoes.