Edison His Life And Inventions / Frank Lewis Dyer / INTRODUCTION TO THE APPENDIX

THE reader who has followed the foregoing narrative may feel that inasmuch as it is intended to be an historical document, an appropriate addendum thereto would be a digest of all the inventions of Edison. The desirability of such a digest is not to be denied, but as there are some twenty-five hundred or more inventions to be considered (including those covered by caveats), the task of its preparation would be stupendous. Besides, the resultant data would extend this book into several additional volumes, thereby rendering it of value chiefly to the technical student, but taking it beyond the bounds of biography.

We should, however, deem our presentation of Mr. Edison's work to be imperfectly executed if we neglected to include an intelligible exposition of the broader theoretical principles of his more important inventions. In the following Appendix we have therefore endeavored to present a few brief statements regarding Mr. Edison's principal inventions, classified as to subject-matter and explained in language as free from technicalities as is possible. No attempt has been made to conform with strictly scientific terminology, but, for the benefit of the general reader, well-understood conventional expressions, such as "flow of current," etc., have been employed. It should be borne in mind that each of the following items has been treated as a whole or class, generally speaking, and not as a digest of all the individual patents relating to it. Any one who is sufficiently interested can obtain copies of any of the patents referred to for five cents each by addressing the Commissioner of Patents, Washington, D. C.

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