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The little train robbery / Thomas A. Edison, Inc. 1905.

[Detail] The little train robbery / Thomas A. Edison, Inc. 1905


Collection Overview

Inventing Entertainment: The Edison Companies showcases the work of prolific inventor Thomas Alva Edison (1847-1931). Known as the "Wizard of Menlo Park," Edison patented 1,093 inventions, including the phonograph, the kinetograph (a motion picture camera), and the kinetoscope (a motion picture viewer). In addition to being a renowned inventor, Edison became a prominent manufacturer and businessman by selling his inventions. This site features 341 motion pictures, 81 sound recordings, photographs, original articles, and other related materials.

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Special Features

These online exhibits provide context and additional information about this collection.

Historical Eras

These historical era(s) are best represented in the collection although they may not be all-encompassing.

  • Development of the Industrial United States, 1876-1915
  • Emergence of Modern America, 1890-1930

Related Collections and Exhibits

These collections and exhibits contain thematically-related primary and secondary sources. Also browse the Collection Finder for more related material on the American Memory Web site.

Other Resources

Recommended additional sources of information.

Search Tips

Specific guidance for searching this collection

To search for films throughout all American Memory collections, use the All Collections Search Engine. Be sure to limit your search results to “Motion Pictures.”

Search all items in the collection using the keyword Search and Subject Index.

Browse only motion pictures using Alphabetical Title List of Edison Motion Pictures and Motion Picture Subject Index.

Browse only sound recordings using Alphabetical List of Edison Disc Titles and Sound Recordings Subject Index.

For help with general search strategies, see Finding Items in American Memory.

Please Note: The Alphabetical Title List on the Inventing Entertainment Home Page links to the database and search engine of the defunct American Memory collection, Early Motion Pictures. The contents of Early Motion Pictures are now available in a variety of film-related American Memory collections. To remain within the Inventing Entertainment collection, please browse for files using either the Alphabetical Title List of Edison Motion Pictures or Edison Disc Titles