Uncovering America's Heritage... Coin by Coin
2004 Thomas Edison Commemorative Silver Dollar
This is Peter with February's coin of the month. The coin is exciting for me as an inventor, because it honors one of my heroes: Thomas Alva Edison.
February is the month in which this coin is released, and it's also the month in which Edison was born: February 11, 1847. But the coin isn't meant to mark Edison's 157th birthday. It's actually about the 125th birthday of one of his best projects: the incandescent light bulb.
On either side of the coin, you can see two of his light bulbs, which he first showed to the world in 1879. In 1880, the Patent Office recorded his improvements to the light bulb. Edison must have spent a lot of time at the Patent Office...he ended up with about 1100 patents for the things he had worked on during his lifetime!
Edison not only came up with new inventions but he also helped to make other inventions better. Edison also worked on the phonograph, battery, movie camera, and many other wonders of science...including machines called "generators" that could make enough electricity to keep bulbs lit all over a city! After all, what good is a light bulb without electricity?
Like most inventors, Edison had some ideas that just didn't work out. But he kept trying and trying again, believing that all a genius needs is one percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration (work!). And that's why Thomas Edison's genius lights our way today!
You can learn more about this coin by clicking here.