Edison's 'Black Maria' studios late 19th/ early 20th century.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Drawing by E J Meeker of Edison's 'Black Maria' studios. This illustration from Century magazine is captioned 'Interior of the Kinetographic Theater, Edison's Laboratory, Orange, N J, Showing Phonograph and Kinetograph'. Thomas Edison (1847-1931) was a prolific American inventor who registered over 1000 patents, many of which were related to the development of electricity. His inventions, in collaboration with his staff, include the automatic telegraph, the electric lamp, the phonograph (gramophone) and the kinetoscope, an early form of cinematography.