Thomas Edison


Portrait of Thomas Edison by Jack Kamen

Jack Kamen Artwork

Thomas Edison was an American inventor. Combined, he holds an astounding 1,093 single and joint patents. He is arguably most famous for his work with electricity and the incandescent light bulb. Along with the light bulb, Edison is also well known for the invention of the phonograph and one of the earliest motion picture cameras.

Childhood Barriers

Edison had scarlet fever as a child, which led to severe hearing loss. His hearing loss made it difficult for him to learn in school and caused him to drop out at a young age. His disability kick-started his curiosity and love of reading. He believed that his deafness was an advantage, helping him to concentrate on his work.

Explore Additional Portraits in the Collection

Charles Proteus Steinmetz

These portraits were commissioned by Dean Kamen for the SEE Science Center.  The artist is Jack Kamen (1920-2008), an American graphic artist and Dean’s father. The series was created to inspire children through the stories of scientists and engineers whose work changed the world.  While many of the pieces represent men, the duo worked hard to identify female scientists.  Had Jack not passed, their goal was to continue to increase representation within the collection.  The original artwork is on display at the SEE Science Center in the Jack Kamen Portrait Gallery.