Thomas Edison is not only the most famous inventor of all-time, but the guy who spearheaded the technological changes that ushered in the twentieth century. Our debt to him is huge if you look up his long list of inventions. But he deserves to be on the list of Great Men of All-Time because of his pioneering work with the electric light, sound recording, and motion pictures. He was Huge, to put it mildly.
This American Experience documentary by Michelle Ferrari is an outstanding 2 hr. feature about this giant and follows his career from his telegraphing youth through his competitions with other inventors and setting up his own lab to his forgotten inventions of later years.
Edison sacrificed his marital and family life until his later years when he also found time to go on luxurious auto tours with friends Henry Ford and naturalist John Burroughs. His rivals included Alexander Graham Bell, his best childhood friend, and his business partner–all who fell out of favor with him as he asserted his obsessions to be the greatest inventor who ever lived.
The PBS documentary includes several biographers who provide the missing details of his personal life and driven character. The visuals include many rare film clips and you get many insights into the man himself and the enormous work and assistance that went into each major invention (including the electric chair).
Highly recommended, entertaining, educational viewing.