Nintendo, GE, & Eastman – Kodak: 1888 – 1891

Oct 12, 1887

Yamaha was founded.

The most popular song of 1887 was “Away In a Manger.”


German physicist Heinrich Hertz proved that electromagnetic waves travel over some distance. (First indication of radio communication).

Italian physicist and electrical engineer Galileo Ferraris publish a paper on the induction motor, and Serbian-American engineer Nikola Tesla gets a US patent on the same device.

The KodakĀ  box camera, the first easy-to-use camera, is introduced with the slogan, “You press the button, we do the rest.”

Louis Le Prince makes Roundhay Garden Scene. It is believed to be the first-ever motion picture on film.

Nikola Tesla patented the rotating field motor on May 1, 1888, and later sold the rights to George Westinghouse. This invention helps create and transmit AC power, and today is still a method for generating and distributing AC power.

October 17, 1888

Thomas Edison filed for a patent for the Optical Phonograph (film camera)

October 30, 1888

John Loud got a patent for the ballpoint pen.


The first commercially available transparent celluloid roll film is introduced by the Eastman Company, later renamed the Eastman Kodak Company and commonly known as Kodak.

Nintendo was founded. The company made playing cards.

The most popular song of 1889 was “The Washington Post.”


Herman Hollerith developed a method for machines to record and store information onto punch cards to be used for the US census.

The company we now know as GE was founded in 1890 by Thomas Edison as the Edison General Electric Company.

The most popular song of 1890 was “The Sleeping Beauty Waltz.”


Almon Brown Stowger, a Kansas City Undertaker, becomes concerned that the telephone operator in his city is routing all customer calls to a competitor, and begins designing an automatic telephone switching system. This “Strowger Switch” is first put into use in LaPorte, Indiana in 1892, and the design is improved upon until the first “Step by Step, Up-and-Around” switching systems are in place. These automatic switching systems are vital in removing human intervention at the telephone company for telephone calls.

William Kennedy Laurie Dickson develops the “kinetoscopic” motion picture camera while working for Thomas Edison

Kinetoscopic – viewed from peephole at the top.





The Horse in Motion & Three Little Kittens: 1878 – 1886


Thomas Edison plays a recording of himself, reciting, “Mary had a Little Lamb.” He loved a good show!

Eadweard Muybridge uses a row of cameras with trip-wires to make a high-speed photographic analysis of a galloping horse. Each picture is taken in less than the two-thousandth part of a second, and they are taken in sufficiently rapid sequence (about 25 per second) that they constitute a brief real-time “movie” that can be viewed by using a device such as a zoetrope1, a photographic “first.”


The first keyboard to have a Shift key is introduced on the Remington No. 2 typewriter introduced in 1878 that had one Shift key on the left side of the keyboard.


David E. Hughes notices that sparks generated by an induction balance cause noise in an improved telephone microphone he was developing. He rigs up a portable version of his receiver and, carrying it down a street, finds the sparking is detected at some distance.

October 21, 1879

Thomas Edison demos an incandescent electric light bulb that lasts 13 1/2 hours.

January 27, 1880

Thomas Edison received patent #223,898 for the Electric Lamp.

The most popular song of 1880 was Funiculi Funicula.


The most popular song in 1881 was Row Row Row Your Boat (1932 version).


First thermal power stations began operation in London and New York.

Thomas Edison was awarded patent # 252,442 on January 17, 1882, for the carbon microphone used in telephones.

The most popular song of 1882 was Polly Wolly Doodle (All The Day).


Herman Hollerith filed his first patent for The Hollerith Electric Tabulating System.


The most popular song of 1885 was “Three Little Kittens.”

March 1, 1885

American Telegraph and Telephone company (AT&T) was incorporated.


Heinrich Rudolf Hertz proves electromagnetic waves and that electricity is transmitted at the speed of light.

The most popular song for 1886 was “Semper Fidelis.”