Edison Manufacturing Company
FounderThomas Edison
SuccessorThomas A. Edison, Inc.

The Edison Manufacturing Company, originally registered as the United Edison Manufacturing Company and often known as simply the Edison Company, was organized by inventor and entrepreneur Thomas Edison and incorporated in New York City in May 1889. It succeeded the Edison United Manufacturing Company, founded in 1886 as a sales agency for the Edison Lamp Company, Edison Machine Works, and Bergmann & Company, which made electric lighting fixtures, sockets, and other accessories. In April 1894, the Edison laboratory's Kinetoscope operation, which was about to be commercialized, was brought under the Edison Company umbrella. In 1900, the United Edison Manufacturing Company was evidently succeeded by the New Jersey–incorporated Edison Manufacturing Company. The company's assets and operations were transferred to Thomas A. Edison, Inc. in 1911.


The Edison United Manufacturing Company was incorporated in July 1886 to consolidate the sales operations of the various Edison manufacturing concerns. The company went into liquidation—finalized October 31, 1889—and was succeeded by the United Edison Manufacturing Company, incorporated in New York City under New York State law in May 1889.[1] On May 4, 1900, the Edison Manufacturing Company—evidently the successor to the United Edison Manufacturing Company—was incorporated in Newark, New Jersey, with its headquarters located in West Orange.[2]

From April 1894 to June 1908, William E. Gilmore was vice-president and general manager of the Edison Manufacturing Company. He took over from Alfred O. Tate and was succeeded by patent lawyer Frank Dyer.[3] Edison's films were made by the Kinetograph Department of the Edison Manufacturing Company.[4]

Edison's first moviemaking studio—and the world's first—was the Black Maria in West Orange, New Jersey, where production of Kinetoscope films began in early 1893. The Edison Studios productions moved to a Manhattan facility after the turn of the century, and a few years later to a studio in the Bronx. Filming locations around the United States and abroad were used.[5][6][7][8]

The company had the same senior executives as the more profitable National Phonograph Company, to which Edison paid more attention. Edison was also distracted by other enterprises including storage batteries, iron ore and cement, which competed for finance and led to loss of focus.[3]

In February 1911 the company's assets were assigned to Thomas A. Edison, Inc. The Edison Manufacturing Company was formally dissolved on 9 November 1926.



  1. ^ Andrews, W. S. (1904). "Information Relating to the Old Edison Companies". "Edisonia": A Brief History of the Early Edison Electric Lighting System. New York: Association of Edison Illuminating Companies. pp. 164–65.
  2. ^ "Notes for Investors". Electricity. XVIII (18): 288. May 9, 1900.
  3. ^ a b Musser, Charles (1991). Before the Nickelodeon: Edwin S. Porter and the Edison Manufacturing Company. University of California Press. p. 44. ISBN 978-0-520-06986-2. Retrieved November 15, 2022. The passing mention in the introduction (p. 13) of Gilmore having been hired in April 1895 is clearly an error. See also McKernan, Luke. "William Edward Gilmore". Who's Who of Victorian Cinema. Retrieved November 15, 2022.
  4. ^ Musser, Charles (1991). Before the Nickelodeon: Edwin S. Porter and the Edison Manufacturing Company. University of California Press. p. 44. ISBN 978-0-520-06986-2. Retrieved November 15, 2022.
  5. ^ "RELIEF OF LUCKNOW: Dinna Ye Hear It?". The Royal Gazette. City of Hamilton, Pembroke, Bermuda. 1912-08-13. it was created by the Edison artistes who made their headquarters last spring at Villa Monticello, Flatts.
  6. ^ "HUMANOPHONE COMPANY. Famous Historic Picture Shown-Relief of Lucknow". The Royal Gazette. City of Hamilton, Pembroke, Bermuda. 1912-08-17. To Bermudians this picture has peculiar interest ; for it was at Flatts while Mr. Dawley and his company were there that they produced this most remarkable picture.
    The Highlanders, Sepoys, Artillery-men &c. who appear in the scene are men of The Queen's Regiment whose services were secured for the occasion.
  7. ^ "RELIEF OF LUCKNOW (Indian Mutiny) - A mute film from The Tornos Studio's Collection". Youtube: tornosindia. CREDITS FOR THIS VIDEO: The Arts and Humanities Research Council, British Film Institute, The Imperial War Museum and the British Empire and Commonwealth Museum. (UK). Retrieved 2022-05-01. CONTEXT: The Relief of Lucknow was produced by the Edison Company for the British market. Around 1911, Edison began to make films on specifically European themes to increase sales in Britain. The company also started sending actors and personnel to shoot films in outdoor locations, away from its New Jersey studio (Musser 1995, 49). Serle J. Dawley, director of The Relief, led several of these trips. In the year that he directed The Relief, Dawley shot The Charge of the Light Brigade in Cheyenne, Wyoming, adapting Alfred Lord Tennyson's poem to depict the Battle of Balaclava as a tale of British loyalty and sacrifice. The Relief was shot in Bermuda, which offered the advantages of tropical scenery and the presence of the 2nd Battalion of the "Queen's Own" Regiment, stationed on site
  8. ^ "HUMANOPHONE COMPANY. "FOR VALOUR". Beautiful Bermuda Film". The Royal Gazette. City of Hamilton, Pembroke, Bermuda. 1913-05-15. p. 2. This evening the Humanophone Company offer as the central attraction of their moving picture exhibition at the Colonial Opera House the Edison, Bermuda film "For Valour," made while Mr. Dawley and his company were at work last year at the Villa Montecello, Flatts. The story concerns the loves of a pretty Bermuda maiden who finds herself unable to choose between two representatives of the British Army until they are on the eve of departure for the South African War. Her choice falls upon one who eventually turns out to be a mean coward. But the other undertakes to bring him back to her and fulfils the self-imposed task although the coward has won a medal for an act which his rival performed. Eventually the truth, becomes known, and the Bermuda beauty rectifies her mistake. It is a pleasing picture and, the local setting lends it a peculiar interest for Bermudians. There was a large attendance of the lovers of good moving pictures at the Town Hall, St. George's on Monday night to see the splendid exhibition given by the Humanophone Company. There are a large number of young boys and girls who regularly attend the Monday night shows and Master Arthur said on Monday night' that Mr. Kaplan might put a real funny one in for their benefit. The Humanphone Co's. pictures are of a very high class, but a little nonsense now and then is relished by the best of men. Miss Silverstone delighted the audience With her performance at the piano and the people of St. George's appreciate her playing more and more as the season advances.