1869 – Thomas Edison received a patent for his electric voting machine.


Thomas Edison with his Cylinder Phonograph

Thomas A. Edison filed for a patent on his cylinder phonograph 140 years ago this month. The inventor accumulated more than 1,000 U.S. patents, but always considered the phonograph to be his favorite invention.

Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress.

Voting Machines On June 1, 1869, Thomas Edison received his first patent for improvements to “electrographic vote-recording.” A demonstration of the device to Congress by one of Edison’s investors failed to win support for its use in U.S. elections. In 1892, Lockport, NY, was first to use an electronic voting machine in an American election.