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Edison, standing, holding a cigar.

Edison at 45

This photo (by J.W. White of Port Huron, MI) was taken as a shift occurred in Edison's relation to the electric light and power industry he had helped create. The birth of General Electric from a merger of rivals Edison General Electric and Thomson-Houston Company pricked Edison's ego - his name had been dropped from the company name - but allowed him to move away from manufacturing and focus on research. Despite his having a seat on GE's Board and receiving contracts for a modest amount of research work, Edison did little to shape the company's strategic direction. That role fell to former Thomson-Houston president Charles Coffin, and financier J.P. Morgan.

SI negative #87-1589

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The Challenge of Success
Before Forty
Changes At Forty
Home Life
The New Technical World
Fame And Its Distractions
Edison In His Eighties