National Geographic : 1988 Jan
''iscoveries and inventions Sarise from the observa n tion of little things," said Alexander Graham Bell (center and lower right in this modern collage), inventor of the tele phone and the National Geo graphic Society's second presi dent. In the 1880s inventive Americans were creating devices to make communications faster, labor less strenuous, and life more enjoyable; electricity was the key. Thomas Edison (left) invented the light bulb in 1879, but he stubbornly clung to direct current motors, disdaining the inventions of his onetime assis tant Nikola Tesla (right center). In 1888 the Serbian immigrant patented his alternating-current "electromagnetic motor." Elec tricity powered the Linotype of Ottmar Mergenthaler (bottom right). Setting type from a key board spurred production of books, newspapers, and magazines. George Eastman (wearing hat) popularized photography by introducing roll film and a simple box camera, the Kodak, as early as 1888. Lewis E.Water man (upper right) gave us the fountain pen, and William Horlick (lower left) introduced malted milk.