Edison Electric Pen, circa 1877

Thomas Edison1872/1882

The Henry Ford

The Henry Ford
Dearborn, MI, United States

Thomas Edison's electric pen, an ancestor of both the mimeograph and the tattoo needle, was a successful product in the mid-1870s. Users would write normally with the pen, which, instead of a nib, had a needle powered by an electric motor. The needle poked holes into a stencil, which was then used to copy the document. Many businesses found document duplication an attractive possibility.


  • Title: Edison Electric Pen, circa 1877
  • Creator: Edison, Thomas A. (Thomas Alva), 1847-1931
  • Date Created: 1872/1882
  • Subject Keywords: Copying, Stenciling, Reprographic equipment, Styluses, Pens (Drawing and writing)
  • Type: Objects
  • Contributor: The Henry Ford
  • Original Source: http://collections.thehenryford.org/Collection.aspx?objectKey=175814
  • Object Name: Stylus
  • Object ID: 00.1382.706
  • Image ID: THF95404
  • Credit: From the Collections of The Henry Ford.

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