Charles Edison was a worthy successor to his father in many ways. Though he did not have the same tirelessly creative mind, he possessed a strong work ethic and good business sense. These qualities kept Thomas Edison, Inc. afloat during the hard days of the Great Depression and the enormous changes in technology after World War Two . Later in his life, Charles Edison had a brief career in government. Ironically, he was elected Secretary of the Navy in 1940.

Edison's death also marked the end of an era in American business. No longer was there the freedom for a lone inventor to build an empire as Edison had done. Structural changes in the economy, as well as the upheavals of the new century, had altered the fabric of American business enterprise forever.

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