Thomas Edison

Thomas Alva Edison was born on February 11, 1847 in Milan, Ohio, and died on October 18, 1931. He was an American inventor, scientist, and businessman.

Early Life

Young Thomas Edison

Edison became a telegrapher at Stratford Junction in Ontario on the Grand Trunk Railway in 1866 until he was fired after experimenting during work. On December 25, 1871, Thomas Edison married Mary Stilwell, who was just 16 years old. Together they had threee children; Marion Edison, Thomas Edison Jr., and William Edison. In 1886, Edison married Mina Miller and had three more children; Madeline Edison, Charled Edison, and Theodore Edison.

Scientific Accomplishments

Edison created the first phonograph in 1877. This invention played recordings that could be replayed over and over. The prototype used tinfoil wrapped around a cylinder and could only be played a few times, but inventors like Alexander Graham Bell would perfect this marvel.

Edison also invented the carbon microphone which was used in phones until recently in the 1980's.

One of Edison's most renowned inventions was the incandescent light bulb. This light source worked by heating a filiment inside a glass covering until it glowed producing a light that would last much longer than candle light.

The kinetograph was another invention of Edison's that allowed one viewer at a time to look into a box that showed a short film .
Edison's first incandescent light bulb

Another invention of Edison's was the Electrographic vote recorder. This contraption was used to make recording votes easier for legislators. A voter would turn the switch to their desired vote and an electric current would be sent to a desk where wheels kept track of the votes.

Edison also invented many things in his time to benefit everyday life and large industries such as a magnetic iron ore seperator, a fruit preserver, an electro magnetic brake, many railroad marvels, and many more small electric achievements that could be used by ordinary people.


"Be courageous! Whatever setbacks America has encountered, it has always emerged as a stronger and more prosperous nation..."
"Be brave as your fathers before you. Have faith and go forward."
"I have never perfected an invention that I did not think about it in terms of the service it might give others...I find out what the world needs, then i proceed to invent."
"Many of life's failures are experienced by people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up."