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Thomas Edison was a man who influenced America more than anyone else. Some of the inventions he pioneered are still used to this day. He was a man who spent almost his entire life working as a scientist, and receiving more than 1,200 patents in his lifetime. (Anderson pg.7) Thomas Edisonís life was probably twice as productive as a modern day chemist, he was a firm believer of an eight hour work day, eight hours in the morning, and eight in the afternoon. Aside from his amazing history as an adult Edison lived an equally exciting childhood. Thomas Edison was born in Milan Ohio on February 11, 1847. At the time, his father was owner of a successful shingle and lumber company. However with new railroads being built through Milan his father lost customers to the bigger companies which began to open. The Edisonís were forced to move to Port Huron, where he first began his education. When he was only seven years old his teacher, the Reverend G.B. Engle considered Thomas to be a dull student, and was terrible in math. After three months of school his teacher called him "addled," which means confused or mixed up. Thomas stormed home.(minot, pg1) The next day, Nancy Edison brought Thomas back to school to talk to Reverend Engle. He told her that Thomas couldnít learn. His mother became so angry at the strict Reverend that she decided to home-school him.(minot 1) After a while his mother, a former teacher herself, recognized his un usual abilities to reason. She quickly got him interested in History and Classic books. Thomas however was strangely attracted to the subject of science. By the age of ten Thomas Edison had already been experimenting and by now owned a sizable quantity of chemicals. Unfortunately his experiments were often quite expensive and he found it his duty to pay for them. Because he didnít go to school he had plenty of time to earn money by himself. When he was only twelve, he began selling newspapers on the Grand Trunk Railway, he even printed the newspapers himself (Szhlmen, 1). He spent everything he earned on books and chemicals after about one year his mother became so sick of the noises of exploding beakers and the smell of burning flooded the house with smoke that he was no longer allowed to work in the house (Minot). Luckily h e was given permission to move to his lab into the train baggage car. He would be able to experiment during the long five hour layover in Detroit (Minot). Sadly one of chemicals fell off an unstable rack and caught fire. The fire was quickly spotted and only caused minor damage. Tom was then banned from experimenting on the train. Along with chemistry he began to work with telegraphy. When he was fourteen, he and another boy who lived nearby set up a telegraphic connection between their houses. By using the telegrapher so often Tom became equivalent to a second class which could earn a very steady pay. (Vanderbilt, 17). With his knowledge in telegraphy he began working as a full time operator soon after he made his first major invention it was a telegraphic repeating instrument that enabled messages to be transmitted automatically over a second line without the need for an operator. He had invented a machine that does the job he is hired to do. For a while Edison kept this invention secret. He began using it while at work, but was caught asleep with it on. After he was fired he moved to Boston, here he planned to dedicate all of his time to research for new inventions. Soon after he invented an automatic vote counter. Now the presidential votes could be counted in a fraction of the time it used to take. But the government didnít like it, it was too fast. Those who decided not to use it argued that people want time between the time that they vote and the time they hear the results. However, this machine is later used, and the same design is still used today. Since his last invention didnít produce any profit, he was hoping his next invention would help him financially. Edison wandered from Boston to New York City in 1869
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Thomas Edison, Telegraphy, Office equipment, Deists, General Electric, Ticker tape, Edison, New Jersey, Phonograph, Invention, Carbon microphone, Telephone, Electrical telegraph
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