thomas Edison

Thomas Edison is often thought of as one of the greatest inventors who ever lived. He is commonly categorized as the man who invented the first practical incandescent light bulb. Equally important are Edison’s 1,093 patents, more than any other individual. His inventions revolutionized our world and changed lives even today. Some of his inventions were improvements on other inventions, like the telephone. On the other hand, some of his inventions he deliberately tried to invent, like the light bulb and the movie projector. However, some inventions he stumbled upon, like the phonograph. Edison invented and improved upon things that transformed our world. Some things he invented by himself. Some things he invented with other people. More importantly, just about all his inventions are things we still use in some form today.
Thomas Edison was born in Milan, Ohio on February 11, 1847. He was the seventh child of Samuel and Nancy Edison. When Thomas was 7, his family was forced to move to Port Huron, Michigan because of financial problems. As might be expected, Edison there attended school. His teacher, the Reverend G. B. Engle considered Thomas to be a dull student. Thomas especially did not like math. And he asked too many questions. After three months of school, the teacher called Thomas, "addled," which means confused or mixed up. The teacher told his mother that Thomas couldn\'t learn. Nancy consequently took Thomas out of school and decided to home-school him. It appears he briefly attended two more schools. However, his school attendance was not very good. So nearly all his childhood learning took place at home(Swezy).
Thomas Edison set up his first lab in his basement to perform experiments after learning physics. When Edison was 12 years old, he took a job as a trainboy on the Grand Trunk Railway. The train traveled from Port Huron, to Detroit, and back to Port Huron in one day. Thomas sold newspapers and candy to passengers( histories/ edison/ tae.html). He also printed a weekly newspaper, the Weekly Herald. He spent all he earned on books and equipment for his chemical laboratory. When trying to hop aboard a moving train, a trainman helped him aboard by pulling his ears. This in turn, led to the inventors deafness. His deafness could have been cured by an operation. But Thomas refused the operation. He said being deaf helped him concentrate( library/ 196feb/ edison.html).
At the age of 16, Edison roamed the Midwest as a telegraph operator. He became a telegraph assistant at Stratford Junction, Canada. His job was to report to Toronto every hour by telegraph signal. Edison thought this was a waste of time. He invented something that sent a signal even if he was asleep. This was his first invention - the transmitter and receiver for the automatic telegraph. From this point on Thomas Edison determined that he wanted to become an inventor.
In Boston, at the age of 21 Edison patented his unsuccessful vote counter. The vote counter was used to speed up the way of counting votes. He determined that he would no longer invent things unless there was a need for them. In 1869 he refined the vote counter and sold it, with the $40,000 he was paid he started a laboratory and a factory in Newark, N.J.(Scientists).
On Christmas day, 1871, Thomas Edison married his first wife Mary G. Stillwell. Thomas was 24 and Mary was 16. They had three children, Marion, Thomas Jr, and William. Mary died due to typhoid fever, however, in 1884. Thomas again married, to Mina Miller in 1886. They also had three children, Madeline, Charles, and Theodore(Pathways).
In 1873 Edison, invented the "duplex" telegraph machine that sent two messages at one time over the same wire. This was an improvement to the telegraph already invented. He later combined two "duplex" telegraph machines to make a "quadruplex" machine, one that sent four simultaneous messages over one wire.

In 1876, Edison moved his laboratory to Menlo Park. Thomas was therefore given the name "The wizard of Menlo Park." Here he created his favorite invention, one considered to be his most original, the "Phonograph". This machine recorded sounds and then replayed them. The first sounds recorded by the phonograph was the song "Mary had a little lamb."
The light bulb was