Thomas Alva Edison 133 Years Ago

Dated: October 23 2012

Views: 3196

Thomas Alva Edison 

February 11, 1847 - October 18, 1931

Edison  is probably most famous for inventing a workable, electric light at his laboratory on October 21, 1879,  in Menlo Park, N.J. He was a very busy inventor, holding more than a thousand patents. The invention of the light bulb began the electrical revolution that soon swept the country and the world.

He was a poor student. He didn't do very well in a traditional school setting, and often got punished for annoying the teacher with too many questions. When a schoolmaster called him addled (unable to think clearly; confuse), his furious mother took him out of the school and proceeded to teach him at home. Thomas Edison said many years later, My mother was the making of me. She was so true, so sure of me, and I felt I had some one to live for, some one I must not disappoint. At an early age, he showed a fascination for mechanical things and for chemical experiments.
His interest in science was first sparked when his mother bought him his first scientific book, The School of Natural Philosophy. He thoroughly studied the book and performed all the experiments described in it at home. He soon set up his own laboratory in his room and began performing original experiments. After a few disasters, he was asked by his parents to move his laboratory to the basement. The explosions from the basement constantly shook the house, often upsetting his father.

Edison was known as the “Wizard or Genius of Menlo Park.” He received more than 1,000 patents for his work and created or improved upon items like the phonograph, the motion picture camera, and a battery for vehicles.

In November 1877, one of Edison's first major inventions at Menlo Park was the phonograph. It was a basic machine that allowed a person to speak into a diaphragm that was attached to a pin that made indentations on a paper wrapped around wood. The first words Edison successfully recorded on the phonograph were Mary had a Little Lamb.

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