Thomas Edison

Thomas Edison
Thomas Edison2.jpg
Edison, c.1922
Born Thomas Alva Edison
(1847-02-11)February 11, 1847
Milan, Ohio, U.S.
Died October 18, 1931(1931-10-18) (aged 84)
West Orange, New Jersey, U.S.
Nationality American
Education Self-educated
Occupation Inventor, businessman
Spouse(s)
  • Mary Stilwell (m. 187184)
  • Mina Miller (m. 18861931)
Children
Parent(s)
  • Samuel Ogden Edison, Jr. (1804–1896)
  • Nancy Matthews Elliott (1810–1871)
Relatives Lewis Miller (father-in-law)
Signature
Thomas Alva Edison Signature.svg

Thomas Alva Edison (February 11, 1847 – October 18, 1931) was an American inventor and businessman, who has been described as America's greatest inventor. [2] He developed many devices that greatly influenced life around the world, including the phonograph, the motion picture camera, and the long-lasting, practical electric light bulb. Dubbed "The Wizard of Menlo Park", [3] he was one of the first inventors to apply the principles of mass production and large-scale teamwork to the process of invention, and because of that, he is often credited with the creation of the first industrial research laboratory. [4]

Edison was a prolific inventor, holding 1,093 US patents in his name, as well as many patents in the United Kingdom, France, and Germany. More significant than the number of Edison's patents was the widespread impact of his inventions: electric light and power utilities, sound recording, and motion pictures all established major new industries worldwide. Edison's inventions contributed to mass communication and, in particular, telecommunications. These included a stock ticker, a mechanical vote recorder, a battery for an electric car, electrical power, recorded music and motion pictures. His advanced work in these fields was an outgrowth of his early career as a telegraph operator. Edison developed a system of electric-power generation and distribution [5] to homes, businesses, and factories – a crucial development in the modern industrialized world. His first power station was on Pearl Street in Manhattan, New York. [5]

Early life

Edison as a boy

Thomas Edison was born in Milan, Ohio, and grew up in Port Huron, Michigan. He was the seventh and last child of Samuel Ogden Edison, Jr. (1804–1896, born in Marshalltown, Nova Scotia) and Nancy Matthews Elliott (1810–1871, born in Chenango County, New York). [6] His father, the son of a Loyalist refugee, had moved as a boy with the family from Nova Scotia, settling in southwestern Ontario (then called Upper Canada), in a village known as Shewsbury, later Vienna, by 1811. Samuel Jr. eventually fled Ontario, because he took part in the unsuccessful Mackenzie Rebellion of 1837. [7] His father, Samuel Sr., had earlier fought in the War of 1812 as captain of the First Middlesex Regiment. By contrast, Samuel Jr.'s struggle found him on the losing side, and he crossed into the United States at Sarnia-Port Huron. Once across the border, he found his way to Milan, Ohio. His patrilineal family line was Dutch by way of New Jersey; the surname had originally been "Edeson." [8]

Edison only attended school for a few months and was instead taught by his mother. [9] Much of his education came from reading R.G. Parker's School of Natural Philosophy and The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art. [10]

Edison developed hearing problems at an early age. The cause of his deafness has been attributed to a bout of scarlet fever during childhood and recurring untreated middle-ear infections. Around the middle of his career, Edison attributed the hearing impairment to being struck on the ears by a train conductor when his chemical laboratory in a boxcar caught fire and he was thrown off the train in Smiths Creek, Michigan, along with his apparatus and chemicals. In his later years, he modified the story to say the injury occurred when the conductor, in helping him onto a moving train, lifted him by the ears. [11] [12]

Edison's family moved to Port Huron, Michigan, after the railroad bypassed Milan in 1854 and business declined. [13] Edison sold candy and newspapers on trains running from Port Huron to Detroit, and sold vegetables. He briefly worked as a telegraph operator in 1863 for the Grand Trunk Railway at Stratford, Ontario railway at age 16. He was held responsible for a near collision. He also studied qualitative analysis and conducted chemical experiments on the train until he left the job. [14] [15]

Edison obtained the exclusive right to sell newspapers on the road, and, with the aid of four assistants, he set in type and printed the Grand Trunk Herald, which he sold with his other papers. [15] This began Edison's long streak of entrepreneurial ventures, as he discovered his talents as a businessman. These talents eventually led him to found 14 companies, including General Electric, which is still one of the largest publicly traded companies in the world. [16] [17]

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Thomas Edison
Alemannisch: Thomas Alva Edison
العربية: توماس إديسون
armãneashti: Thomas Alva Edison
Avañe'ẽ: Thomas Edison
Aymar aru: Thomas Edison
azərbaycanca: Tomas Alva Edison
Bahasa Banjar: Thomas Alva Edison
Bân-lâm-gú: Thomas Edison
Basa Banyumasan: Thomas Alva Edison
беларуская: Томас Эдысан
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Томас Эдысан
Bislama: Thomas Edison
български: Томас Едисън
brezhoneg: Thomas Edison
Cebuano: Thomas Edison
Chavacano de Zamboanga: Thomas Edison
Cymraeg: Thomas Edison
Ελληνικά: Τόμας Έντισον
Fiji Hindi: Thomas Edison
français: Thomas Edison
Gaeilge: Thomas Edison
贛語: 愛迪生
Gĩkũyũ: Thomas Edison
ગુજરાતી: થૉમસ ઍડિસન
गोंयची कोंकणी / Gõychi Konknni: Thomas Edison
客家語/Hak-kâ-ngî: Thomas Eddison
Հայերեն: Թոմաս Էդիսոն
Ilokano: Thomas Edison
Bahasa Indonesia: Thomas Alva Edison
interlingua: Thomas Edison
italiano: Thomas Edison
Kapampangan: Thomas Edison
къарачай-малкъар: Эдисон, Томас Альфа
Kiswahili: Thomas Edison
Кыргызча: Эдисон, Томас
لۊری شومالی: توٙماس ئدیسون
latviešu: Tomass Edisons
Lëtzebuergesch: Thomas Alva Edison
lietuvių: Thomas Edison
Limburgs: Thomas Edison
Livvinkarjala: Thomas Edison
lumbaart: Thomas Edison
македонски: Томас Алва Едисон
Malagasy: Thomas Edison
مازِرونی: ادیسون
Bahasa Melayu: Thomas Edison
Mìng-dĕ̤ng-ngṳ̄: Thomas Edison
Mirandés: Thomas Edison
မြန်မာဘာသာ: သောမတ် အက်ဒီဆင်
Nederlands: Thomas Edison
नेपाल भाषा: थोमस एडिसन
norsk nynorsk: Thomas Edison
occitan: Thomas Edison
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Thomas Edison
ਪੰਜਾਬੀ: ਥਾਮਸ ਐਡੀਸਨ
Piemontèis: Thomas Edison
português: Thomas Edison
Qaraqalpaqsha: Thomas Edison
Ripoarisch: Thomas Alva Edison
русиньскый: Томас Едісон
саха тыла: Томас Эдисон
Gagana Samoa: Thomas Edison
संस्कृतम्: थामस् एडिसन्
Simple English: Thomas Edison
slovenčina: Thomas Alva Edison
slovenščina: Thomas Alva Edison
Soomaaliga: Tomas Edison
српски / srpski: Томас Алва Едисон
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Thomas Alva Edison
Basa Sunda: Thomas Alfa Edison
svenska: Thomas Edison
Tagalog: Thomas Edison
Taqbaylit: Thomas Edison
татарча/tatarça: Томас Эдисон
Türkçe: Thomas Edison
Türkmençe: Tomas Edison
українська: Томас Алва Едісон
ئۇيغۇرچە / Uyghurche: توماس ئېدىسون
vepsän kel’: Edison Tomas Alva
Tiếng Việt: Thomas Edison
Volapük: Thomas Edison
Winaray: Thomas Edison
吴语: 爱迪生
Yorùbá: Thomas Edison
粵語: 愛迪生
Zeêuws: Thomas Edison
žemaitėška: Tuoms Edėsuons
中文: 爱迪生
Kabɩyɛ: Thomas Edison