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Thomas Edison Biography / Autobiography / Memoir resources

Full Name: Mr. Thomas Alva Edison
Date of Birth: February 11, 1847
Place of Birth: Milan, Ohio, USA
Died: October 18, 1931
Place of Death: West Orange, New Jersey, USA
Classification: Scientists & Thinkers

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Short Biography of Thomas Edison

Although he was hard of hearing by the age of twelve, Thomas Edison would invent a better light bulb, telegraph, and phonograph. These accomplishments sealed his position as one of the world’s greatest inventors.

Born in a small town in the Midwest, in Ohio, young Thomas was a restless student whose mind often wondered as the teacher gave lessons. But, it was his mother that would educate him at home. She taught him the pleasures of reading, by letting him read material that interested him. She also taught him how to be constructive and work with materials around him to invent something purposeful.

When he moved to Michigan, he was not as fulfilled selling goods on train routes to the bigger city of Detroit. But, he was able to make some money that would help him realize the benefits of hard work. Upon saving a fellow boy from being hit by a runaway train, the father of the boy decided to teach young Thomas Edison about the wonders of the telegraph – something that would set the inventor’s path for the rest of his life. He learned how to be a telegraph operator, which came easily to him because of his deafness of background noises. In those years, he was also taken under the wing of another inventor who allowed the teenage him to work in his basement. It was then that he began working on his invention of electrical telegraphy.

It would not be until Thomas Edison and his new wife moved to New Jersey that his career would really unfold. There, he unveiled his automatic repeater that would revolutionize the telegraph world. He also displayed his phonograph, the first device of its kind to record and play back sound. The invention so frightened the crowd that they believed him to be a sorcerer. With better design and longer-lasting records, the phonograph became a huge hit at home and abroad – especially in England.

He went on to form the Edison Electric Light Company in New York City. The small company provided the first lights to lower Manhattan, New York. Thomas Edison’s dream was to provide every American household with affordable electric power. He continued working on his inventions, even designing phone speakers that were used through the latter 20 th century.

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