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The journey of a legend - Thomas Alva Edison

By Annphilip Subscribe to RSS | February 17th 2012 | Views:

About his early life – Edison was born on February 11, 1847 in Milan, Ohio. Among seven, he was the last child of Samuel Edison and Nancy Elliot Edison. His father was doing lot of business, including a grocery store, and his mother was a school teacher. He attended school for only few months in Port Huron, Michigan. As a student who asks lot of questions, his teacher called him’ addled’, means confused or mixed-up. Incidents like this compelled him to continue his childhood education at home.

When he was 12 years of old he started selling newspapers on the Grand Trunk Railway station. After completing his work, he spends his spare time for experimenting with printing press, electrical equipments and mechanical apparatus. He also published a weekly news paper, the weekly Herald. He was permitted to do his experiments in the baggage car of a train. Later the lab caught fire and the train conductor threw Edison and his chemicals off the train.

One day he saved the life of a station official’s child and he was rewarded with a chance to learn telegraphy. He learned telegraphy and started working as a telegraph operator at the age of 16 years. While working in the telegraphic office, Edison made his first invention. It was a telegraphic repeating instrument that sends messages automatically without the presence of an operator. This system works for him when he is asleep. Later his boss found him asleep and he was almost fired.

From there he moved to Boston and got involved in his experiments. When he was 21, he got a job as an expert night telegraph operator. It was at that time he invented a vote recorder that records vote in a faster and efficient way. At that time, no one was interested in buying the machine. But, today many states are using it to record votes of legislators. He moved to New York City in 1869. There he started studying about stock market ticker. He got a chance to fix the stock ticker problem of the Gold and Stock Telegraph Company. And the company hired him to build a better one. Within a year he made the universal stock printer and sold it for $40,000. This money helped him to start his own laboratory in 1876.

Edison achieved his greatest success in this laboratory. During that period he partnered with some of the New York's richest people like J.P. Morgan and the Vanderbilts. They formed a company named Edison Electric Light Company, before light bulbs were invented. Today this company is known by the name – ‘General Electric’.

Phonograph founded in 1877 was his favorite invention. He spent great amount of time in inventing electric lights. The search for a proper filament material forced him to send people to jungles of Amazon and Japan. After testing nearly 6,000 vegetable growths, finally he made a light bulb using carbonized filaments from cotton thread. People called him”The wizard of Menlo Park”. I tried to gain more information about Edison from library books and home internet connected with service from providers like Cheap Internet.

Edison was quoted as saying “Invention is ninety-nine percent perspiration, and one percent inspiration.”Hard work, determination and perseverance are his strengths. He saw success in every failure. While doing storage battery experiment he failed nearly 10,000 times. According to him, those were not failures, but 10,000 ways that won’t give good results. His death was on October 21, 1931. In tribute to this great scientist and inventor, electric lights in the United States were dimmed for one minute on that day.

Annphilip - About Author:
As a freelancer, Ann likes to write about famous scientists and their inventions. Most of the information I collected for this were from books and Internet connected with service from providers like Cheap Internet.

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