Thomas Edison

Great American inventor

Thomas's origin

Thomas Edison lived in Milan, Ohio until he was seven, as him and his family moved to Port Huron, Michigan.

Important facts

Thomas Edison was born on February 11, 1847 in Milan, Ohio and died on October 18, 1931 in West Orange, New Jersey. He has seven older siblings and had six children himself. He wed twice, as his first wife died at the age of 29 possibly from a brain tumor.


Thomas's education was not as you would imagine, as he started school in 1854 when his family moved to Port Huron, Michigan for 12 weeks. His teacher said he was ''difficult'' and his mother, a school teacher herself, took him out of school and taught him at home. When Thomas was 11 he started reading books about many different subjects and created a type of ''self education'' where he could teach himself through the books.

Early life

When Thomas Edison was a child he had a bad case of scarlet fever, which worsened his already poor hearing. When he was 12 Thomas got a job selling newspapers and candy to passengers on the Grand Trunk railroad line. One day while he was working a 3-year old almost got run over by a train but Thomas saved him. The father thanked Thomas by teaching him how to operate a telegraph.

Early career

Thomas Edison's early career started when he was 15 as he was skilled enough to become a telegraph operator. He eventually found it harder and harder to find employment as as a telegraph operator. (see paragraph labelled "Failures/challenges").

Major acomplishments

Becoming an inventor

At age 22, Thomas quit his job as a telegrapher and became an inventor. His first invention was an electronic voting recorder. His efforts in this invention were turned down, (see failures/challenges) but he continued on developing and inventing items that would one day change the world. He developed the phonograph, the telegraph, the electric light bulb, the Kenetograph, stock ticker and alkaline storage batteries.


As the telegraph became more advanced, Thomas had a hard time getting employed as a telegrapher because of his hearing, as the telegraph tapped out a code that was hard for Thomas to hear. Thomas also invented an electronic voting recorder that allowed votes to be tallied quicker. He was turned down for his invention, but that didn't stop him from continuing his dream to change the world.

How did Thomas Edison change the world?

Thomas Edison changed the world by inventing and improving the light bulb and many more helpful things, such as a device called a stock ticker and the phonograph. His success in creating the first long lasting light bulb was an incredible achievement, as people could now have a long lasting light source in their homes and businesses.

Marrages and children

In 1871 Thomas married 16-year old Mary Stilwell. They had three children, Thomas, Marion and William. Mary died in 1884. In 1886 Thomas married Mina Miller. They too had three children, Madeleine, Theodore and Charles.

Fun facts

Thomas Edison's nickname when he little was Al, as his middle name is Alva.

Thomas had a small ''lab'' set up in a train baggage car where he did experiments when he had a job selling newspaper. One time he accidentally started a fire and got kicked out of the car.

Thomas wanted to become an actor but gave up the thought because of his stage fright.

Type of science: Electrical science.

Major achievements

One of Thomas's major achievements was developing the electric light bulb. In 1867 Thomas built an industrial research facility in Menlo Park and started to develop the light bulb. He discovered that the light lasted longer if you sucked all of the air out of the bulb. He also found that slowly baked cotton thread was a perfect filament for the bulb as it burned for a long amount of time.