THOMAS A. EDISON
Thomas Alva Edison was called Alva, or Al by his family. He was a very curious child. He was always asking questions. Even his mother, who had once been a schoolteacher could not answer all his questions. He would experiment to try to find the answers. Once he tried to hatch some eggs by sitting on them. Another time he accidently burned down the family's barn.
The teacher told someone she thought there was something wrong with Alva; that he was "addled" * . He told his mother and they took him out of the school. He only went to school for 3 months in his whole life. Afterwards , he was taught at home.
He wanted to experiment. To make money for his experiments, he went to work at age 12 selling newspapers and candy on a train. When he had some spare time on the train, he would do experiments in the baggage car.
When he was 16 he went to work for the telegraph * office sending messages.
He became nearly deaf due to an injury to his ears. He later said he didn't mind being deaf because it helped him to concentrate.
When he was 22 years old he went to New York. He only had $1 in his pocket. He hunted for a job during the day, and at night he slept in the basement of a gold company. He watched everything around him very closely. Some equipment broke down and Edison was able to fix it because he had been watching it work before he went to sleep each night. The owners gave him a job. He improved the machine so much the company paid him $40,000 for his invention. He started the American Telegraph Works in New Jersey.
He built a laboratory in Menlo Park, New Jersey. It was here with his employees he made many of his inventions. He would work night after night, and sometimes he would fall asleep at his workbench. His wife wouldn't see him for days at a time.
He and his team worked to make a light bulb which would burn for a long time without burning out. They tried 1,500 materials and nothing worked well. Finally he tried a new material in the filament * that burned nearly 200 hours.
After he had made the light bulb, he worked to make a power system so people could use the bulb. In 1882 he flipped a switch and 85 houses in New York City had electric lights for the first time.
Thomas Edison was probably the world's greatest inventor. He had a patent on 1,093 inventions. In addition to the electric light, he also invented the phonograph * , a camera to take motion pictures, a cement mixer, the automatic * telegraph, and he improved Alexander Graham Bell's telephone.
This biography by Patsy Stevens, a retired teacher, was written in 2001.
A frequent question:
"Who wrote this biography and when was it written?"
Look on this Reference Citations Chart.
Pioneers of Electricity
from Florida State University
Edison's Miracle of Light PBS site
Thomas Edison Birthplace Museum
from the Smithsonian
Timeline of Edison's life
Edison After Forty
from American History
Thomas Alva Edison
Edison's Miracle of Light
transcript of the film at PBS
Edison Lesson Plans
from The Learning Page at the Library of Congress
Thomas A. Edison Papers
The Wizard of Menlo Park
from Franklin Institute Online
Thomas Edison Timeline
(See topics in the right-hand column)
School for Champions
Thomas Alva Edison
biography with audio version
Thomas Alva Edison
from Hero History
Inventors and Inventions
at Kid Info
from Enchanted Learning
Incandescent Light Bulb
history of the light bulb
Electric Light Bulb
Inventions That Revolutionised the World
Questions and Answers about Edison
National Park Service
Thomas Edison versus Nikola Tesla
Who is more productive?
Arc Lights (audio)
The Vacuum Tube (audio)
Edison's Big Failure (audio)
Edison's Golden Years (audio)
Engines of Our Ingenuity.
At biography.com search for Thomas Edison.
Scroll the panel for the "Video & Audio Results".
From Word Central's Student Dictionary
by Merriam - Webster
(Pronunciation note: the schwa sound is shown by ə)
Inflected Form: addled
: to make or become confused...
: an electric device or system for sending messages
by a code over wires ...
: an instrument that reproduces sound recorded on a grooved disk ...
: a single thread or a thin flexible threadlike object, process, or part: as a : a wire (as in a light bulb) that is made to glow by the passage of an electric current...
: having devices or mechanisms (as timers) that permit operation without help from a person, (automatic washer)...
Thomas Edison: A Brilliant Inventor
By Lisa DeMauro, ed. / Harpercollins Publishing
Take a close-up look Thomas Edison, the brilliant scientist who perfected the light bulb and founded the first movie studio. Interviews with experts and lively writing deliver the accurate reporting you expect from TIME for Kids. Historical and contemporary photographs capture the life of this inventor who revolutionized our world. Recommended for ages 7 to 9.
Thomas Edison Biography FunBook
By Carole Marsh & Sherry Moss(Editor) / Gallopade International
Everyone's favorite way to learn about America's most important citizens! Easy-to-read information, facts, trivia, humor and activities are all included in Biography Funbooks! Ages 7-12. paperback.
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Online book "Inventors"
Thomas Edison, page 223 (public domain, full view)
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Thomas Edison, Young Inventor
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Young Thomas Edison
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Most Recent Comments ( See more comments on this page ) 2013-02-27
Thanks! The information was really helpful .
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*Word Match Solution
Light bulb courtesyWikipedia