The Basics:
  • Born: February 11, 1847
  • Lived in: Ohio and New Jersey
  • Discovered: The “Edison effect,” or electric waves in space. This discovery allowed for the invention of radios, televisions, computers and other wireless products.
  • Invented: An improved the incandescent light bulb, sound recorder, the movie camera, telegraph machines, electric vote recorder, stock ticker, microphone, batteries, X-ray machines – and more than 2,000 other devices.
  • Died: October 18, 1931
Did you know?
  • Thomas Edison was almost completely deaf. He lost most of his hearing as a young boy.
  • Edison was born in 1847 in Ohio. He was the youngest of seven children.
  • Edison’s mother was a school teacher. That is probably why she was able to teach Edison so well. Edison said about his mother, “All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.”
  • Edison’s mother let him set up a chemistry lab in the basement.
  • Thomas Edison had scarlet fever when he was a child. The disease left him almost deaf.
  • When Edison was twelve, he started publishing and selling a newspaper to train passengers.
  • Edison started a fire on a train car doing chemistry experiments. 
  • At age fifteen, he began operating telegraphs.
  • At age 22, he invented an improved stock ticker for the stock exchange. He was paid $40,000 for this invention – a lot of money back then. Edison used the money to take care of his ill mother and become a full-time inventor.
More on Edison:

Several movies have highlighted Edison’s life:

  • Electrocuting an Elephant
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