THOMAS EDISON 1874-1931
Thomas Alva Edison was born on February 11, 1847 in Milan, Ohio. With only three months of formal education he became one of the greatest inventors and industrial leaders in history. Edison obtained 1,093 United States patents, the most issued to any individual.
Thomas Edison - American Inventor
Edison's greatest contribution to our modern world was the first practical electric lighting. He not only invented the first successful electric light bulb, but also set up the first electrical power distribution company. Edison invented the phonograph, and made improvements to the telegraph, telephone and motion picture technology. He also founded the first modern research laboratory.
Edison was also a good businessman. He not only designed important new devices, he created companies worldwide for the manufacture and sale of his inventions. Along with other manufacturing pioneers of his era, Edison helped make the United States a world industrial power. He and Henry Ford became friends after Edison encouraged Ford to use the gasoline powered engine for the automobile.
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Edison was also a ruthless businessman who fought viciously to defeat his competitors. One of the most notorious examples of his competitive vigor were the lengths he went to to discredit Nicola Tesla's Alternating Current system, which is the system of electrical distribution in use today.
Edison had great faith in progress and industry, and valued long, hard work. He used to say, "Genius was 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration." Edison believed that inventing useful products offered everyone the opportunity for fame and fortune while benefiting society.
The Edison Birthplace Museum features a collection of rare Edisonia, including examples of many of Edison's early inventions, documents, and family mementos. The Birthplace is open February through November and is located at 9 Edison Drive in Milan, Ohio
Resources - Other Inventor Links:
Benjamin Franklin - American Statesman and Inventor
Nicola Tesla - Serbian/American Inventor
Orville Wright - American Inventor
Wright - American Inventor
Books About Edison
Edison: A Life of Invention - Author: Paul Israel
Israel, managing editor of the Rutgers edition of Edison's papers, draws this biography from workshop diaries, letters, and more than five million pages of Edison archives. It places Edison in the context of the Industrial Revolution and its aftermath, and provides background on how he developed the collaborative research methods upon which today's corporate research departments and think tanks are modeled.
Thomas A. Edison: Young Inventor - Author: Sue Guthridge, Wallace Wook (Illustrator)
A biography focusing on the childhood of the inventor. Reading level for ages 9 through 12.
Uncommon Friends: Life With Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Harvey Firestone, Alexis Carrel, & Charles Lindbergh - Author: James D. Newton
James Newton formed friendships with several men who helped shape the 20th century. This book reveals the personal side of each of these great men, what it was like to be around them on a regular basis, some of their thoughts on life, and hints of their sense of humor.
VIDEOS ABOUT EDISON:
Edison: The Wizard of Light (2000) - Producer: A&E Home Video
An Emmy Award-winning family drama about the 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration required to build an impassioned life. A-12-year-old boy wins Edison's affections and a long-term apprentice job. Believable conversations between mentor and student about education, life, and the invention of Edison's light bulb and phonograph are dotted with many recognizable, timely quotations.
Young Tom Edison (1940) - Producer: MGM
Edison's early life depicted with flair by Mickey Rooney.
Edison the Man (1940) - Producer: MGM
Spencer Tracy stars as the earnest inventor in this sequel to "Young Tom Edison."
Biography - Thomas Edison - Producer: A&E Biography
look at the famous inventor.
The Edison Papers: Rutgers University
Thomas Edison: The Wizard of Menlo Park
Edison After Fourty - A Smithsonian photo-album providing a look into the latter half of the life of Edison
INVENTORS A - Z
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