Thomas Edison

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Have you ever wondered who invented the electric light bulb? This article will give an insight on its famous developer. Thomas Edison was born on the 11th of February 1847, he died on October 18, 1931, an American businessman and inventor. He developed many devices that greatly influenced life around the world, including the phonograph, the motion picture camera, and a long-lasting, practical electric light bulb.

 

Thomas Edison was born in Milan, Ohio, and grew up in Port Huron, Michigan. He was the seventh and last child of Samuel Ogden Edison, Jr. (1804–96, born in Marshalltown, Nova Scotia, Canada) and Nancy Matthews Elliott (1810–1871, born in Chenango County, New York). 

 

His father had to escape from Canada because he took part in the unsuccessful Mackenzie Rebellion of 1837. Edison reported being of Dutch ancestry.

 

In 1862, Edison rescued a three-year-old from a track where a boxcar was about to roll into him. The grateful father, J.U. Mackenzie, taught Edison railroad telegraphy as a reward.

 

That winter, he took a job as a telegraph operator in Port Huron. In the meantime, he continued his scientific experiments on the side. Between 1863 and 1867, Edison migrated from city to city in the United States taking available telegraph jobs.

 

In 1866, at the age of 19, Edison moved to Louisville, Kentucky, where, as an employee of Western Union, he worked the Associated Press bureau news wire. Edison requested the night shift, which allowed him plenty of time to spend at his two favourite pastimes reading and experimenting. Eventually, the latter pre-occupation cost him his job.

 

One night in 1867, he was working with a lead acid battery when he spilled sulphuric acid onto the floor. It ran between the floorboards and onto his boss’s desk below. The next morning Edison was fired.

 

In 1876 Edison sold all his Newark manufacturing concerns and moved his family and staff of assistants to the small village of Menlo Park, twenty-five miles southwest of New York City.

 

Edison established a new facility containing all the equipment necessary to work on any invention. This research and development laboratory was the first of its kind anywhere; the model for later, modern facilities such as Bell Laboratories, this is sometimes considered to be Edison’s greatest invention.

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Here Edison began to change the world. The success of his electric light brought Edison to new heights of fame and wealth, as electricity spread around the world. Edison’s various electric companies continued to grow until in 1889 they were brought together to form Edison General Electric.

 

By the 1890s, Edison began to manufacture phonographs for both home, and business use. Like the electric light, Edison developed everything needed to have a phonograph work, including records to play, equipment to record the records, and equipment to manufacture the records and the machines.

 

In the process of making the phonograph practical, Edison created the recording industry. By the late 1890s, a thriving new industry was firmly established, and by 1918 the industry had become so competitive that Edison got out of the movie business all together.

 

Edison began to develop an alkaline battery in 1899. It proved to be Edison’s most difficult project, taking ten years to develop a practical alkaline battery. By the time Edison introduced his new alkaline battery, the gasoline powered car had so improved that electric vehicles were becoming increasingly less common, being used mainly as delivery vehicles in cities.

 

In August 1931 Edison collapsed at Glenmont. Essentially house bound from that point, Edison steadily declined until at 3:21 am on October 18, 1931 the great man died.