The Bright life of Thomas Edison

by Josh N, Age 10 , Grade 4, PA

                                                          The Bright life of Thomas Edison
     Have you ever wondered what happened in Thomas Edison’s life? Well… he wasn’t just famous like everyone thought. He was nearly deaf as an adult! He created such great innovations as the practical incandescent electric light bulb and the phonograph. As a businessman, he held more than 1,000 patents for his inventions.
     Thomas was difficult in school so his mom took him out of school and homeschooled him. When he was 12 he sold newspapers on a train and he conducted experiments in a laboratory he set up in a train baggage car. When he was doing an experiment a chemical fire started and the train car caught on fire. The conductor rushed in and struck Thomas on the side of the head and kicked him off the train. Then, Thomas was forced to sell his newspapers at the train stations.
                                                                    Teen/adult life
     Thomas saved a three year old child from being run over by a train, the child’s father rewarded him by teaching him how to operate a telegraph. When he was 19 he moved to Louisville, Kentucky working for The Associated Press. In 1868, Edison returned home to find his beloved mother was falling into mental illness and his father was unemployed. In 1869, when he was 22 years old, Thomas moved to New York City and made his first invention, an improved stock ticker called the Universal Stock Printer, which synchronized (to cause (things) to agree in time or to make (things) happen at the same time and speed) several stock tickers' transactions. The Gold and Stock Telegraph Company was so impressed, they paid him $40,000 for the rights. With this success, he quit his work as a telegrapher to devote himself full-time to inventing. In 1871 Edison married 16-year-old Mary Stilwell, who was an employee at one of his businesses. During their 13-year marriage, they had three children, Marion, Thomas and William, who himself became an inventor. In 1884, Mary died at the age of 29 of a suspected brain tumor.
                                                                      Elder Years
      In 1886, Edison married Mina Miller, 19 years his junior. In 1876, Edison moved his expanding operations to Menlo Park, New Jersey, and built an independent industrial research facility incorporating machine shops and laboratories. In December of 1877, Edison developed a method for recording sound: the phonograph. Though not commercially viable for another decade, the invention brought him worldwide fame. In January 1880, Edison set out to develop a company that would deliver the electricity to power and light the cities of the world. That same year, Edison founded the Edison Illuminating Company—the first investor-owned electric utility—which later became the General Electric Corporation.
     Edison's career was the quintessential rags-to-riches success story that made him a folk hero in America. An uninhibited egoist, he could be a tyrant to employees and ruthless to competitors. Though he was a publicity seeker, he “didn’t socialize well and often neglected his family. By the time he died he was one of the most well-known and respected Americans in the world. He had been at the forefront of America’s first technological revolution and set the stage for the modern electric world.


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