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She decided to teach him at home instead. Before long, she had taught Edison everything she knew. He started reading books from the library and teaching himself. Watch this historical video all about Thomas Edison:. How many things did Edison invent? Edison submitted his last invention for patent when he was 80 years old. He had 1, inventions.

For lengthy info click here. Thomas Edison Facts for Kids.

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Early years

One Celled Organisms - The Protists. Good Guy or Bad Guy? He had three more children and moved to West Orange, New Jersey. At West Orange, Edison built one of the largest laboratories in the world. He worked extremely hard and registered 1, patents. Edison continued to invent or improve products and make significant contributions to X-ray technology, storage batteries, and motion pictures movies.

His inventions changed the world forever. They still influence the way we live today. Edison worked until his death on October 18, He began his career in , in the adolescence of the telegraph industry, when virtually the only source of electricity was primitive batteries putting out a low-voltage current.

Before he died, in , he had played a critical role in introducing the modern age of electricity.

Thomas Edison

From his laboratories and workshops emanated the phonograph , the carbon-button transmitter for the telephone speaker and microphone , the incandescent lamp , a revolutionary generator of unprecedented efficiency , the first commercial electric light and power system, an experimental electric railroad , and key elements of motion-picture apparatus , as well as a host of other inventions. Edison was the seventh and last child—the fourth surviving—of Samuel Edison, Jr.

At an early age he developed hearing problems, which have been variously attributed but were most likely due to a familial tendency to mastoiditis. Thomas Alva Edison invented the phonograph in , and it quickly became the most popular home-entertainment device of the century. Seeking to provide a visual accompaniment to the phonograph, Edison commissioned Dickson, a young laboratory assistant, to invent a motion-picture….

In Samuel Edison became the lighthouse keeper and carpenter on the Fort Gratiot military post near Port Huron , Michigan , where the family lived in a substantial home. Alva, as the inventor was known until his second marriage , entered school there and attended sporadically for five years.

He was imaginative and inquisitive, but because much instruction was by rote and he had difficulty hearing, he was bored and was labeled a misfit. To compensate, he became an avid and omnivorous reader.

In Edison quit school and began working as a trainboy on the railroad between Detroit and Port Huron. Four years earlier, the Michigan Central had initiated the commercial application of the telegraph by using it to control the movement of its trains, and the Civil War brought a vast expansion of transportation and communication.

Edison took advantage of the opportunity to learn telegraphy and in became an apprentice telegrapher.

The transformation of telegraphy to an auditory art left Edison more and more disadvantaged during his six-year career as an itinerant telegrapher in the Midwest, the South, Canada , and New England. Amply supplied with ingenuity and insight, he devoted much of his energy toward improving the inchoate equipment and inventing devices to facilitate some of the tasks that his physical limitations made difficult.

By January he had made enough progress with a duplex telegraph a device capable of transmitting two messages simultaneously on one wire and a printer, which converted electrical signals to letters, that he abandoned telegraphy for full-time invention and entrepreneurship. Pope, a noted electrical expert, to produce the Edison Universal Stock Printer and other printing telegraphs.

Between and he worked out of Newark , New Jersey , and was involved in a variety of partnerships and complex transactions in the fiercely competitive and convoluted telegraph industry, which was dominated by the Western Union Telegraph Company.

Thomas Edison Biography for Kids

As an independent entrepreneur he was available to the highest bidder and played both sides against the middle. Years of litigation followed. Although Edison was a sharp bargainer, he was a poor financial manager, often spending and giving away money more rapidly than he earned it. In he married year-old Mary Stilwell, who was as improvident in household matters as he was in business, and before the end of they were in financial difficulties.

Accompanying him were two key associates, Charles Batchelor and John Kruesi. He was also responsible for fashioning the drawings that Kruesi, a Swiss-born machinist, translated into models.


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Edison experienced his finest hours at Menlo Park. While experimenting on an underwater cable for the automatic telegraph, he found that the electrical resistance and conductivity of carbon then called plumbago varied according to the pressure it was under. In February Edison began experiments designed to produce a pressure relay that would amplify and improve the audibility of the telephone , a device that Edison and others had studied but which Alexander Graham Bell was the first to patent , in By the end of Edison had developed the carbon-button transmitter that is still used in telephone speakers and microphones.

Edison invented many items, including the carbon transmitter, in response to specific demands for new products or improvements. But he also had the gift of serendipity: This was how, in , he achieved his most original discovery, the phonograph. Because the telephone was considered a variation of acoustic telegraphy, Edison during the summer of was attempting to devise for it, as he had for the automatic telegraph, a machine that would transcribe signals as they were received, in this instance in the form of the human voice, so that they could then be delivered as telegraph messages.

The telephone was not yet conceived as a general, person-to-person means of communication. Edison hoped to reify this concept by employing a stylus-tipped carbon transmitter to make impressions on a strip of paraffined paper. To his astonishment, the scarcely visible indentations generated a vague reproduction of sound when the paper was pulled back beneath the stylus.


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Edison unveiled the tinfoil phonograph, which replaced the strip of paper with a cylinder wrapped in tinfoil, in December It was greeted with incredulity. Indeed, a leading French scientist declared it to be the trick device of a clever ventriloquist.

Edison was projected into worldwide prominence and was dubbed the Wizard of Menlo Park , although a decade passed before the phonograph was transformed from a laboratory curiosity into a commercial product. Another offshoot of the carbon experiments reached fruition sooner.