Thomas Alva Edison was born to Samuel Edison Jr. and Nancy Elliott Edison on February 11, 1847, in Milan, Ohio. Thomas Edison received little formal education, and left school in 1859 and began to work as a newsboy and a candy butcher on the trains.
The cluster of red brick buildings still stands. Asphalt driveways cover most of the space separating the buildings. A chain link fence topped with barbed wire surrounds the complex. Today, this group of buildings looks little different from the hundreds of abandoned factory sites that dot the landscape in the industrial towns of New Jersey and other parts of the Northeast. He built a large estate and a research laboratory with various facilities which included a machine shop, a library, and buildings for metallurgy, chemistry and wood working.
“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”
Edison worked as a Telegrapher and travelled around the country. He had a keen interest to learn about the technology of Telegraph. He was affected by Mastoiditis fever which destroyed his sense for hearing. It was then he wanted to invent something new to make things possible.
In 1868, he patented an electrical vote recorder. Some of Edison’s remarkable inventions were the phonograph, fluoroscope a machine that uses X-rays to take radiographs. Until his invention the images used in X-ray were faint.
Edison patented 1,093 inventions, which earned him the title “The Wizard of Menlo Park.”
Edison actually had to invent a total of seven system elements that were critical to the practical application of electric lights as an alternative to the gas lights that were prevalent in that day. These were the development of:
Thomas Edison received many awards in his lifetime among them
Despite the relatively limited success of his later inventions (including his long struggle to perfect a magnetic ore-separator), Edison continued working into his 80’s. More than any other individual, he was credited with building the framework for modern technology and society in the age of electricity. He died of complications of diabetes on October 18, 1931. He had been at the forefront of America’s first technological revolution and set the stage for the modern electric world.