Thomas Alva Edison

    Today I will be talking about Thomas Alva Edison. He was a famous American inventor. Some of his inventions contributed to: night lights, movies, telephones, records, and CDís. People thought Edison was a genius.

    Thomas Edison was born on February 11,1847 in Milan Ohio. He was the last of seven children. His mother was a school teacher, and his father did everything from running a grocery store to real-estate. He had difficulty with the teacher at school so Mrs. Edison then decided to home school him.

    It was said that Edison loved to read everything from Dickens and Shakespeare to chemistry and science. His library card was number 33 and well used. He loved chemistry and spent all of his money on chemicals, bottles, wires and items for experiments. He had to spend one winter without a coat because he had spent all his money on things for experiments.

    He built his first science laboratory at age 10. At twelve he had his first job on the Grand Trunk Railway. After a while, he was able to move his science laboratory to the train baggage car but one time the train lurched forward and his chemicals spilled and caught fire. That was the end of that job! I found it was interesting to know that he had hearing problems during his childhood that got worse after a train accident he was involved in as a teenager. He chose not to have an operation because he said being deaf would help him concentrate better. If you can't hear you don't get distracted.

    When he was 16, he moved to Toronto Canada and became a telegraph assistant. It was here that he invented a gadget that sent a signal even if he was asleep. This was the first ``transmitter and receiver`` for the automatic telegraph. He later moved back to the United States and had many different jobs but mainly on the telegraph. Many years went by and Edison had many inventions. He applied for up to 400 patents a year. In 1876, he and two other wealthy partners formed the Edison Electric Light Company.

    Edison's favorite invention was the phonograph. He invented the ``talking machine`` in 1877 by accident while working on telegraphs and telephones. The electric light was invented in 1879. He made a light bulb by using carboniosed filaments and cotton thread. These were the materials needed to make a light bulb. Edison also invented the film reels for motion-picture cameras. He connected a camera to a phonograph creating the first talking, moving pictures.

    Edison thought disasters were learning opportunities. His positive attitude came from his father, Sam Edison, who was not afraid to try new things even if they failed. He married twice and had three children with each wife.

    One of his favorite sayings was "a genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration ". Thomas Alva Edison died at age 84, on Sunday October 18th 1931. He lived a long and creative life. Where would we have been without him? Maybe in the dark. Thank you Thomas for everything.

    Aaron G.