Until his death Thomas Edison held patents for more than one thousand inventions and is regarded as one of the greatest inventors in the world. He was Born February 11, 1847 he died October eighteenth 1931. Thomas Edison rose from abject poverty to become one the most successful inventor and entrepreneur of his generation. A son of Canadian immigrants Samuel Edison and Nancy Edison, Thomas was their youngest child out of seven children. His parents emigrated from Canada after his father was involved in an unsuccessful rebellion known as the Mackenzie rebellion. They migrated to the United States of America in 1837.Thomas Edison was born in Ohio in and grew up in Michigan. His entrepreneur sprit stated at an early age of seven years when he started selling newspaper and caddy in trains and he also supplemented his income by selling vegetables. Thomas was kicked out of school after learning for only a few months .His mother took up the role of teaching him by homeschooling him from that age on the works of Parker, R specifically "The- Cooper -Union" and "School -of -Natural -Philosophy " (.Biographiq 2008). Later in his life Thomas Edison acknowledged that it was his mother who made him the inventor and entrepreneur that he was. She taught him math, science and how to read and write .The rest of his education was self taught through science books which he read during his free time. Both his parents died in the late nineteenth century with his father dying in the year 1896 when Edison was fifty nine years old. His mother had died earlier in the year 18 71 when he was thirty seven years old.
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Thomas Edison was taught how to operate a telegraph by J. Mackenzie who was a railway employee out of gratitude after saving his son life. By the age of sixteen he was prolific enough to secure employment with Grand- Trunk -Railway as his first job. This was before moving on to secure his second job with The- Western -Union he later on moved on to work for the media at Associated Press in their telegraphic division known as the news wire bureau at the time . This marked the beginning of his formal employment. His formal jobs were not last long since he was always conducting experiments so his boss fired him in 1867 at the age of twenty years only after suphuric acid spilled by Thomas Edison in his office seeped through the walls to destroy his boss's office. This marked the beginning of his career as a full time inventor and entrepreneurship. In 1869 he patented his first invention which was an "electric- vote -recorder" This machined played a major part in revolutionalizing the telegraphic communications. It also marked the beginning of acquisition of his over one thousand patents for inventions. Many of Edison inventions were however improvement to other invented products. He is credited with one thousand and ninety three inventions patents in the United States of America alone however he also registered patents in other countries accumulating a total of more than fifteen hundred patents .Out of these patents over five hundred patents were concerned with the improvement of the telegraphic machines. Many of the patents registered by Thomas Edison were a result of the work done by his employees. By the time of his death Thomas Edison had helped to found sixteen companies .the most successful and famous being The General -Electric- Company which is today a public company.
It was his invention of the phonograph at 1877 that made the public notice Thomas Edison as an inventor. His first invention was however with poor quality in sound recording as result of using tin foil to be recorded on which implied that one could only play the record a few number of times .He however improved his design by using cardboard cylinders that were wax coated and continuously keep working on the improvements. Through out his carrier he was known for performing experiments so many times that his trials at times exceed a thousand experiments. A hard working culture that earned him respect among his peers .He used to view the many of his failed experiments that he did to get an object to work as the number of ways that an objected would not work, and thus would continue experimenting until he found a way that he could make the object work. Thomas Edison is also credited by the invention that made electric bulbs to be successful commercially. This is an example of some of the inventions that even though he did not originally invent he however contributed to making them better and usable to the majority of the population thus contributing to their commercial viability and success. He is also credited with the invention of electricity and its commercial transmission and he was the founder of the pioneering electric distribution company known as Edison- Illuminating -Company in 1880 (Bausch 2007).His power generation started with only fifty nine customers in New York. His patent for transmitting electricity as a direct current sparked controversies with fellow power distributer George Westinghouse who advocated for electricity transmission as in the alternating current form. The differences that were erupted over the issue in the year 1903 saw Edison Company perform using animals' electric electrocutions to the public to prove that he was right(Wehrwein 2008). He is also among the contributors who invented the electric chair his contribution were largely in order to prove the lethalness of alternating current.
Thomas Edison contribution to experimentation in order to improve and invent new technologies saw him become the first pioneer of Industrial research. He founded a laboratory in New Jersey the lab in Menlo Park which he built in 1876 and financed it from the proceeds of his sale of quadruplex telegraph to Western union was the first of its kind and was intended to be used for innovations and improvements of technology. Most of his patents were attributed to the laboratory and he had a staff that carried his direction and were the ones who made some his inventions .Many of the invention patents that were attributed to his research lab were design patents. By 1887 the laboratory had grown to occupy a space of two blocks and had most materials required for scientific research. The other important and useful contribution that Edison made was the invention of the microphone that was used on all the telephones. He is also credited for inventing the battery packs that are used in automotives. He held the patent for the electric train and was a close friend of Henry Ford the Founder of Ford Company (Faris 2008). Through out his productive live Thomas Edison was hearing impaired. This did not in a way hamper his productive live. He is also credited with the inventio0n of Fluoroscope this machine was used in radiographs during its invention one of his staff members was exposed to the harmful radiation that caused his death the employee was know as Clarence Dally and died in 1903.Thomas Edison has also played the most important role in today's entertainment industry. He was not only the first man to record music with his phonograph invention but he is also the first person to record a film through his kinetograph invention in 1878 .This invention was a collaboration between him and one of his employee named W, Dickson This was the first step towards developing the movie industry to what it is today (Collins 2005).
At the age of thirty four years Thomas Edison got married to a sixteen years old young lady called Mary Stiwell who was an employee in one of his companies. The two were sired Marion Estelle, Thomas Edison Jr and William Leslie. Mary Edison later 1884 died after getting sick, her demise resulted from suspected cancerous brain tumor. Two years later Thomas Edison remarried this time to a woman born by fellow inventor named Lewis Miller (Biographiq 2008).The two were again blessed three more children Theodore who became an inventor as his father and held more that eighty patents, Charles who was not only the company president after his father died but a governor. Thomas Edison was still active up to 1931 when he died as a result of diabetes after complications. Before his death he used his residence in Fort Myers to continue his research work by trying to find how rubber could be used for domestic purposes. He received a lot of honors from different countries for his innovation work which included a medal from France for his contribution in improving telegraphs, his birthday was turned by the USA senate into a day for honoring inventors, Matteucci medal From Royal-Swedish- Academy -of- science in 1887 and was elected as a member of the academy in1890.He received the John-Scott-Medal in 1889.He was also inducted into the hall of fame in New Jersey. Franklin institute also honored his contribution to humanity by laying the foundations for improvements of industries with the Franklin Medal these are among the many honors that Edison received. There are also A number of Navy ships named after the great inventor. Such honors are bestowed to these members of society whose contribution have benefited not only their country but the world at large .Thomas Edison immense inventions make him a fitting member of this category.
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