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Thomas A. Edison

by Matt from Blue Sky School

Thomas A. Edison at age 7 (Thomas Edison biography)
Thomas A. Edison at age 7 (Thomas Edison biography)

Thomas Alva Edison was born to Sam and Nancy on February 11, 1847. He was the youngest of seven children. He tended to be in poor health when he was young. Edison was a poor student. His schoolmaster called him "addled". His mother was so mad. She took him out of school and taught him at home. Edison said many years later, "My mother was the making of me. She was so true, so sure of me, and I felt I had someone to live for, someone I must not disappoint." Even at young age Thomas showed an interest for mechanical things and chemical experiments.

When he was 12 years old, he lost most of his hearing. Some say it was from having scarlet fever and some say it was from physical injury to his ears. He didn't let his disability get him down. He treated it as an asset. He could concentrate better without all the distractions going on around him.

His first invention to receive a patent was the electric vote recorder in June of 1869. The politicians didn't really want to use it though. He decided then that he would only invent things people wanted.

In 1876 Edison opened a laboratory, which later became known as the "invention factory." He would conduct many experiments to find answers to problems. He said, "I never quit until I get what I'm after. Negative results are just what I'm after. They are just as valuable to me as positive results." In 1877 he invented the phonograph. In 1878 Thomas focused on the electric light system.


Thomas Alva Edison lived a long and productive life. He died on October 18, 1931, at the age of 84. He has helped shape this great country into what it is today. What inspires me about Thomas Edison is that he did not give up. When others thought he was dumb, he didn't let that get him down. He didn't give up when things didn't go just right. He learned from his mistakes and tried again and again until he got it right. He is my hero!

Page created on 2/9/2010 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 2/9/2010 12:00:00 AM

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