Thomas Edison

by Sam Koenig from San Diego, California in United States


130572Edison, c. 1922Louis Bachrach, Bachrach Studios, restored by Michel Vuijlsteke [Public domain] via WikimediaThe light bulbs that light up rooms, buildings, cities, the world, and the generation of the electricity that powers everything else were all invented by the one and only Thomas Edison. Thomas Edison was considered one of the world's greatest inventors. One of his greatest inventions was the generation of electric power, which now flows through every building today. “When he was seven years old he moved with his family to Port Huron, Michigan, where he attended school for a total of only three months. His teacher, failing to relate to the way Edison's mind worked, dismissed him as being 'addled,' or retarded. Nancy Edison withdrew her son from school and from that point on educated him at home” ("Thomas Alva Edison"). A hero must be different in their own way, as Edison was as a child, and possess the traits of commitment and confidence. Their commitment leads them to always be dedicated to their work. The confidence fits right in by keeping them from never giving up in their work, and being sure that the final result will be perfect. Thomas Edison was considered the greatest inventor of all time due to his commitment to his work that led to ingenious inventions that greatly changed the world. He was extremely confident that he could get past any issue that he came across. His discovery of electric power generation powered cities all over the world, and has made it an entirely different place today.

Edison’s strong commitment to his work had him able to persevere through any challenge that came his way and work his hardest to get the best possible result. An incident at a train station occurred while he was trying to board a train. This incident would greatly affect his future work. “A trainman reached over and grabbed me by the ears and lifted me…I felt something snap inside my head and the deafness started from that time and has progressed ever since….Earache came first, then a little deafness, and this deafness increased until at the theatre I could hear only a few words now and then” (Markel). Edison lost most of his hearing around the age of 12. It progressively got worse over time. This didn’t stop him from working though, because it enabled him to be more focused in his work. This shows how Edison was greatly committed in his work no matter what problem came his way. Edison began work on his telegraph, a device that sends Morse code signals over long distances. However, a huge problem struck him: “With the development of auditory signals for the telegraph, Edison was at a disadvantage, and he began to work on inventing devices that would help make things possible for him despite his deafness (including a printer that would convert the electrical signals to letters)“ (Editors). While he was working on the telegraph, a huge problem occurred. He was inventing a device that was based on sound, and he had lost most of his hearing. He found a way around the problem by creating devices that could help him hear. This was possible because he was committed to his work. Edison was able to get the best possible results and persevere through any problem that came his way because of his commitment to his work.

Thomas Edison created some of the world's greatest inventions, but this was only possible due to his confidence in his work. An example of Edison’s confidence in his work is when he states how much time he puts into his work, and how the negative results he gets can help him: 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." Edison liked to work long hours and expected much from his employees (“Life of Thomas Alva Edison”). Edison stated himself that he never quitted. He worked his hardest to get the final product. If negative results came across, he was confident that his mistakes could be used to work harder and get a positive result. Another example of his confidence is shown when he lost most of his hearing. A train incident left him with most of his hearing gone, but that didn’t stop him: “Around the age of twelve, Edison lost almost all his hearing…. He did not let his disability discourage him, however, and often treated it as an asset, since it made it easier for him to concentrate on his experiments and research. Undoubtedly, though, his deafness made him more solitary and shy in dealings with others” (“Life of Thomas Alva Edison”). Edison was confident that his disability wouldn't stop him from creating what he desired. Due to Edison's confidence in his work, he was able to create some of the world's greatest inventions of all time.

My Hero suggested viewing | MY HERO Recommends the Edison Kinetoscopic Record of a Sneeze (1894), one of the earliest copyrighted moves that has been preserved.

Thomas Edison's discovery of electric power generation led to cities all over the world lighting up with his light bulbs. His inventions have made the world an entirely different place thanks to his confidence and commitment in his work. His commitment led him to keep working no matter what problem he encountered. He kept working to achieve his goal from his confidence. Edison inspired myself and many others around the world because of his outstanding confidence and commitment to his work. Thomas Edison is considered one of the greatest inventors of all time, and the world would be an entirely different place without his creations.

Works Consulted

A&E Television Networks. “Thomas Edison.”, A&E Networks Television, 4 Aug. 2017,

“Edison, Thomas Alva.” Funk & Wagnalls New World Encyclopedia, Jan. 2018, p. 1; EBSCOhost,

Editors, “Thomas Edison.”, A&E Television Networks, 9 Nov. 2009,

“Life of Thomas Alva Edison  | Biography | Articles and Essays  | Inventing Entertainment: The Early Motion Pictures and Sound Recordings of the     

    Edison Companies  | Digital Collections  | Library of Congress.” Planning D-Day (April 2003) - Library of Congress Information Bulletin,Victor, 2019,

Markel, Dr. Howard. “The Medical Mystery That Helped Make Thomas Edison an Inventor.” PBS, Public Broadcasting Service, 22 Oct. 2018,

"Thomas Alva Edison." Scientists: Their Lives and Works, UXL, 2006. Biography In Context, Accessed 15 Jan. 2019.

Page created on 1/29/2019 6:57:13 PM

Last edited 2/11/2020 3:47:47 AM

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Related Links

Library of Congress | Thomas Alva Edison Bio - From the website: "The Library of Congress is the largest library in the world, with millions of books, recordings, photographs, newspapers, maps and manuscripts in its collections. The Library is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office."
Thomas Edison Innovation Foundation - "Edison Innovation Foundation ​ The Edison Innovation Foundation is a nonprofit organization that supports the Edison Legacy and encourages students (including women and minorities) to embrace careers in science, technology, and engineering and is committed to educating the next generation of great innovators while using Edison and his Invention Factory as the foundation." - Thomas Edison Innovation Foundation