Biography of Thomas Edison
Thomas Alva Edison is one of the most famous inventors. He saw many changes take place in his lifetime. His inventions were responsible for many of those changes. Some of his inventions were the telephone, the light bulb, the movie projector, and the phonograph. These inventions contributed to modern day, lights, movies, telephones, records and CDs. When Edison was born, there was no such thing as electricity, but by the time he died entire cities were lit by electricity (www.minot.k12.nd.us/edison.html).
Thomas Edison was born February 11, 1847 in Milan, Ohio. He was one of the seven children of Samuel Edison, Jr. and Nancy Elliot Edison. His mother was a schoolteacher, and his father did many things from, running a mill to real estate. When Thomas was seven, his family moved to Port Huron, Michigan. Edison started school here in Michigan. His teacher was Reverend G. B. Engle, who considered Edison a dumb student. He did not like math and annoyed his teacher with his many questions. His teacher told his mother that he could not be taught. This angered his mother and made her decide to home school him (Josephson 354).
Edison loved to read. Before he was twelve, he had read novels by Dickens, Shakespeare, and Gibbon. When he was nine, he read a science book that his mother had given him. This book told how to do many experiments at home. He did every experiment in the book and his mother gave him many more science books to look at. He loved Chemistry so much that he spent all of his spare money on chemicals. He also collected bottles, wires, and other things to use in his experiments. At age ten, Thomas built his first laboratory in the basement of his house (Compton's Encyclopedia 74).
When Edison was twelve, he had his first job as a trainboy on the Grand Trunk Railway. Thomas sold newspapers and candy to the passengers. He also printed a weekly paper called the Weekly Herald. He spent all of the money he earned on supplies for his laboratory. During the year he was there he got permission to move his lab to a baggage car. This let him work on his experiments during the five-hour layover. One day the train moved slightly spilling his chemicals. The laboratory caught fire and the conductor threw him off the train (www.minot.k12.nd.us/mps/edison.html).
Edison had ear problems throughout his childhood. He had scarlet fever when he was young which damaged his hearing significantly. When he was fifteen a freak accident caused him to go deaf. When he tried to jump on a moving train the conductor grabbed him by the ear to help pull him up. He said he felt something pop inside his head. His deafness could have been cured by an operation but he refused. He said being deaf helped him concentrate. He also said, "Deafness probably drove me to reading". He was one of the first people to use the Detroit Free Library. He went through the...