“I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work”(brainyquote.com 2014) .
These are the words of Thomas Alva Edison, possibly the most famous inventor in American
History. With 1,093 patents to his name, no one has even come close to his greatness. Thomas
loved inventing and never thought anything as a failure, even his mining failure, which was
possibly the worst of them all. He was affected by an interesting childhood, thus he had an
enterprising career, and was remembered with an amazing legacy (invention.smithsonian.org
Edison was born on February 11, 1847, in Milan, Ohio. His parents were named Samuel
and Nancy Edison. His family moved to ...view middle of the document...
Edison moved around looking for telegraphy jobs. He decided to settle down in
Newark, New Jersey. There he started a small company. This is where he met and married Mary
Stillwell, an employee of his company. Over the years they had three children: Marion, Thomas,
nicknamed “Dash and Dot” because of telegraphy terms, and William (memory.loc.gov 2014).
He was still working in telegraphy, when he developed the quadruplex telegraph, which
allowed two messages to go on the same line. This was an amazing invention for the time, and
Edison made a large profit off of it. He originally was going to sell it to the Western Union
Telegraph Company for $2,000, but they offered him $40,000 for the invention
After gaining his fortune, Edison created a workshop called the Invention Factory
(American Memory). Edison invented the phonograph, a recording device ,and the light bulb, a
light producing bulb powered by electricity (biography.com).
His career was not without failures. One of these was the invention of a machine to mine
iron that unfortunately did not produce enough iron. Many considered this to be his worst failure.
(invention.smithsonian.org 2014) He did however make mining easier and better with the
invention of mining helmets and some other inventions, but he still did not profit off of this
investment (sterlinghillminingmueseum.com 2014). However, Edison pushed forward and
continued to work hard (invention.smithsonian.org 2014).
Thomas Edison’s legacy was his amazing contributions in both engineering and
inventing. He created things that are still used today, such as a sound recording device, a vote
tallying machine, and his most famous invention, the first practical light bulb. He even worked
on motion pictures. The military had him help them improve machinery. His legacy is not
perfect, however. His most famous failure was the one in the mining industry
(invention.smithsonian.org 2014). However, he did leave a good mark on mining, with the
invention of mining caps, which made it so miners did not have to carry torches.