Thomas Edison
edison smile
One man who changed America was Thomas Edison. He made life easier for people over the world with his genius inventions. Edison had over one thousand patents, more than any other man in history. With little education, he managed to astound us with many of his inventions. Edison put it simply, “I never did anything worth doing by accident, nor did my inventions come by accident, they came by work” (Hoar).E pic.jpg

Personal Background
On February 11, 1847, in a city named Milan located in Ohio, Thomas Edison was born(Hoar). Edison was the last of seven brothers and sisters of Samuel and Nancy Edison(Baldwin). As a boy, Edison only went to school for twelve weeks(Baldwin). In school Edison was considered slow by his teacher(Adair). His mother pulled him out and thus the young Edison began to be taught at home by his mother(Baldwin). When a terrible flu pandemic swept through the nation, Edison and two of his brothers became partly deaf due to ear infections(Adair). Edison learned to live with this misfortune quickly. Edison loved to read books, this is where he learned most of what he knew(Adair). Legend has it that he once read an entire library. At the age of twelve, he began to work as a telegrapher(Baldwin). When Edison was a young man, he landed a job with Western Union as a inventor(Hoar). He later became the owner and manager of two shops. Sooner in his life he met Mary Stillwell, Mary captivated him.They were happily married in the Christmas of 1871(Adair). With Mary, had six children(Baldwin). Edison once worked on developing a battery for Henry Ford's T-Model(Adair). Even though battery failed in starting the cars engine, Ford and Edison remained good friends(Adair). They often went on vacation together(Adair). Over his career, Edison turned in over a thousand patents, as well as several hundred foreign ones(Hoar). Even though he is mostly known for the incandescent light bulb, his favorite invention was the phonograph(Adair). Edison even called it his baby(Baldwin). Edison also worked in the movie industry(Hoar). A terrible misfortune in Edison's life was the death of his wife, Mary, who passed away at the cause of a terrible disease(Baldwin). Edison was 38 then. Edison was employed 73 of his 85 years in life(Hoar). Edison lived a long life, he died at the age of 84. Thomas passed away due to old age on October 18, 1931.

Personality Traits
as Edison was not just pure genius. Once, his laboratory in Orangewood was on fire. The fire nearly destroyed half of his laboratory. Instead of mourning the loss, he looked upon the ruins of his lab with optimism. Later that week, he began rebuild(Baldwin). Edison’s determination was relentless(Adair). He would stay up hours late into the or, he wouldn’t sleep at all(Hoar). Edison once tired himself so much that he slept for 36 hours straight(Hoar). Even though many of his inventions failed, Edison kept on going trying to improve(Baldwin). Edison was truly an outstanding man.

Even though Edison was a genius, it wasn’t always easy. He was challenged by many other inventors and scientists (Adair). Man other scientists accused him of stealing their ideas and work. Edison was at court often (Baldwin). Some of his inventions never got a patent because they were considered impractical. For example, the electronic vote recorder. “If there is any invention on earth that we don’t want down here, it is this”, stated
a congressional committee (Hoar). Another hardship he went through was the fire that nearly destroyed his lab in Orangewood. The fire was caused by an expe
riment failure (Adair). Like all humans, Edison went through difficult times just like many people today.

Historical Significance

Hoar, William P. "The man who lit up the world." New American, The. 30 Jun. 2003: 33. eLibrary. Web. 27 Mar. 2015.
Wicks, Frank. "Full circuit." Mechanical Engineering 9(2000):76. eLibrary. Web. 27 Mar. 2015.
Adair, Gene. Into the 20th Century. Oxford University Press, 1996. eLibrary. Web. 13 Apr. 2015.
Baldwin, Neil. "The Lesser Known Edison." Scientific American 276. (1997):62-67. eLibrary. Web. 13 Apr. 2015.