Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Great American Heroes-The Wizard of Menlo Park

"Be courageous! Whatever setbacks America has encountered, it has always emerged as a stronger and more prosperous nation...." -Thomas Edison

Thomas Edison, born in Milan, Ohio in the year 1847, was an American inventor, scientist, and businessman. Edison was not the best student and was, according to his teacher, "addled." Because of this, he only attended school for three months and was then home-schooled by his mother. In 1854, the Edison family, consisting of seven children and Mr. and Mrs. Edison, moved to Port Huron, Michigan. In Port Huron Thomas sold candy, newspapers, and vegetables. It was at that time that Thomas discovered his aptitude as a businessman. This talent eventually led him to found fourteen companies, including General Electric. Later, Thomas worked as a telegraph operator. In his free time at work he was able to engage in his two favorite hobbies--- reading and experimenting. His experiments later cost him his job, when he spilled sulfuric acid on the floor and his boss's desk.
Thomas began his profession as an inventor in Newark, New Jersey. He first gained renown as an inventor in 1877 with the invention of the phonograph. This creation seemed so magical to people that Edison earned himself the nickname "The Wizard of Menlo Park" (the place in which he lived). His "magic" did not end at the phonograph. He also created the electric vote recorder, light bulb, quadruplex, sextuplex and multiplex telegraphs, electricity distribution system, the first industrial research lab, motion picture camera, and many more wonderful inventions. Edison holds 1,093 U.S. patents in his name! He has truly contributed to the advancement of the United States and the world.

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