The Life of Thomas Edison

By jlhove
  • Growing Up

    Growing Up
    Thomas Edison was born February 11, 1847 to Samuel and Nancy Edison. He was born in Milan, Ohio. Edison was very eager to make money so he began building a tall observation tower by their house. Tourists paid to climb to tower to overlook Lake Huron. Edison's mother home school him and his siblings using an extensive reading program. Thomas Edison childhood
  • Thomas Edison Video

    Thomas Edison Video
  • Creating His Lab

    Creating His Lab
    As a teenager, Edison was very enterprising. He opened two stands selling newspapers and magazines and hired other boys to run them. He created his lab which consisted of bottles, batteries, and test tubes until one of his experiments started a fire in a train car. After this, Edison was fired.
  • Edison's First Invention

    Edison's First Invention
    For the next 4 years, Edison traveled around the South and Midwest as an telegrapher and never settled down for too long. He would translate messages into electric impulses and send them over the ribbons of telegraph wires that kept the equipment running. Edison patented his first invention, an electric vote recorder in 1869.
  • "The Invention Factory!!"

    "The Invention Factory!!"
    Inventions Photostory
    Edison signed a highly profitable contract with Western Union, took the money to the New Jersey countryside, and build a laboratory complex at Menlo Park, nicknamed "The Invention Factory"
  • The Factory

    The Factory
    Edison set up his new complex in Menlo Park in 1876. He had a large staff of specialists, ranging from machinists to physicists, who helped him turn his ideas into realities.
  • Telephone

    In 1876, Alexander Graham Bell patented his telephone. Edison, with the help of Charles Batchelor, came up with an invention that vastly improved the transmission of the speaker's voice across the wires. It is still used in most telephones today.
  • Phonograph

    Edison's experiments with the telephone got him thinking about ways to record telephone messages. In 1877, one of the designs he had thought of worked! Edison recored "Mary Had a Little Lamb" in the recorder and it worked! Phonograph
  • The Electric Lightbulb

    The Electric Lightbulb
    Thomas Edison invented a telephone transmitter, electric pen, and the electric light bulb in 1880.
  • Electric Light

    Electric Light
    Edison's most famous invention to come out of Menlo Park was the light bulb. Edison did not invent electric lights. They were already around and very similiar to street lights. But because they were so bright, he invented a light that people would be able to put in their houses. Electric Light
  • Starting Fresh

    Starting Fresh
    After the success of Menlo Park, Edison built a new lab bigger and better equipped in every way in West Orange, New Jersey. He worked on all sorts of projects ranging from movies to batteries to cement.
  • Happy and Sad Times

    Happy and Sad Times
    Edison's first wife died of scarlet fever and he remarried two years later to a young socialite name Mina Miller. From the two marriages, he had 6 children, one of whom became the governor of New Jersey.
  • Motion Pictures

    Motion Pictures
    Thomas EdisonThe first big invention to come out of Edison's new lab was motion pictures. He began working on a machine called a "kinetoscope" which is for the eye. The first movies produced were called "peep shows" which only allowed for one viewer at a time.
  • Thomas Edison's Life

    Thomas Edison's Life
  • Electricity In a Box

    Electricity In a Box
    Edison began working on a better storage battery for electric vehicles. He announced that his batteries would run for 100 miles or more without recharging.
  • Edison Speaks

    Edison Speaks
  • Legacy

    Edison PhotostoryTroubled by diabetes and stomach ailments for many years, Edison's health declind and he passed away at West Orange, NJ on October 18, 1931. At the end of his life he had 1,093 patents to his name. To this day, no one has topped that record.