Thomas Edison was born on 11th February 1847 in Ohio. He grew up in Michigan and was the last of seven children amongst his siblings. His father played a part in the Mackenzie Rebellion of 1837 and thus had to flee his homeland in Canada. Thomas Edison is known as one of the most influential inventors and businessmen of his time.
Edison’s achievements seem fascinating when one thinks about the problems that he had to overcome to achieve them. Edison suffered from scarlet fever at a very young age; this fever caused multiple infections in the ear. Due to inadequate treatment, this fever robbed him off his abilities to hear properly. As a consequence he was constantly bullied at school. His mother took notice of that and began to home school him. There were a lot of things that he had to compromise on because he could not hear properly, but through growing up he learnt to use his knowledge to his advantage and not let his abnormality let him down.
He was interested in making things from a very small age. He taught himself how different things worked and at the age of 16 he was working as a telegrapher. He earned some money and used his brilliant mind to produce a modified stock ticker which earned him $40,000. He then moved to New Jersey and used his earning to build a lab for himself. It was in New Jersey that he met his wife; Mary Stilwell. In 1876 he was able to construct a larger lab for himself in New Jersey; this was the very first of its kind lab in USA.
He has thousands of patents to his name; he invented the phonograph in 1877. The phonograph was the invention that actually led him to the greatest amount of recognition and fame initially. His fame reached to the extent that in 1878 he was invited to show his invention to President Rutherford at the White House.
But the phonograph is not the only invention that he is remembered for. It was the invention of the light bulb that he will be remembered for in generations to come. He also worked extensively on dynamos, fuses, sockets, switches and insulations among other things.
He set up the first power station for commercial use in 1882 in Lower Manhattan. After Thomas’s wife death, in 1886 he remarried Mina Miller and he lived with her till he died in 1931.