Thomas Alva Edison

Thomas Alva Edison was one of the greatest inventors. He was a

smart man. Thomas invented many things such as the light bulb and

phonograph. Without the light bulb we would still be using candles and

lanterns like they did many years ago. Although Thomas was deaf he

worked hard and never gave up.

Thomas Alva Edison was born on February 11, 1847 in Milan,

Ohio. He had many family members. He had a father named Samuel

Odgen Edison and a mother named Nancy Elliott Edison. Thomas'

mother pulled him from school because Thomas' teacher called him a

"retard." Nancy Edison taught her son at home. Thomas has six siblings

and he was the youngest child in the Edison family. Thomas was

interested in many things as a child. At age twelve Thomas got a job at

the Grand Trunk Railroad. While working at Grand Trunk Railroad

Thomas was a typesetter, press operator, editor, and publisher of his very

own newspaper called the "Herald." Thomas got his news for his

newspaper from telegraphers at other train stations. Thomas liked many

things, but mathematics was not one of them. He enjoyed reading books

about science and philosophy. His favorite book ever was Isaac

Newtown's Principia Mathematica. Thomas was interested in inventing

the light bulb. Thomas was a scientist as a kid. He like to test many

things. When he was young he built a laboratory in the

family's basement. Thomas did experiments he found in science books

and got jars and chemicals for experiments from local shopkeepers.

Thomas also used a spare train car for another laboratory.

Thomas studied books on mechanics, manufacturing, and

chemistry at the public library. He spent a long time studying

Newtown's Principles. He also read lots of books such as Gibbon's

Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Hume's History of England,

Sear's History of the World, Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy,

and The Dictoinaries of Sciences.

Thomas Edison invented the light bulb. In October of 1879 Edison

patented his incandescent lamp. Edison and his team made a new

vacuum pump to make better vacuums in glass light bulbs. It was better

known as the "glow bulb." Thomas' second attempt at the glow bulb

successfully lit for forty hours. On New Year's Eve Edison lit up Menlo

Park with thirty glow bulbs. Electricity would replace gas for lighting

purposes. The light bulb gives off light so that we can see with out

lanterns and candles. The Edison Lamp Company produced 1,000 light

bulbs a day.

It has improved since it's original version. In 1880, Edison

invented the incandescent lamp. In the year 1910, Tungsten filament

was discovered giving off white light instead of yellow light. In 1925,

lamps were given an inside frosting that had a fine spray of hydrofluoric

acid. In the late 19th century, florescent lamps were invented. They

are tubes filled with low-pressure neon gas.

Thomas Edison invented many things we still used today. I think

the light bulb was the greatest invention because it is hard to see with out

light bulbs. Without the light bulb we would not be able to have night

ball games or light shows. It is a good thing Thomas Edison invented the

light bulb.


1. "Edison, Thomas." Compton's Encylopedia. 1990 ed. vol. 7, p.72-76

2. Ellis, Keith. Thomas Edison, Genius of Electricity. Great Britain:

Priory Press Limited, 1974

3. Parker, Steve. Thomas Edison and Electricity. Great Britain: Belitha

Press Limited, 1992

Word Count: 541

Related Essays on Physics