As the end of the 20th century becomes closer each day, some of us will think back of the good times and memories they've had. Some of us may even think of the great leaders or people that have impacted their lives and the world. People such as Martin Luther King, John F. Kennedy, or maybe even Bill Clinton are a few of the many people that might cross your mind. There is one person you will know for sure before you leave here today because he was considered the greatest inventor in history. Even though he only had 3 months of formal schooling and was partially deaf, this man impacted the world with his great inventions. This man was Thomas Alva Edison.
Thomas Edison was born on Feb 11, 1847, at Milan, Ohio. One of his inventions and his most favorite was the phonograph or record player. What he did was, put a metal cylinder with tin foil wrapped around it with two needles units, one for recording and the other for playback. Then, when one would speak into the mouthpiece, the sound vibrations would be indented onto the cylinder by the recording needle. This machine was invented by Edison in 1877 and was later modified by other inventors and himself. Not long after the creation of the phonograph, the Edison Phonograph Company was formed, to market his machine.
Another of his most famous inventions was the electric light bulb. This invention was a struggle to say the least. But Edison had a vision, which was to invent a small light that could be used in homes and offices. He spent two years searching for the proper wire that would give a good light when electricity flowed through it. Edison tried many things, even a hair from a mans beard. He failed many times, but was too committed to quit. His hard work and dedication finally paid off. On October 19, 1879, after many failures, Edison finally succeeded in creating an electric light bulb. This invention astounded the world.
Edison's laboratory was responsible for the invention of the Kinetoscope ( a peep-hole motion picture viewer). Edison began to produce movies in a studio at his West Orange laboratory. His first movie with a plot was a 15 minute thriller called "The Great Train Robbery". Edison unveiled the first talking motion picture in 1913 and the first color motion picture.
These are just a few of Edison's many inventions. He had patents on 1,093 inventions in his lifetime. Henry Ford once suggested that the period of Edison's life should be called the "Age of Edison", because of his contributions to mankind. He also improved the inventions of other people. These included, the telephone, the typewriter, electric generator, and electric powered trains.
Edison was a hard worker, he sometimes worked for days at a time, stopping for only short naps. He had very little friends and was not much of a family man, both of his wives often complained that he spent most of his time in the laboratory. Even though he never had any close friends he occasionally enjoyed the company of Henry Ford. But he worked too hard and too many hours to have time for friendship. He was strongly independent and followed his own dreams. Failure never discouraged him. When about 10,000 experiments with a storage battery failed to produce results, he said, "Why I have not failed, I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work." And because of his dedication and commitment he changed the lives of millions of people and becoming the one of the greatest inventors in history.
Word Count: 603