Quick Facts\r\n\r\n \tFull Name: Thomas Alva Edison\r\n \tBirthdate: February 11 1847\r\n \tBirthplace: Milan, Ohio\r\n \tDied: October 18 1931\r\n \tEducation: The Cooper Union\r\n \tOccupation: Inventor, Businessman\r\n \tReligion: Freethinker\r\n \tInventions: Phonograph (1877), light bulb (1879)\r\n \tBusinesses: General Electric\r\n \tNickname: The Wizard of Menlo Park\r\n\r\nEssential Facts\r\n\r\n \tInventions:Edison Didn\u2019t Invent the Light Bulb\r\n \tHistory:Edison Held 1,093 U.S. Patents\r\n \tInventions:Edison Created a Battery for Electric Cars\r\n \tHistory:Edison\u2019s First Job Was on a Train\r\n \tHistory:Edison Was Trained as a Telegraph Operator\r\n \tInventions:Phonograph Draws Acclaim for Edison\r\n \tInventions:New York City\u2019s Electric Company Was Started by Edison\r\n \tFamily:Edison Had Two Wives and Six Kids\r\n\r\nInteresting Details\r\n\r\n \tNikola Tesla Worked for Thomas Edison\r\n \tEdison Did Chemistry Experiments on a Train\r\n \tEdison Saved a Child\u2019s Life, Which Changed His Life\r\n \tEdison Was Fired for Spilling Acid on his Boss\u2019s Desk\r\n \tEdison Road Tripped with his Pal Henry Ford\r\n \tEdison Had a Crew of Inventors at Menlo Park\r\n \tEdison Recorded A Nursery Rhyme on the Phonograph\r\n \tFord Had a Test Tube from Edison\u2019s Death Chamber\r\n\r\nEdison Didn\u2019t Invent the Light Bulb\r\nThomas Alva Edison is most famously credited with the invention of the light bulb. When Edison began experiments with light bulbs, several models had in fact already been created. Unfortunately, they weren\u2019t viable commercially because they either didn\u2019t last long or took too much electricity to power. Always a businessman, Edison was looking for a cheaper way to bring light that would be inexpensive enough for everyone to use. Thomas Edison facts indicate that Edison essentially remodeled the light bulb and changed the way it used current and the materials necessary in its manufacture. He is the creator of the modern incandescent light bulb.\r\nEdison Held 1,093 U.S. Patents\r\nEdison knew that as an inventor it was important to patent his work in order to prove ownership. Until 2003, Thomas Edison held the record for most patents for an individual, having registered 1,093 patents with the United States Patent Office.\u00a0Shunpei Yamazaki\u00a0surpassed Edison\u2019s record in 2003.\r\nEdison Created a Battery for Electric Cars\r\nIn 1901, Edison created a nickel-iron battery that he felt would be better than current batteries on the market. Thomas Edison facts show his goal was to use the battery for electric vehicles. Unfortunately, a couple years after he created his battery, manufacturers stopped making the once popular electric vehicles. Subsequent vehicles relied more heavily on gasoline and steam.\r\nEdison\u2019s First Job Was on a Train\r\nAs a teen, Edison sold newspapers and candy on a train in Michigan. Always the businessman, he obtained the right to be the exclusive seller of newspapers on the railway, and began a small business with four assistants.\r\nEdison Was Trained as a Telegraph Operator\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nEdison was trained as a telegraph operator and even worked for the\u00a0Associated Press\u00a0bureau news wire. His knowledge of the telegraph lead to several inventions and 150 patents. Some of his inventions were due to his own needs. Thomas Edison facts tell us Edison was partially deaf and wanted to make his job easier. One of his inventions was a printer that translated the signals into letters.\r\nPhonograph Draws Acclaim for Edison\r\nThe first invention that really brought Thomas Alva Edison widespread attention was the phonograph. Edison completed his first phonograph in 1877 at his Menlo Park laboratory in New Jersey. It surprised the populace and earned him the nickname of \u201cThe Wizard of Menlo Park.\u201d The phonograph was an extension of Edison\u2019s work with the telegraph and the telephone. It recorded sound on paraffin-coated paper as indentations, and then used a stylus to replay the sounds. To the general population, this seemed like magic.\r\nNew York City\u2019s Electric Company Was Started by Edison\r\nThomas Edison was the first to offer electricity as a utility sold through a company. After he\u2019d revolutionized the light bulb and made it a viable commercial entity, he created the Edison Illuminating Company with the goal of bringing electricity into homes. Thomas Edison facts indicate he chose to focus on DC power, his preferred electrical current. In 1882 he flipped the switch, bringing electricity to his first 59 clients in Manhattan.\r\nEdison Had Two Wives and Six Kids\r\nThomas Edison married Mary Stilwell in 1871. He was 24 and she was 16. The couple had three children: Marion, Thomas Jr. and William. Unfortunately, Mary died in 1884 at the age of 29. It is believed she died of typhoid fever.\r\n\r\nSoon after the death of his first wife, Edison met Mina Miller, whom he married in 1886. Edison was 39 at the time and Mina was 20. Edison and his second wife also had three children: Madeleine, Charles and Theodore. Charles Edison was the Governor of New Jersey from 1941 to 1944 and took over his father\u2019s labs and businesses upon Edison\u2019s death. His youngest son, Theodore, was also an inventor who had over 80 patents to his name.\r\nNikola Tesla Worked for Thomas Edison\r\nThomas Edison and\u00a0Nikola Tesla\u00a0are often pitted against each other as if the pair were rivals. In fact, Thomas Edison facts show that Tesla actually worked for Edison for a while. The two inventors disagreed on electrical current. Edison championed direct current (DC) as the best way to bring electricity into homes and business. Tesla preferred alternating current, AC. Currently, AC flows into our homes but many of our appliances require a converter (AC Adapter) to change the current to DC so that they can use only the amount of electricity they need. Eventually, Tesla became fed up with Edison and left his employ.\r\nEdison Did Chemistry Experiments on a Train\r\nThomas Edison facts show that as a teen, Edison had a job selling newspapers and other items on a train. During his downtime, he would run chemistry experiments with a set he had snuck onto the train. Unfortunately, on one occasion he had a chemistry accident and was no longer allowed to bring his set on board. Obviously this did nothing to quell Edison\u2019s inquisitive nature!\r\nEdison Saved a Child\u2019s Life, Which Changed His Life\r\nQuick reflexes helped Thomas Edison when he saw a young child about to be hit by a runaway train. Edison saved Jimmie Mackenzie and endeared himself to the boy\u2019s father, who happened to be the station agent. The elder MacKenzie showed his gratitude by training Edison as a telegrapher.\r\nEdison Was Fired for Spilling Acid on his Boss\u2019s Desk\r\nAt the Associated Press, Edison would work late nights so he could experiment and read at work. One night, while working with a battery, he spilled sulfuric acid on the floor. The acid leaked through the floor and spilled onto his boss\u2019s desk below. He was dismissed from his job the following morning.\r\nEdison Road Tripped with his Pal Henry Ford\r\nHenry Ford\u00a0worked at Detroit\u2019s\u00a0Edison Illuminating Company\u00a0and experimented with building a gasoline-powered vehicle during his off hours. Edison encouraged Ford\u2019s work when he met him in 1896. The second time the two met, after the invention of Ford\u2019s personal automobile, Edison and Ford became fast friends and even vacationed together. Together the pair, sometimes with various friends, would go driving and explore the country.\r\nEdison Had a Crew of Inventors at Menlo Park\r\nEdison didn\u2019t work alone. Though he is often credited with many inventions, the truth is he wasn\u2019t always the one to build the prototypes. Thomas Edison facts show he would patent his ideas and then hire inventors who would create working prototypes from them.\r\nEdison Recorded A Nursery Rhyme on the Phonograph\r\nIn order to test the phonograph, Edison had to record something. He chose to record \u201cMary had a Little Lamb\u201d. Therefore, this children\u2019s nursery rhyme was the first thing ever recorded on a phonograph.\r\nFord Had a Test Tube from Edison\u2019s Death Chamber\r\nLegend has it that Ford asked Edison\u2019s son Charles to capture Edison\u2019s last breath in a test tube and send it to him. Evidence suggests that in actuality, Charles noticed a rack of test tubes in his father\u2019s bedroom. Upon his death, he had the test tubes sealed and offered one to Ford as a way to remember Edison, who had always loved chemistry and was also supportive of Ford\u2019s work.\r\n\r\nThomas Edison Facts \u2013 Facts about Thomas Edison Summary\r\nThomas Alva Edison was a renowned American inventor and businessman. He invented the phonograph and revolutionized the incandescent light bulb, illuminating the world for many. Edison fathered six children with two wives and worked tirelessly at experimenting and inventing. He had 1,093 patents to his name upon his death in 1931. Edison created the first electric utility distributor and was known as the Wizard of Menlo Park, in honor of his amazing inventions and the site of his laboratories.