This story is inspired by true events faced by Sri Lankan female workers who have being migrating to Middle East countries as housemaids. This research and development laboratory was the first of its kind anywhere; the model for later, modern facilities such as Bell Laboratories, this is sometimes considered to be Edison's greatest invention. Thomas Alva Edison: Biography : Return to trans-a.info: Home: Biography: Be Thomas Edison was more responsible than any one else for creating the modern. On trans-a.info, learn more about world-famous inventor Thomas Edison, including his multitudes of patents in technologies like the telegraph and light bulb. There he improved the way the stock ticker worked. Jimmie's father, station agent J.
West OrangeNew Jersey. Thomas Alva Edisonborn February 11,MilanOhioU. Edison was the quintessential American inventor in the era of Yankee ingenuity. He began his career inin the adolescence of the telegraph industry, when virtually the only source of electricity was primitive batteries putting out a low-voltage current. Before he died, inhe had played a critical role in introducing the modern age of electricity. From his laboratories and workshops emanated the phonographthe carbon-button transmitter for the telephone speaker and microphonethe incandescent lampa revolutionary generator of unprecedented efficiencythe first commercial electric light and power system, an experimental electric railroadand key elements of motion-picture apparatusas well as a host of other inventions.
Edison was the seventh and last child—the fourth surviving—of Samuel Edison, Jr. At an early age he developed hearing problems, which have been variously attributed but were most likely due to a familial tendency to mastoiditis. In Samuel Edison became the lighthouse keeper and carpenter on the Fort Gratiot military post near Port HuronMichiganwhere the family lived in a substantial home.
Alva, as the inventor was known until his second marriageentered school there and attended sporadically for five years. He was imaginative and inquisitive, but because much instruction was by rote and he had thomas alva biography hearing, he was bored and was labeled a misfit.
To compensate, he became an avid and omnivorous reader. In Edison quit school and began working as a trainboy on the railroad between Detroit and Port Huron. Four years earlier, the Michigan Central had initiated the commercial application of the telegraph by using it to control the movement of its trains, and the Civil War brought a vast sami jo small biography of transportation and communication. Edison took advantage of the opportunity to learn telegraphy and in became an apprentice telegrapher.
The transformation of telegraphy to an auditory art left Edison more and more disadvantaged during his six-year career as an itinerant telegrapher in the Midwest, the South, Canadaand New England. Amply supplied with ingenuity and insight, he devoted much of his energy toward improving the inchoate equipment and inventing devices to facilitate some of the tasks that his physical limitations made difficult.
By January he had made enough progress with a duplex telegraph a device capable of transmitting two messages simultaneously on one wire and a printer, which converted electrical thomases alva biography to thomases alva biography, that he abandoned telegraphy for full-time invention and entrepreneurship. Edison moved to New York Citywhere he initially went into partnership with Frank L. Pope, a noted electrical expert, to produce the Edison Universal Stock Printer and other thomas alva biography telegraphs.
Between and he worked out of NewarkNew Jerseyand was involved in a variety of partnerships and complex transactions in the fiercely competitive and convoluted telegraph industry, which was dominated by the Western Union Telegraph Company. As an independent entrepreneur he was available to the highest bidder and played both sides against the middle.
Years of litigation followed. Although Edison was a sharp bargainer, he was a poor financial manager, often spending and giving away money more rapidly than he earned it.
In he married year-old Mary Stilwell, who was as improvident in household matters as he was in business, and before the end of they were in financial difficulties. Accompanying him were two key associates, Charles Batchelor and John Kruesi. He was also responsible for fashioning the drawings that Kruesi, a Swiss-born machinist, translated into models.
Edison experienced his finest hours at Menlo Park. While experimenting on an underwater cable for the automatic telegraph, he found that the electrical resistance and conductivity of carbon then called plumbago varied according to the thomas alva biography it was under.
In February Edison began experiments designed to produce a pressure relay that would amplify and improve the audibility of the telephonea device that Edison and others had studied but which Alexander Graham Bell was the first to patentin By the end of Edison had developed the carbon-button transmitter that is still used in telephone speakers and microphones. Edison invented many items, including the carbon transmitter, in response to specific demands for new products or improvements.
But he also had the gift of serendipity: This was how, inhe achieved his most original discovery, the phonograph.
Because the telephone was considered a variation of acoustic telegraphy, Edison during the summer of was attempting to devise for it, as he had for the automatic telegraph, a machine that would transcribe signals as they were received, in this instance in the form of the human voice, so that they could then be delivered as telegraph messages. The telephone was not yet conceived as a general, person-to-person means of communication.
Edison hoped to reify this concept by employing a stylus-tipped carbon transmitter to make impressions on a thomas alva biography of paraffined thomas alva biography. To his astonishment, the scarcely visible indentations generated a thomas alva biography reproduction of sound when the paper was pulled back beneath the stylus.
Edison unveiled the tinfoil phonograph, which replaced the strip of paper with a cylinder wrapped in tinfoil, in December It was greeted thomas alva biography incredulity. Indeed, a leading French scientist declared it to be the trick device of a clever ventriloquist. Edison was projected into worldwide prominence and was dubbed the Wizard of Menlo Parkalthough a thomas alva biography passed before the phonograph was transformed from a laboratory curiosity into a thomas alva biography product.
Another offshoot of the thomas alva biography experiments reached fruition sooner. Edison thought he would be able to solve this by fashioning a microtasimeter-like device to control the current. He boldly announced that he would invent a safe, mild, and inexpensive electric light that would replace the gaslight. Thus, a syndicate of leading financiers, including J. Edison proposed to connect his lights in a parallel circuit by subdividing the current, so that, unlike arc lights, which were connected in a series circuitthe failure of one lightbulb would not cause a whole circuit to fail.
Some eminent scientists predicted that such a circuit could never be feasiblebut their findings were based on systems of lamps with low resistance—the only successful type of electric light at the time. Edison, however, determined that a bulb with high resistance would serve his purpose, and he began searching for a suitable one.
He had the assistance of year-old Francis Uptona graduate of Princeton University with an M. Upton, who joined the laboratory in Decemberprovided the mathematical and theoretical expertise that Edison himself lacked. I try an experiment and reason out the result, somehow, by methods which I could not explain. By the summer of Edison and Upton had made enough progress on a generator —which, by reverse action, could be employed as a motor—that Edison, beset by failed incandescent thomas alva biography experiments, considered offering a system of electric distribution for power, not light.
By October Edison and his staff had achieved encouraging results with a complex, regulator-controlled vacuum bulb with a platinum filament, but the cost of the platinum would have made the incandescent light impractical. While experimenting with an insulator for the platinum wire, they discovered that, in the greatly improved vacuum they were now obtaining through advances made in the vacuum pump, carbon could be maintained for some time without elaborate regulatory apparatus.
Advancing on the work of Joseph Wilson Swanan English physicist, Edison found that a carbon filament provided a good light with the concomitant high resistance required for subdivision. Steady progress ensued from the first breakthrough in mid-October until the initial demonstration for the backers of the Edison Electric Light Company on December 3. In the fall a temporary, demonstration central power system was installed at the Holborn Viaduct in Londonin conjunction with an exhibition at the Crystal Palace.
One of the accidental discoveries made in the Menlo Park laboratory during the development of the incandescent light anticipated the British physicist J. In —82 William J. Hammer, a young engineer in charge of testing the light globes, noted a blue glow around the positive pole in a vacuum bulb and a blackening of the wire and the bulb at the negative pole. Edison had moved his operations from Menlo Park to New York City when work commenced on the Manhattan power system.
Increasingly, the Menlo Park property was used only as a summer home. A thomas alva biography with three young children, Edison, on February 24,married year-old Mina Miller, the daughter of a prosperous Ohio manufacturer.
There, he produced the commercial phonographfounded the motion-picture industry, and developed the alkaline storage battery. Nevertheless, Edison was past the peak of his productive period. A poor manager and organizer, he worked best in intimaterelatively unstructured surroundings with a handful of close associates and assistants; the West Orange laboratory was too sprawling and diversified for his talents.
In fact, it was not until the late s, after Edison had established production and recording facilities adjacent to the laboratory, that all the mechanical problems were overcome and the phonograph became a profitable proposition.
In the thomas alva biography, Edison conceived the idea of popularizing the phonograph by linking to it in synchronization a zoetrope, a device that gave the illusion of motion to photographs shot in sequence. He assigned the project to William K. Dicksonan employee interested in photographyin After studying the work of various European photographers who also were trying to record motion, Edison and Dickson succeeded in constructing a working camera and a viewing instrument, which were called, respectively, the Kinetograph and the Kinetoscope.
Synchronizing sound and motion proved of such insuperable thomas alva biography, however, that the concept of linking the two was abandoned, and the silent movie was born. Another derivative of the phonograph was the alkaline storage batterywhich Edison began developing as a power source for the phonograph at a time when most homes still lacked electricity.
Although it was 20 years before all the difficulties with the battery were solved, by Edison was a principal supplier of batteries for submarines and electric vehicles and had even formed a company for the manufacture of electric automobiles.
Edison had first worked on the separator when he was searching for platinum for use in the experimental incandescent lamp. The device was supposed to cull platinum from iron -bearing sand. During the s iron ore prices rose to unprecedented heights, so that it appeared that, if the separator could extract the iron from unusable low-grade oresthen abandoned mines might profitably be placed back in production. Edison purchased or acquired rights to old mines in the east and established a large pilot plant at the Ogden mine, near OgdensburgNew Jersey.
He was never able to surmount the engineering problems or work the bugs out of the system, however, and when ore prices plummeted in the mids he gave up on the idea. By then he had liquidated all but a thomas alva biography part of his holdings in the General Electric Companysometimes at very low prices, and had become more and more separated from the electric lighting field.
Although none of his later projects were as successful as his earlier ones, he continued to work even in his 80s. His life and achievements epitomize the ideal of applied research. He always invented for necessity, with the object of devising something new that he could manufacture. The basic principles he discovered were derived from practical experiments, invariably by chance, thus reversing the orthodox concept of pure research leading to applied research.
Unlike other scientists and inventors of the time, who had limited means and lacked a support organization, Edison ran an inventive establishment. He was the antithesis of the lone inventive geniusalthough his deafness enforced on him an isolation conducive to conception. His lack of managerial ability was, in an odd thomas alva biography, also a stimulant. As his own boss, he plunged ahead on projects more prudent men would have shunned, then tended to dissipate the fruits of his inventiveness, so that he was both free and forced to develop new ideas.
Few men have matched him in the positiveness of his thinking. Edison never questioned whether something might be done, only how. In temperament he was an uninhibited egotist, at once a tyrant to his employees and their most entertaining companion, so that there was never a dull moment with him.
He was charismatic and courted thomas alva biography, but he had difficulty socializing and neglected his family. The contradictory nature of his forceful personality, as well as such eccentricities as his ability to catnap anywhere, contributed to his legendary status.
By the time he was in his middle 30s Edison was said to be the best-known American in the world. When he died he was venerated and mourned as the man who, more than any other, had laid the basis for the technological and social revolution of the modern electric world.
Articles from Britannica encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. Thomas Edison was called a "wizard" because of his many important inventions. He created more than 1, devices on his own or with others. His best-known inventions include the phonograph record playerthe lightbulb, and the motion-picture projector. When he was 21 years old, Thomas Edison took out his thomas alva biography patent. It was for an electric vote counter to be used in the United States House of Representatives.
The machine worked perfectly, but the congressmen would not buy it. They did not want vote counting to be done quickly.
Often the roll call was used for purposes of delay filibustering. We welcome suggested improvements to any of our articles. You can make it easier for us to review and, hopefully, publish your contribution by keeping a few points in mind.
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Wizard of Menlo Park. Also known as Wizard of Menlo Park born February 11, MilanOhio died October 18, aged 84 West OrangeNew Jersey. View Biographies Related To Categories industrial development invention Dates February 11 October Thomas Edison, seen late in life in this video, was the most famous inventor in American history. American Industry and Innovation. Facebook Twitter YouTube Instagram Pinterest. Thomas Alva Edison demonstrating his tinfoil phonograph, c. Edison,holding a replica of the first electric lightbulb.
Thomas Edison with a model for a concrete house, c. Thomas Alva Edison right in his laboratory in West Orange, N. Additional Media View all media. More about Thomas Alva Edison 41 References in Britannica Articles. National Inventors Hall of Fame - Biography of Thomas Alva Edison National Park Service - Biography of Thomas Edison Ohio History Central - Biography of Thomas A.
Edison Social Studies for Kids - Biography of Thomas Alva Edison The Thomas Edison Center at Menlo Park - History. Help us improve this thomas alva biography Contact our editors with your feedback. Keep Exploring Britannica Apple Inc. American manufacturer of personal computers, computer peripherals, and computer software. It was the first successful personal computer company and the popularizer of the graphical user interface. Take this History quiz at encyclopedia britannica to test your knowledge American industry and innovation.
German-born physicist who developed the special and general theories of relativity and won the Nobel Prize for Physics in for his explanation of the photoelectric effect. Einstein is generally considered Over the last four centuries, many artists have pushed the boundaries of tradition with radical painting techniques, shocking content, or, in some cases, Take this Geography True or False Quiz at Encyclopedia Britannica to test your knowledge of the United States.
Wells, published in The story, which details 12 days in which invaders from Mars attack the planet Earth, captured popular imagination with its fast-paced Wells, published in book form in Since there have been more than eight million patents issued in the U. Some of them have been given to great inventors.
Thomas Edison received more than 1, Many have been given to ordinary people Founding of Apple Jobs was raised by adoptive parents in Cupertino, California, located in what Take this History quiz at encyclopedia britannica to test your knowledge of famous personalities. Humans have been innovating since the dawn of time to get You have successfully emailed this. Tips for Editing Leave Edit Mode Submit. Thank You for Your Contribution! There was a problem with your submission.
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