I picked Thomas Edison because he was a great inventor and he had a large impact on society today.
Thomas Alva Edison was born in Milan, Ohio on February 11, 1847. When he was seven, his family moved to Port Huron, Michigan. Edison only went to school for three months because his teachers did not understand him. Edison's mother, who had been a school teacher before her marriage, taught him at home.
Edison was an unusual little boy, always observing and investigating. He never believed anything until he proved it by experimentation. When he was six years old, his father found him sitting on a nest of goose eggs, trying to hatch them. At the age of nine, he started making scientific experiments in a laboratory that he set up in his cellar. All his money was spent on chemicals. The bottles he put the chemicals in were marked "poison" so that no one would disturb them. When Edison was twelve years old, he became a newsboy on a train that left Port Huron in the morning and returned in the evening. Edison set up a laboratory in the baggage car of the train because he did not want to waste any time. Later he bought a printing press, set it up in his laboratory. He published a weekly paper. Edison's paper was sold for $.03 a copy. At the same time Edison spent much of his free time reading in the public library. He started to read the library through, book by book, shelf by shelf.
The laboratory on the train came to a sudden end one day when a stick of phosphorus fell on the floor of the train and exploded. The conductor became very angry and dropped Edison off at the next stop.
Edison was deaf most of his life. It had been said that his deafness had been caused by a blow on his ears that was received from the conductor when he was thrown from the train. However, Edison said that a trainman who had saved his life by grabbing him by his ears caused his deafness and pulling him onto a train that was already moving.
After the explosion in the train, Edison became a telegraph operator. He first started in his hometown then moved to Boston, Massachusetts. Shortly after arriving in Boston, he decided to give up the telegraph operating and devote all of his time to inventing. With only enough money for a train ticket, he set off for New York. In New York, Edison became a manager of a company and later a partner in another company called Pope, Edison, & Company. With his new wealth, Edison opened a shop in Newark, New Jersey where he continued with his inventions.
Between the years 1870 and 1876 Edison patented 122 inventions and married Miss Mary G. Stilwell. In 1876 the couple moved to Menlo Park, New Jersey. Thomas founded a laboratory there that later became world famous.
Edison's wife died in 1884, and in 1886 he married Miss Mina Miller. In 1887 he moved his laboratory to West Orange, New Jersey.
On October 21, 1929, the fifteenth anniversary of the electric light, President Herbert Hoover and other important men in the U.S. met in Michigan to honor Thomas Edison. There Henry Ford had reproduced the old wooden laboratory at Menlo Park where Edison made so many famous inventions.
Thomas Edison died on October 18, 1931. He was 85 years old. He was buried on the 52nd anniversary of inventing the electric light. At ten o' clock the evening of his burial, at the suggestion of the president, millions of lights were put out for one minute to honor the man who invented them.
What made Thomas Edison famous was that he invented so many things that are very important even today. The light bulb, the phonograph, and the talking motion picture played an important role in society. He had 1,099 patents granted to him by the Patent Office in Washington D.C., and he had worked on thousands of other inventions that were never finished.
What I like about Thomas is that if he hadn't invented the light bulb it might have never been invented. We would still be using candles. We use his inventions everyday.
What I do not like about Thomas Edison is he spent