Thomas Alva Edison

NAME: Thomas Alva Edison

BORN: February 11, 1847

PARENTS: Samuel Edison, Jr. and Nancy Elliot Edison

COMMUNITY AFFILIATIONS: born...Milan, Ohio (Erie County)

OCCUPATION: inventor

DIED: October 18, 1931


Edison set up his first laboratory in the basement of the family the insistance of his mother. Eventually, he was permitted to move his work into an empty railcar.

Edison worked as a roving telegrapher from 1862 until 1868. During 1869, while employed by the Western Union Telegraph Company in New York, he started working on his own inventions. Western Union commissioned him to create an improved stock ticker, and the result was the "Edison Universal Stock Printer."

With profits from the sales of tickers and printing telegraphs, he set up a research laboratory at Menlo Park, New Jersey in 1876. In 1877, Edison invented the phonograph. In 1879, he first demonstrated his incandescent light bulb.

In all, he held 1093 patents for various inventions. Here is just a sample:

Vote-Recorder 1868 (his first patent)

Printing Telegraph 1869

Stock Ticker 1869

Telegraph Transmitter 1870

Telegraphic Recorder 1871

Automatic Telegraph 1872

Phonograph or Speaking Machine 1877

Carbon Button Microphone 1878

Dynamo 1879

Incandescent Electric Lamp 1879

Phonograph Recorder 1888