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This Day in History

Born on this day

Thursday, February 11, 1847. :   Thomas Edison, the American inventor who, singly or jointly, held a world record 1,093 patents for inventions, is born.

     Thomas Alva Edison was born on 11 February 1847 in Milan, Ohio, USA. Childhood illness meant that he was a slow starter and easily distracted in his schooling. After his teacher described him as "addled", his mother, a former schoolteacher herself, took charge of her son's education, stimulating his curiosity and desire to experiment.

He began selling newspapers on the railroad at age 12, and learned how to operate a telegraph. In 1868, his first invention was an electric vote-recording machine. In 1869, he made improvements on the stock-ticker. The invention which first gained Edison fame was the phonograph in 1877, but in 1876 he had moved his laboratory to Menlo Park, New Jersey, where he invented the first prototype of a commercially practical incandescent electric light bulb, in 1879. By the late 1880s he made motion pictures. Edison was a prolific inventor, and he became known as "The Wizard of Menlo Park". In addition, he created the world's first industrial research laboratory, and developed electric power from central generating stations. By the time he died in 1931, he had registered 1093 patents.

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