Thomas Alva Edison Inventions

Inventions of Thomas Alva Edison, a genius, famous scientist holding 1093 patents clearly reflects the importance of experimentation and pursuance without losing hope. His inventions changed the lives of ordinary people miraculously...
Thomas Alva Edison was a genius, a famous inventor and a man who knew the worth of patience and imagination. He invented the light bulb after innumerable failed attempts and when asked why he pursued his quest even after 10, 0001 attempts, not wanting to admit failure to which he simply replied, "I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work."

His childhood days
A precocious child, the inventor was the seventh child born to Samuel and Nancy in Milan, Ohio, USA on February 11, 1847. One of his earliest experiments was an example of his childhood curiosity when he wished to imitate the hatching of eggs and observed mother hens sittings on eggs in order to hatch them. He promptly took possession of several eggs and putting them in an empty nest, sat down upon them while waiting for them to hatch. He was still waiting for the results of his experiment when his elder sister found him. He expected to be scolded but she appreciated the inquisitiveness and intellect of her little brother and encouraged him that someday he will be famous for his inventions.

This kind of experimentation often got him into trouble and when the family moved in 1854 to Michigan, Thomas' schooling was disrupted and he also suffered from scarlet fever which kept him from beginning his schooling till 1855. But his genius was stifled in an atmosphere where it was not kindled and at age seven after spending only three months he was removed from school because his constant questioning baffled the teachers who did not know the answers to his questions and claimed that young Thomas was "addled" and "perhaps there's nothing in his cranium."

He was home-schooled by his mother and he became a voracious reader. He showed special interest in chemistry and amassed his small allowance, which he received for reading books from his father as a gesture of encouragement, to buy chemicals in order to have his own laboratory. He started to use Richard Green Parker's book, "School Compendium of Natural and Experimental Philosophy" to perform experiments and also made up his own.

Earliest inventions Of Thomas Edison
Thomas was also fascinated by the train switching yard and depot and in 1859 when he turned 12 he worked as a newsboy and "candy butcher" on the morning train from Port Huron to Detroit. He began his own newspaper on the train when his experiments with chemicals caused a fire in the baggage car and he was limited to peddling his newspaper on the station. In August 1962, he saved the life of the telegrapher's little boy who was playing on the track, oblivious of a train coming towards him. His father taught Thomas telegraphy as a payback and that gave way to telegraphy jobs that Edison held from 1864 to 1869, and during the Civil War. He made several telegraphy-oriented inventions during this time.

One of these was a nifty invention that he invented to bypass the superintendent. The superintendent asked all his telegraph operators to send short messages to the central office every hour on the strike of the hour to make sure that they remained awake on their shift. The number for this message was "6". Thomas was annoyed for having to do so and he made a device that relayed the "6" message at the appointed hour. The superintendent noticed that the messages came on the dot on the hour but when messages were sent to Thomas' office, he failed to respond as Thomas used this time for catnaps and catching up on his reading. This invention was banned when he was found out but Thomas was not fired. That was a little while afterwards when he failed to pass orders to a freight train that almost caused a head-on collision.

In 1868, Thomas was working for the Western Union in Boston when he tried to market his first invention that was an electric vote-recording machine. But the legislatures failed to recognize his potential and rejected it. Thomas made up his mind at this point of time to only make inventions that would sell. In 1869, he was looking for work in New York City when he decided to try for a position as a supervisor at the Gold Indicator Company. He slept in the battery room of the company when the system broke down. Thomas offered to repair it and true to his word, he got the tickers to work again and he was promptly hired.

Thomas Edison inventions continue
The sale of an electrical-engineering firm that held his patents gave him profits large enough to have his own laboratory in Newark, NJ where his contributions to telegraphy and on the typewriter were radical and gained wide appreciation. He invented the carbon transmitter that gave new life to graham Bells' invention, the telephone. He moved his laboratory to Menlo Park, NJ in 1876 and after a year he invented the first phonograph. This was also the place he built the first prototype of the incandescent electric light bulb, this was in 1879. These and many other inventions earned him the title, 'the wizard of Menlo Park'.

He moved again to West Orange and by the late 1880s he contributed to motion pictures, and by 1912 he experimented with talking pictures. His other noteworthy inventions include a storage battery, a Dictaphone, and a mimeograph. He was the man behind what is now termed as the Edison Effect that affects the vacuum tube, for which he could not foresee any commercial application but soon was the basis of the radio.

The light bulb gave way to the merging his company, Edison General Electric Company with another firm to become General Electric Company to achieve high commercial success. During the First World War, his research helped the US military with submarine periscope and torpedo mechanisms. He was felicitated many times over and holds over 1000 patents.

He is one of the most important men of this era and his inventions have greatly helped in shaping the evolution of the modern world. His curiosity gave way to discoveries changed the world because he believed that "Genius is one per cent inspiration and ninety-nine per cent perspiration."
By Jayashree Pakhare
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