Thomas Edison Facts
- Name: Thomas Edison
- Profession: Inventor and Businessman
- Born: February 11th, 1847 in Milan, Ohio, USA
- Died: October 18th, 1931 in West Orange, New Jersey, USA
- Resting Place: Llewellyn Park, West Orange, NJ, USA
- Legacy: Considered the greatest inventor in American history
24 Thomas Edison Facts for Kids
- Thomas Edison was a businessman and inventor in the United States of America.
- Thomas Edison is most famous for his invention of the light bulb and for being one of the greatest inventors in the history of the United State.
- Thomas Edison was born on February 11th, 1847 in Milan, Ohio, United States.
- Thomas Edison was the son of Samuel Ogden Edison Jr. and Nancy Matthews Elliott.
- Thomas Edison was the youngest of the seven children of Ogden and Nancy.
- Thomas Edison was married twice; his first marriage was to Mary Stilwell (1871 to 1884) and his second marriage was to Mina Miller (1886 to 1931).
- Thomas and Mary had three children before her death in 1884, one girl and two boys. Their names were Marion Estelle Edison, Thomas Alva Edison Jr. and William Leslie Edison.
- Thomas and Mina had three children before he died in 1931, one girl and two boys. Their names were Charles Edison, Madeleine Edison and Theodore Miller Edison.
- Thomas Edison died due to complications of diabetes at the age of 84 on October 18th, 1931 in West Orange, New Jersey, United States.
- At a young age, Edison was fascinated by how things worked. As a child, he would take things apart and try to figure out how they worked. Many believe this what made Edison want to be an inventor.
- In 1862, Edison works for the Union Army sending coded messages during the American Civil War.
- Between 1875 and 1879, Edison attended Cooper Union College and took a four-year course on chemistry.
- In 1877, Edison invented the phonograph. A phonograph was a mechanical device that had the ability to record sounds and then play them back.
- In 1878, Edison started working on the electric light or popularly known as a light bulb. He would be granted U.S. patent 223,898 on January 27th, 1880. This is a few months before they discover a carbonized bamboo filament would give an electric light a lifespan over 1,200 hours.
- In December 1880, Edison started the Edison Illuminating Company. This was a company that would complete with the existing gas light utilities and provide electricity to homes and businesses.
- In 1882, Edison turned on his first electrical power distribution system ran by the Edison Illuminating Company. This distribution system provided 110 volts (direct current or DC) to 59 customers in New York.
- Between the late 1880s and early 1890s, Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse fight what is known as the battle of the currents. Edison’s distribution system used direct current (DC), while Westinghouse’s system used alternating current (AC). Ultimately alternating current would win the battle of the currents.
- In 1891, Edison and William K. Dickson jointly invented the Kinetograph. This was the invention was the first motion picture camera that could capture movement and sound.
- In 1898, Edison uses his Kinetograph invention to film U.S. soldiers leaving to fight the Spanish-American War.
- In 1901, Edison invented the first nickel-iron rechargeable battery and started the Edison Storage Battery Company. In less than three years, the Edison Storage Battery Company had over 450 employees.
- By the time Thomas Edison died he have 1,093 registered patents for a wide variety of inventions.
Pictures of Thomas Edison
A picture of an electric light bulb, one of the inventions of Thomas Edison.
A picture of a phonograph, one of the inventions of Thomas Edison.
A picture of a stamp celebrating the 50th anniversary of the light bulb.
Additional Resources on Thomas Edison
- About Thomas Edison – Find more information on Thomas Edison on the Library of Congress website.
- Biography of Thomas Edison – Read the biography of Thomas Edison on the Biography website.
- Timeline of Thomas Edison – View a timeline of the life of Thomas Edison on the National Museum of American History website.
- Thomas Edison – Britannica – Discover more facts and information about Thomas Edison on the Britannica website.