Thomas Edison

Quick Facts

Full NameThomas Alva Edison
Birth DateFebruary 11, 1847
Birth PlaceMilan, Ohio, U.S.
Death DateOctober 18, 1931 (aged 84)
Death PlaceWest Orange, New Jersey, U.S.
Burial PlaceThomas Edison National Historical Park
EducationSelf-educated; some coursework at Cooper Union
OccupationsInventor, businessman
Years Active1877–1930
Known ForPhonograph, motion picture camera, electric light bulb, and many other inventions
SpousesMary Stilwell (m. 1871; died 1884), Mina Miller (m. 1886)
Children6 (including Madeleine, Charles, and Theodore)
RelativesLewis Miller (father-in-law)
AwardsNumerous awards and recognitions (see list)
Notable InventionsPhonograph, motion picture camera, electric light bulb
Industry ImpactEstablished the first industrial research laboratory
Early CareerWorked as a telegraph operator
First LaboratoryMenlo Park, New Jersey
Other LaboratoriesBotanical laboratory in Fort Myers, Florida; laboratory in West Orange, New Jersey (Black Maria film studio)
Patents1,093 US patents, plus patents in other countries
Major CollaborationsWorked with Henry Ford and Harvey S. Firestone
Early Life LocationsBorn in Milan, Ohio; grew up in Port Huron, Michigan
ParentsSamuel Ogden Edison Jr. and Nancy Matthews Elliott
AncestryDutch descent, family originally “Edeson”
Hearing ProblemsDeveloped hearing issues at age 12; largely deaf in one ear, barely hearing in the other
Learning StyleSelf-taught, learned through reading and experimentation
Enrollment in CoursesChemistry course at Cooper Union
Death CauseComplications from diabetes

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