Thomas Edison and His Incandescent Light Bulb

            Thomas Edison is often thought of as one of the greatest inventors who ever lived. He is commonly categorized as the man who invented the first practical incandescent light bulb. Equally important are Edison's 1,093 patents, more than any other individual. His inventions revolutionized our world and changed lives even today. Some of his inventions were improvements on other inventions, like the telephone. On the other hand, some of his inventions he deliberately tried to invent, like the light bulb and the movie projector. However, some inventions he stumbled upon, like the phonograph. Edison invented and improved upon things that transformed our world. Some things he invented by himself. Some things he invented with other people. More importantly, just about all his inventions are things we still use in some form today.

             Thomas Edison was born in Milan, Ohio on February 11, 1847. He was the seventh child of Samuel and Nancy Edison. When Thomas was 7, his family was forced to move to Port Huron, Michigan because of financial problems. As might be expected, Edison there attended school. His teacher, the Reverend G. B. Engle considered Thomas to be a dull student. Thomas especially did not like math. And he asked too many questions. After three months of school, the teacher called Thomas, "addled," which means confused or mixed up. The teacher told his mother that Thomas couldn't learn. Nancy consequently took Thomas out of school and decided to home-school him. It appears he briefly attended two more schools. However, his school attendance was not very good. So nearly all his childhood learning took place at home(Swezy).

             Thomas Edison set up his first lab in his basement to perform experiments after learning physics. When Edison was 12 years old, he took a job as a trainboy on the Grand Trunk Railway. The train traveled from Port Huron, to Detroit, and back to Port Huron in one day.

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