Thomas Edison

Edison could probably be properly called Mr. Electricity because of the many
inventions and millions of dollars that he used and invested with electricity.

From the invention of the light bulb, to the invention of the phonograph Thomas

Edison made electricity a reality for the masses. And one of his greatest
influences was from his Father a very positive man. A long with the great
influence he had upon Americans and the world. He sparked the movement of
today’s computer ran world. Thomas Edison was born February 11, 1847 in Milan,

Ohio. He was the seventh and last child of Samuel Edison, Jr. and Nancy Elliot

Edison. His parents had no special mechanical background. His mother was a
former schoolteacher; his father was a jack-of-all-trades - from running a
grocery store to real estate. When Thomas was seven years old, his family moved
to Port Huron, Michigan. He was a very curious child who asked a lot of
questions. "Edison began school in Port Huron, Michigan when he was seven. His
teacher, the Reverend G. B. Engle considered Thomas to be a dull
student."(Allen pg. 22) Thomas especially did not like math. And he asked too
many questions. The story goes that the teacher whipped students who asked
questions. After three months of school, the teacher called Thomas,
"addled". Thomas was pissed. The next day, Nancy Edison brought Thomas
back to school to talk with Reverend Engle. The teacher told his mother that

Thomas couldn\'t learn. Nancy also became angry at the teacher\'s strict ways.

"She took Thomas out of school and decided to home-school him."(Allen pg.

34) 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. Edison\'s parents loved to read. They read to him works of good literature
and history. They had many books that young Tom eagerly devoured. Before he was

12, he had read works by Dickens and Shakespeare, Edward Gibbon\'s Fall of the

Roman Empire and Decline, and more. Nancy Edison encouraged her curious son to
learn things for himself. His parents were dedicated to teaching their children.

They did not force him to learn about things he didn\'t enjoy. So he learned
about things that interested him the most. When Thomas was nine Nancy Edison
gave him an elementary science book. It explained how to do chemistry
experiments at home. Edison did every experiment in the book. Then Nancy gave
him more books on science. He soon loved chemistry and spent all his spare money
buying chemicals from a local pharmacy. He collected bottles, wires, and other
items for experiments. Abbott Pg. 2 At age 10, Thomas built his first science
laboratory in the basement of the family\'s home. His father disapproved of all
the time Thomas spent in the basement. Sometimes Sam offered a penny to Thomas
if he would go back to reading books. But Thomas often used his pennies to buy
more chemicals for experiments. "He labeled all his bottles
"Poison"."(Denmark pg. 25) Edison had many ear problems throughout
his childhood. When he was 15, a train accident injured his ears more. When he
tried to jump on a moving train, a conductor grabbed the boy\'s ears to help pull
him up. "Thomas said he felt something snap inside his head. He soon began to
lose much of his hearing." (Swanson pg. 34) Thomas never became deaf, but from
then on he was hard of hearing. His deafness could have been cured by an
operation. But Thomas refused the operation. He said being deaf helped him
concentrate. When Edison was 21, he got a job in Boston as an expert night
telegraph operator. Even though he worked nights, he slept little during the
day. He was too busy experimenting with electrical currents. Edison worked to
improve a telegraph machine that would send many messages at the same time over
the same wire. He borrowed money from a friend, and soon quit his job. Now he
could spend all his time inventing. The first invention that he tried to sell
was an electric vote recorder. It made voting faster and more accurate. But no
one wanted to buy it. "Today it is used in many states to record votes of
legislators." (Allen pg. 45) He moved to New York City in the summer of 1869.

He had no money. A friend let him sleep in a basement office below Wall Street.

Edison spent a lot of time studying the stock market ticker. That was the
machine that gave