Thomas Alva Edison's Life


1847
Thomas Alva Edison was born in Milan, Ohio, to Samuel and Nancy Elliott Edison.
1854
Family moved to Port Huron, Michigan.
1855
Attended school for three months.
1859
Began selling newspapers, candy and food on the Grand Trunk Railway between Port Huron and Detroit.
1863
Employed as a telegraph operator traveling through the South and Midwest.
1867
Returned to Port Huron.
1868
Moved to Boston. Patented his first invention -- the Electrical Vote Recorder.
1869
Moved to New York City. Started a business manufacturing telegraph equipment. Invented the Universal Stock Ticker.
1871
Married Mary Stilwell. Received a patent for paper ticker tape.
1874
Developed a quadruplex system which changed the telegraph industry.
1876
Established a laboratory at Menlo Park, New Jersey. Received patents for the mimeograph machine and electric pen.
1877
Invented the phonograph. Invented a carbon button transmitter, for use in telephones and phonographs, which he believed to be his most original invention.
1878
Founded the Edison Electric Light Company.
1879
Invented the first practical incandescent electric light bulb. Demonstrated it to the public by lighting the town of Menlo Park.
1880
Discovered the Edison Effect which would become the foundation of the field of electronics.
1881
Began mass production of light bulbs and electric parts.
1882
Established the Pearl Street Central Power Station in New York, the first commercial electric power plant.
1883
Edison Illuminating Company began building municipal power plants.
1884
Edison's wife, Mary Stillwell, died at 29.
1886
Married Mina Miller.
1887
Moved into West Orange Laboratory
1889
Consolidated many of his separate companies into the Edison General Electric Company. Invented the kinetograph, forerunner of today's motion picture camera.
1892
Edison General Electric Company merged with Thomson-Houston Company to become the General Electric Company.
1894
Introduced the Kinetoscope to the public by hosting the first commercial showing of a motion picture.
1896
Invented the fluoroscope but decided not to patent it because of its tremendous usefulness in medicine.
1900
Invented the nickel-iron-alkaline storage battery.
1900
Began construction of the Edison Cement Plant.
1902
Made improvements in cement so that it could be used in major construction.
1909
Perfected the nickel-iron-alkaline storage battery.
1911
Formed Thomas A. Edison, Inc.
1912
Produced the first talking motion picture.
1915
Named President of the Naval Consulting Board. Produced several military-related inventions during World War One.
1928
Received the U.S. Congressional Gold Medal for career achievements.
1929
Re-enacted the invention of the incandescent light bulb to celebrate its 50th anniversary.
1931
Died on October 18th at age 84.

     

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