Thomas Alva Edison was born in 1847. He
was sick a lot when he was young. Edison's mother taught him lessons at home
and he only studied the things he wanted to know. At age ten, he read his first
science book. After he read the book, he built a laboratory in his house. Soon,
Edison started to invent things. He was interested in the telegraph and
electricity. At age twenty-three, he made a special telegraphic machine and
sold it for a lot of money. With this money, he was now free to invent all the
Edison started his own laboratory at
Menlo Park, New Jersey. He hired mechanics and chemists to help him. He worked
day and night. Once, he worked on forty-five inventions at the same time.
Edison did not sleep very much, but he took naps. He often fell asleep with his
clothes on. One day, he even fell asleep in a closet!
Did you know Edison invented wax paper,
fire alarms, the battery, and motion pictures? But his favorite invention was
the phonograph, or record player. He invented the phonograph in 1876. His other
famous invention was the light bulb. Edison died in 1931, at the age of
eighty-four. He had over 1,300 inventions to his name! Many people say that
Edison was a genius--one of the smartest people in the world!