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 Thomas Alva Edison

23. Thomas Alva Edison

    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 time.

    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!



1. Why did Edison study at home?
a. Because his parents had no money for his education.
b. Because he was often sick.
c. Because he lived far from school.

2. When did he decide to make his own laboratory?
a. When he read his first science book.
b. When he finished his education.
c. When he got money for it.

3. What was the first Edison’s invention?
a. Wax paper
b. Light bulb
c. Telegraphic machine

4. Was nap very important for Edison?
a. It was very important for such a great inventor.
b. He didn’t sleep very much.
c. He didn’t sleep at all.

5. What was Edison’s favorite invention?
a. A light bulb
b. A record player
c. A computer

6. What do people say about Edison?
a. He was one of the most intelligent people.
b. He is not very famous.
c. People are not very grateful to him.

7. What is the synonym for the word ‘naps’ (paragraph 2)?
a. Meal
b. Water
c. Tour
d. Snooze

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