Thomas A. Edison (1847-1887)

Inventory number: T99 1/25/4
Location: Hall 1

Thomas Alva Edison was born on February 11, 1847 in Milan, Ohio, United States. He became a telegrapher in Port Huron in 1863. In 1868 he took up a job with Western Union Telegraph Company in Boston. In 1871 he set up a company in Newark, New Jersey. At that time he had been working on the duplex and quadruplex telegraph systems and patented the electric pen. In 1876 he set up a new laboratory in Menlo Park, New Jersey. Bell's invention, the telephone, captured his interest and he began to work on it. He invented the carbon microphone and introduced the induction coil. He presented his own telephone set in 1879. On December 24, 1877 he applied for a patent on the phonograph. Edison set up a new research facility in West Orange in 1887. He improved his phonograph and designed a dictaphone. His interest took him to ever newer areas of science. From 1930 his health deteriorated and he died in West Orange on October 18, 1931. As a sign of mourning on the day of his funeral electricity was shut off for one minute everywhere in the United States.

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