Thomas Alva Edison (February 11, 1847 – October 18, 1931) was an American scientist and inventor known for creating the lightbulb among his many inventions. His parents were Samuel Ogden Edison, Jr. and Nancy Matthews Elliott. Thomas was their seventh child. Edison married twice and had six children altogether, three from each wife. His inventions spanned a wide aray between industrial, communications, and even business technology. These inventions included a stock ticker, a mechanical vote recorder, a battery for an electric car, electrical power, the lightbulb, recorded music and motion pictures.
The phonograph was the first machine that could record the sound of someone's voice and play it back. In 1877, Edison recorded the first words on a piece of tin foil. He recited the nursery rhyme "Mary Had a Little Lamb," and the phonograph played the words back to him. This was invented by a man whose hearing was so poor that he thought of himself as "deaf"! Thomas Edison died on Oct. 18th, 1931 in New Jersey at the age of 84 years.
People often say Edison was a genius. He answered, "Genius is hard work, stick-to-it-iveness, and common sense," or "Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration."
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