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Biography of Thomas Alva Edison | American inventor.

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(Milan, 1847 - West Orange, 1931) American inventor, the most brilliant of the modern era. Next to the transcendence of his inventions, which resulted in an important contribution to the industrial development of the country and the improvement of welfare and the living conditions of millions of people, the figure of Edison stands out as a model of tenacity, as an example of the value of the effort and the untiring work above the innate talent and intelligence. "Genius is a ten percent inspiration and ninety percent of perspiration" is perhaps his most famous phrase.

Thomas Edison
The intelligence of the young Edison, who was allergic to the monotony of school, woke up thanks to her mother. The miracle came after reading a book that she gave him entitled School of Natural philosophy, Richard Green Parker; such was his fascination who wanted to make itself all experiments and test all theories which contained. Aided by his mother, installed in the basement of their house a small laboratory, convinced that it was going to be inventor.
A young entrepreneur
At the age of twelve, not to mention his passion for experiments, considered that it was in their hand win cash materializing some of their good occurrences. His first initiative was to sell newspapers and trinkets on the train making the trip from Port Huron to Detroit. The civil war had erupted and travelers were eager for news. Edison persuaded the Telegraph of the railway line so that they expose on the bulletin boards of holders brief stations on the development of the contest, not forgetting to add to the foot full details appeared in the newspapers.
Sold those newspapers the own Edison on the train, and there is no saying that they removed from the hands. At the same time it bought unceasingly scientific journals, books and equipment, and became the carriage of luggage of the convoy in a new laboratory. He learned how to Telegraph and, after obtaining low-priced and second hand print press, began to publish a newspaper on their own, the Weekly Herald.

Edison with his phonograph (1878)
In the following years, Edison made a pilgrimage through several cities playing Telegraph work in several companies and devoting his free time to investigate. In Boston he built a device to automatically register votes and offered it to Congress. Politicians felt that the invention was so perfect that it could not be another possibility that rejecting it. That same day, Edison made two decisions. Firstly, vowed it would never invent anything that wasn't, as well as innovative, practical and profitable. Secondly, he abandoned his career as Telegrapher. He then formed a partnership and set to work.
He perfected the automatic Telegraph, invented a device to transmit the oscillations of the stock, he collaborated in the construction of the first typewriter and gave practical application to the phone through the adoption of the carbon microphone. His name began to be known, their inventions already reported him benefits and Edison was able to buy machinery and hire workers. For him they were not the hours. It was very demanding with his staff and liked to work overtime, so the results were often positive.
The phonograph to the light bulb
Twenty-nine years he bought a sprawling grounds in the village of Menlo Park, near New York City, and built there a new workshop and a residence for his family. Edison had married at the end of 1871 Mary Stilwell; the most prominent note of wedding was the work that cost the Godfather make the groom to put some white gloves for the ceremony. It should now hold a home and was devoted, more if possible, productive work.
Its main virtue was no doubt his extraordinary capacity for work. Any details in the course of his investigations made him envision the possibility of a new finding. Newly installed in Menlo Park, was however completely concentrated in a new device for recording sound vibrations. The idea was already old and had even been record sounds on a wax cylinder, but nobody had managed to play them.
Edison worked day and night on the project and finally, in August 1877, gave one of its technicians a strange draft, saying that it built that edifice without loss of time. In the end, Edison connected machine. Everyone could hear a song that had sung one of the used minutes earlier. Edison had just completed one of its great inventions: the phonograph. But not all were wins; many of the investigations initiated by Edison ended in failure sound. When tests were not satisfactory, he experimented with new materials, combining them in a different way and still trying.

Patent for the light bulb, and one of the first models
In April 1879, Edison addressed research on electric light. The competition was very fierce and several laboratories had already patented their lamps. The problem was in finding a material capable of maintaining a light bulb lit long. After trying various elements with negative results, Edison finally found carbonized bamboo filament.
Immediately he acquired large quantities of bamboo, and displaying its pragmatism, set up a workshop to make himself light bulbs. Then, to prove that electric lighting was more economical than gas, began to sell their lamps at 40 cents, but to make them it cost you more than one dollar; his goal was to make that you increase the demand to produce them in large quantities and lower the cost per unit. In a short time got that each bulb will cost you thirty-seven cents: business started to go such as silk.
The value of a genius
His fame spread around the world as electric light was imposed. Edison, who after the death of his first wife had remarried, visited Europe and was received in smell of crowds. Back in the United States created several companies and continued working with the same ardour as always. All his inventions were patented and exploited immediately, and not took to produce substantial benefits.
Meanwhile, the work seemed to keep it in shape. His only concern health was not to gain weight. It was irregular in their meals, they slept late and rising early, never made sport of any kind and often chewed tobacco. But the most surprising of his character was his invulnerability to discouragement. Setback was able to discourage him.
In the 1920s, their fellow citizens noted you in the polls as the largest United States man. Even the Congress dealt with his fame, calculating that Edison had added an average of $ 30 million a year to the national wealth for a period of half a century. Never before had valued such something as intangible as the genius accurately.
The popularity of Edison became immense. In 1927 he was appointed member of the National Academy of Sciences and the following year President Coolidge gave him a gold medal which he had made to burn the Congress. It was eighty-four years when an attack of uremia downed his last energies.
Extracted from the website: Biografías y Vidas
Biographies of historical figures and personalities

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