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Profile of the Day: Thomas Edison

On this day in 1931, prolific inventor Thomas Edison died at the age of 84. At the time of his death, Edison held over 1,000 patents and saw many of his inventions make a significant impact on the world.

Profile of the Day: Thomas Edison

Image: Thomas Edison / Library of Congress

Thomas Alva Edison was born on February 11, 1847 in Milan, Ohio. He was the seventh child of Samuel Ogden Edison, Jr. and Nancy Matthews Elliott. At 16, he became a telegraph operator and gained an interest during these years in improving the telegraph system.

He opened his own industrial research lab in Menlo Park, New Jersey where he devoted himself full time to his experiments and inventions. In 1877, Edison became an instant celebrity with his invention of the phonograph and was dubbed the “Wizard of Menlo Park” by the press. In one of the earliest recordings of a human voice, Edison recited the nursery rhyme “Mary Had a Little Lamb.”

From the first practical and commercially successful light bulb to the motion picture camera, Edison’s inventions transformed life in the 19th century. He continued to actively work until his death in 1931.

How are you related to Thomas Edison? Explore his family tree on Geni and share your connection to the legendary inventor.

View Thomas Edison’s Geni Profile


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