Thomas Edison, born February 11, 1847, was really an amazing human being. As a child growing up in his little house in Milan, Ohio, he was very curious. He is known for hhis amazing inventions such as the electric lightbulb, the improved telephone, the kinetoscope, and the Vitascope. Although it seems like he was having a totally great life selling his inventions (which most of the time he did), he went through a few struggles.
One of his struggles was that he was born with brain fever, giving him hearing problems and later on he would go completely deaf. As a young boy, Edison had a really mean teacher because he would often get bored and sketch inventions and draw in his notebook. His teacher would smack him with a ruler and say he was incapable of learning and could not be taught. His mom got so mad that she pulled him from school and taught him at home. Yay! Homeschooled!
The first invention he grew famous for was the long-glowing electric lightbulb. Though lightbulbs existed, their carbon filament only allowed them to glow for a short amount of time. which brings up Joseph Swan, who invented the incandescent lightbulb, and was not impressed with Edison’s work. Swan has been working with carbon long before Edison, and that’s pretty much the only thing different about their bulbs, the carbon filament. Later on in 1881, Edison built a huge energy generator that was capable of powering up to 25 public lightbulbs at the same time.
Then, Edison went through some more hard times. On August 9, 1884, Edison’s wife, Mary, died.
But two years later, he got a new wife, Mina. Then things got better! in 1889,Edison finally established his own electric company, and called it Edison General Electric Company. But then, things got worse again. Thomson-Houston electric company discovered how to use an alternating current, causing them to rise above Edison and his company, which went out of business in early 1892.
After Edison’s Electric company went under, he decided to move on. A new idea struck his brain.
Making pictures move.
Now, he wasn’t the first to work on this just like he wasn’t the first to work on the lightbulb, or the telephone. The first invention he made in the motion picture category was the kinetoscope-
a box-like machine with a little peephole to look through, to see the moving slides inside. it was coin operated. In 1894, he established the Edison Manufacturing Company, with a film company as part of it. 25 kinetoscopes were built and shipped that year.
Then kinetoscope sales began to fall. Other people and companies started to sell projectors and motion picture cameras. Edison wanted to work on something bigger. Introducing, the Vitascope!
The Vitascope is a huge projector used to project films for large audiences, like the movie theater.
Thomas Alva Edison was a truly extraordinary man. He went through a lot, though. Companies passing away, people passing away, and getting beat my rich competitors. But that sure didn’t stop him from creating amazing devices like the long-glowing lightbulb, the improved telephone, the kinetoscope, and the vitascope.
Edison died October 18, 1931.