Thomas Edison Thomas Edison
(1847 - 1931)

Considered by many as one of the greatest inventors in history, he was born in Milan, Ohio. He obtained patents in such fields as telegraphy, phonography, electric lighting and photography. In 1882, he designed the first hydroelectric plant in Appleton, Wisconsin. In 1879, he and Sir Joseph Wilson Swan (in England) simultaneously invented similar carbon filament incandescent light bulbs. Edison improved upon Swan's design and by the end of 1880 had produced a 16-watt light bulb that would last for 1500 hours.

As a boy, Edison had only three months of formal schooling. He was taught at home by his mother, a former teacher. He changed the lives of millions of people with such inventions as the electric light bulb and the phonograph. In his lifetime, he patented 1,093 inventions.

After the death of his first wife, he married again. He had six children, three by each wife. He valued long, hard work. One of his famous sayings was "Genius is 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration."

More about Thomas Edison

Links to other Websites:

  • The Edison Innovation Foundation preserves Thomas Edison's legacy and promotes innovation in the future generations. Learn about the life of Thomas Edison, and perform experiments using alternative energy, and motion picture technology. Edison Innovation Foundation

  • From inventions to ideas, the Edison Innovation Foundation Blog ties current events to the work of Thomas Edison

  • Learn about Edison's invention process, take his "mental fitness" test to see if he would have hired you to work in his company and take a virtual tour of his labs at the National Park Service's Edison Historical Site. Edison National Historic Site

| EQ Homepage | Energy Story | Science Projects | Library | Games|
| News | Find It | Links | About EQ | Privacy Info | Contact Us |

© 2006 California Energy Commission. All rights reserved.