The Life of Thomas Edison

Scott Phu, 10th Grader || 9.01.18


     Thomas Edison was a very curious and carefree boy that was born in Milan, Ohio. Now young Tom was always filled with questions, one day he looked out the window and noticed the neighbor’s goose was sitting on her eggs. “Why does the neighbor’s goose squat on her eggs?” he asked. “To keep them warm,” his mother replied. “Why does she keep them warm?” he asked. “To hatch them my dear.” “What does hatch mean?” he asked. Mrs. Edison smiled and said that hatching means letting the little geese come out of their shells to be born. Young Tom thought about this and thought he too could hatch eggs. So, he walked over to the neighbor’s barn and sat on the eggs and soon he fell asleep. Later, his dad came looking for him and demanded to know what he was doing. Young Tom, not knowing what he did wrong, said that he was just trying to hatch the geese’s eggs. He did not know that nature did not work that way.

     When tom got older, his family moved to Port Huron, Michigan. There Tom attended a public school for a while, but he did not like the teachers and how they taught so Mrs. Edison decided to home school him. When he got older he decided that he wanted more money and experience on the railroad. At the age of 12, Thomas Edison got a job as a news boy on the railroad. Back then railroads were all over the country and were the fastest and most efficient way to travel. As a news boy, Thomas Edison always knew what was happening around the country and he learned all of this from the telegraph.

     At the age of 20, Thomas Edison became a telegraph operator in Boston. The trip from Port Huron to Boston was slow and cold, but as soon as the trip ended he went straight to the western Union office to apply as a telegraph operator. Everyone in the office made fun of Tom because he dressed in trousers and a loose shirt. But one day he showed everyone how fast he could tap and won the office’s respect. Even though Tom worked the night shift, he would always keep studying science, he especially liked electricity and how it works. After 6 years as a telegraph operator he finally set up his first lab.

     During his career as an inventor, he has made many accomplishments. One of his first inventions was a telegraph machine that carried messages both ways on a single wire. Back then they needed 2 wires for telegraphs; 1 going out, 1 coming in. one of Edison’s biggest accomplishment was the world’s first phonograph. Today this doesn’t seem to be a something very big, but back then they have never heard of a machine that will repeat what you say into it. Edison became very famous for this and soon the whole world knew of Thomas Edison and his phonograph.

     Even though Edison became very famous for his phonograph everyone quickly forgot about it. Though his moment of glory was gone, he was about to make one the world’s most important invention; the light bulb. Everyone was looking for a new light source because all they had in their homes were oil lamps and oil was very expensive and they smelled really bad. So almost every inventor in the world was on a race to discover the perfect light source. Edison was already ahead of most inventors because he has been playing around with electricity for several years already. Everyone was thinking of a metal that can be used in a light bulb because metal was the most relevant element and it had a very high melting point. Edison had considered this but quickly found out that metal transfers electricity too well. So in his final light bulb, he used a thread of carbonized cotton to be used in his light bulb. The light bulb worked! The people in the country were dying to use this new light source. So in 1882 Thomas Edison set up the first electrical network in New York, and his business was a huge success!

     Through his life, Edison faced many challenges that slowed his successful life. There was money problem all the time and Edison was delayed by the lack of machines in his days. Although he struggled much, he always gave his best to all his projects and never gave up on any of them. This makes him a very important role model to look up to. During his life no matter how many obstacles came his way, he always persevered through them and always gave his 120% on everything he did. I find this a very admirable aspect of Thomas Edison and I think he is a very important person that everyone should look up to. Finally on October 19, 1931 Thomas Edison died and left the world to evolve on his most important invention, the light bulb.