Thomas Alva Edison (February 11, 1847 – October 18, 1931) was an American inventor, scientist, and businessman whose inventions included the phonograph, the motion picture camera, and the light bulb. This teacher sheet provides some "facts" about Thomas Edison that you can share with the class as they conduct the activities in this lesson.
- Edison is considered to be the greatest inventor in modern times.
- He earned the nickname, “Wizard of Menlo Park” (New Jersey), where he built the first industrialized research laboratory in 1876.
- His 1,093 inventions have greatly changed the lives of nearly all people living across the world.
- His work includes improving the incandescent electric light bulb and inventing the phonograph and the kinetoscope, or a small box for viewing moving pictures or films.
- Edison believed in hard work and sometimes worked twenty hours a day.
- Edison was quoted as saying, "Genius is one percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration."
- Not all of Edison’s inventions were successful. Among many of his failed efforts: trying to use cement to build things and finding a practical way to mine iron ore.
- In tribute to this important American, electric lights in the United States were dimmed for one minute on October 21, 1931, a few days after his death.
Information on this sheet is drawn from these resources:
- Thomas Alva Edison as a Scientist and Inventor (http://sln.fi.edu/franklin/inventor/edison.html)
- Meet Amazing Americans: Thomas Alva Edison (http://www.americaslibrary.gov/aa/edison/aa_edison_subj.html)
- Zoom Inventors and Inventions: Thomas Alva Edison (http://www.enchantedlearning.com/inventors/page/e/edison.shtml)
This teacher sheet is a part of the Inventions 1: Edison and the Light Bulb