Facts About Thomas Edison:
Thomas Edison constructed his first lab when he was 10 years of age. He was given a book on how to do chemistry experiments at home. He used all his spare money buying chemicals. In the family's basement, he built a science lab.
To make sure no one stole his chemicals, he labeled all of them "Poison."
Edison was virtually deaf.
In 1869, Thomas Edison got his first patent for a telegraphic vote-recording machine for the legislature. Each legislator would hit a switch on the machine and record his vote on a particular bill. Unfortunately, Edison's invention was a flop.
Edison was inked! He had five dots tattooed tattooed on his left forearm. No one has any idea what the dots meant. My guess, it was probably something in Morse code. Ironically, in 1876 he patented the Stencil-Pens, an engraving device that was modified by Samuel O'Reilly to make the world's first tattoo machine.
Edison invented the phonograph, the design of the modern light bulb, the mimeograph machine, the movie camera, the carbon microphone, and the phonograph cylinder.
His movie studio was called Black Maria Studios. Films recorded there included The Execution of Mary Stuart and Chinese Opium Den. The name Black Mari is a slang term for a police van used to carry prisoners from one place to another. Black Maria Studios was located in West Orange, New Jersey.
This short Luis Martinetti on the Rings was taped at Black Maria Studios. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xEohLf-TUOw
One of his inventions was the stock ticker, which was used through the 1970s.
Movietone news recorded a memorial after his death in 1931. Here is a link to part of the memorial. You can hear Edison's voice. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ftii6D68Veo
When he was 14, Thomas Edison saved a 3 year old boy from being hit by a train. The father of the child, who just happened to be a station agent trained Edison to be a telegraph operator. This was the beginning of many great innovations in telegraphy by Edison. He, in fact, invented an electric telegraph machine.
In lower Manhattan, Thomas Edison set up the world's first electric light power station! Later on, this would be integrated into the Con Edison company.
He is known as The Wizard of Menlo Park.
In 1928, Edison received the Congressional Gold Medal.