Thomas Alva Edison

Thomas Alva Edison, the youngest of four children, was born on February 11, 1847, in Milan, a small town in Ohio where his father, Samuel Edison, had been established six years earlier. His father had to leave Canada precipitously as a result of a rebellion against the English in which he took part and which ended in failure. Marginalized by the railroad, the activity in Milan gradually diminished, and the crisis affected the Edison family, who had to emigrate again to a more prosperous place when her son Thomas had already reached the age of seven. The new place of residence was Port Huron, in Michigan, where the future inventor attended school for the first time. This was a very brief experience: it lasted only three months, after which he was expelled from the classrooms, alleging his teacher's absolute lack of interest and awkwardness more than manifested, these behaviors to which a partial deafness was not unrelated. contracted as a sequel to a scarlet attack. His mother, Nancy Elliot, who had served as a teacher before getting married, now assumed the education of the young youngest of the family, a task he performed with no little talent, since he managed to inspire in him that curiosity without limits that would be the characteristic most remarkable of his career throughout his life. When he was ten years old, little Thomas installed his first laboratory in the cellars of his parents' house and learned only the rudiments of chemistry and electricity. But at age twelve, Edison also realized that he could exploit not only his creative ability, but also his keen practicality. So, without forgetting his passion for experiments, he felt that it was in his power to make constant money by materializing some of his good ideas. His first initiative was selling newspapers and trinkets on the train that made the trip from Port Huron to Detroit. The Civil War had broken out and the travelers were eager for news. Edison persuaded the telegraphists of the railway line to show on the bulletin boards of the brief news stations about the development of the contest, without forgetting to add to the foot that the complete details appeared in the newspapers; These newspapers were sold by Edison himself on the train and it is not necessary to say that they were being taken out of their hands. At the same time, he constantly bought scientific journals, books and devices, and even converted the convoy's baggage car into a new laboratory. He learned to telegraph and, after getting a print press at a low price and at second hand, he began to publish a newspaper on his own, the Weekly Herald. One night, while he was working on his experiments, some spilled phosphorus caused a fire in the car. The conductor of the train and the conductor were able to put out the fire and then they threw the printing tools, the bottles and the thousand pots that filled the van. The entire laboratory and even the inventor went to the road. Thus ended the first business of Thomas Alva Edison. Young Edison was only sixteen when he decided to leave his parents' home. The population in which he lived was already too small. Not lacking initiative, he launched himself in search of new horizons. Luckily, he mastered the job of telegrapher, and the civil war had left many vacancies, so, wherever he was, it would be easy for him to find work. For the next five years Edison led a wandering life, from town to town, with occasional jobs. He stayed in sordid pensions and invested everything he earned in the acquisition of books and equipment to experiment, completely neglecting his personal appearance. From Michigan to Ohio, from there to Indianapolis, then Cincinnati, and a few months after Memphis, having previously gone through Tennessee. His next job was in Boston, as a telegrapher on the night shift. He arrived there in 1868, and shortly after turning twenty-one he was able to acquire the work of the British scientist Michael Faraday Experimental Researches in Electricity, whose reading influenced him very positively. Until then, he had only earned the reputation of having some magical gift that allowed him to easily fix any broken device. Now, Faraday provided him with the method to channel all his inventive genius. He became more orderly and disciplined, and since then he has acquired the habit of carrying a notebook, always ready to point out any idea or fact that demands his attention. Convinced that his professional goal was invention, Edison left his job and decided to become an independent inventor, registering his first patent in 1868. It was an electric vote counter offered to Congress, but the members of the chamber rated the team