Thomas Edison Facts For Kids | The Wizard of Menlo Park

Stock ticker is among one of his very first creations that is associated with telegraphy. Thomas Edison was an American businessman but he created quite a number of useful devices like movie camera and a practically working light bulb. He also made a power station in New York to supply electricity to business centers and homes. He invented a carbon button microphone in 1877. During 1887, the number of US power stations established by Thomas Edison was 121. He became a businessman and later established 14 companies. In 1877, Edison invented a gramophone and became popular in no time. This device is also known as phonograph. He founded a research laboratory in Menlo Park, Middlesex County which was the first of its kind. He financed this project through selling his Quadruplex telegraph to Western Union in 1874. He sold it for 10,000 US dollars which amounts to $208,400 of today. He is the founder of General Electric which is one of the world’s biggest public companies. Now let’s find out more in Thomas Edison facts for kids!

A Quick Guide to Thomas Edison Facts for Kids

Full Name: Thomas Alva Edison

Nicknames: Al; Tom; The Wizard

Date of Birth: February 11, 1847

Place of Birth: Milan, Ohio

Date of Death: October 18, 1931

Age: 84

Inventions: Movie camera, Phonograph and Electric light bulb

Thomas Edison Childhood facts

  • He was a poor child and had to take up work as a ‘train-boy’ while he was only 12 years of age. He used to sell different newspapers, vegetables and fruits for persons along for the ride. Besides, he made them smile by his delightful humor.
  • He took great interest in telegraphy while he was a child.
  • By the age of ten, Edison had studied the books of Montesquieu and Gibbon. After reading the book, he can actually recall the correct page from where anything unusual is mentioned in a paragraph. What’s more, often he knows the position of that paragraph too.
  • When his business flourished and earning reached about ten dollars per day, he started sending one dollar to his mother. However, the rest was largely used up in purchasing equipments for his experiments.
  • As a result of his increasing interest in literature, people began calling him by pet name ‘Victor Hugo Edison’.
  • During his business on Grand Trunk Railroad, the passengers started calling him by the name of ‘Al’.

How many things did Thomas Edison invent | Thomas Edison inventions list

Thomas Edison invented 15 things that had a lasting impact on the world. Some of his inventions are:

  • Movie camera
  • Phonograph
  • Electric light bulb
  • Fluoroscope
  • Kinetograph (motion picture camera)
  • Mining
  • Battery
  • Rubber

Thomas Edison Family

  • His paternal ancestors were from Netherlands. They migrated to U.S.A in about 1737.
  • The name of his great-grandfather was John Edison. In New York, he was a banker of outstanding reputation.
  • The name of his father was Samuel Ogden Edison. Samuel Edison was about six-feet high and a strong guy with a beard on his face. During revolution, he ran off and after a flight of about 182 miles, reached U.S.A. He covered this entire trip without sleeping and also had nothing to eat.
  • The name of Edison’s mother was Nancy Matthews Elliott. Nancy was a nice-looking young girl. She was a school teacher in Canada (Nova Scotia).
  • He had 6 siblings. He was the eldest of all.

Thomas Edison Children

  • The name of his wife was Mary Stilwell.
  • Edison got married to Mary Stilwell on December 25, 1871.
  • Stilwell was only 16 years old at the time of marriage. She was working at his store before marriage.
  • Stilwell and Edison had 3 kids.
  • His wife (Mary Stilwell) passed away on August 9, 1884 perhaps due to brain tumor. She was only 29 years old at the time.
  • Edison got married the second time on February 24, 1886. He was 39 years old at the time.
  • The name of his second wife was Mina Miller. She was 20 years old on her marriage. Her father was a philanthropist, businessperson as well as inventor of ‘combine harvester’ named Lewis Miller.
  • Edison and Miller had 3 kids too.
  • One of his sons named Thomas Edison became Governor of New Jersey.
  • Theodore Edison had 80 patents in his own name.
  • Mina died on August 24, 1947.

Edison was not the inventor of the electric light bulb. There were a number of creators before him who came across incandescent lamps. However, it was Thomas Edison who for the very first time used an electric light bulb to be used for business purposes.

Interesting Facts about Thomas Edison

  • He was an incredibly curious kid. Every so often he sat down on the eggs of his neighbor’s goose and stayed there for a very long time hoping to hatch them through his body’s heat.
  • During his childhood years he loved doing experiments with everything he came across. Thus one time he had cut a portion of his finger when he was trying to slice something with axe.
  • On one occasion he burned a barn and only just got away from the flames. But this time, he was dealt with severely and got a number of lashes in a town square.
  • Edison loved swimming too. In an attempt to save one of his pals from getting drowned, he very nearly managed to save his own life.
  • While doing a job as a telegraph operator, his mind was so much focused on his machine that he couldn’t hear at all the voices of other people or machines in the hall.
  • In the laboratory, Edison (along with his staff) used to work during the whole night and went to sleep in the morning until noontime.

10 facts about Thomas Edison

  1. When Edison was born, his face looked a lot like his mother. But by nature, he was quite a funny guy which he took over certainly from his father in that his mother was a sober woman.
  2. The name of his teacher during school days was Reverend Engle. Edison never concentrated on his studies properly which is why she used to call him a confused child.
  3. He went to school for only 3 months. After this, Edison’s mother became his teacher at home.
  4. He used to study two textbooks a lot during his homeschooling. One of these books was School of Natural Philosophy written by Richard Green Parker. The other book was Cooper Union. His inspiration for the later inventions was largely come from these two books.
  5. While he was still a child, he had some serious problems with his hearing. He was unable to hear which was probably because of an attack of scarlet fever. However, Edison told that once a train conductor hit him on his ears and later threw him off the train in Michigan.
  6. He used to put up candies, vegetables and newspapers for sale while riding on a train heading to Detroit from Port Huron.
  7. In Michigan, he saved the life of a boy named Jimmie MacKenzie. He was about to hit by a fast moving train when Edison came and rescued him. Jimmie was only 3 years old at the time. The boy’s father was so pleased by Edison that he signed him up as telegraph operator. The name of Jimmie’s father was J.U. MacKenzie and he was a station master.
  8. While he was 19 years old, he got a job in Western Union. But he was always fond of studying different books and doing experiments. Once while experimenting with a lead-acid battery, the sulfuric acid fell on to the floor and reached the desk of his manager. As a result, Edison was thrown out of the job on the next day.
  9. He never thought about his personal appearance. He used to get into low-cost attire, hardly ever arrange his hair with a comb and what’s more, did not bother polishing his shoes at all.
  10. The voice that came out from a device known as ‘phonograph’ for the first time was of Edison speaking publicly a popular nursery school rhyme named “Mary had a little lamb…” At the time, it was the first attempt by any person to play back the same voice recorded on a device. In 1877, the first weekly U.S. newspaper to announce the success of phonograph was ‘Scientific American’.

Thomas Edison facts about the light bulb

  • The first experiment of Edison on incandescent light bulb was conducted on October 22, 1879 in Menlo Park.
  • He displayed his light bulb to the public for the very first time on December 31, 1879.
  • The first practical use of Edison’s light bulb was in a steamship of 1880 named ‘SS Columbia’.
  • The first building for the public to use Edison’s electric light bulbs was Mahen Theatre. It was established in 1882 and located in Czech Republic’s city called Brno.
  • In USA, there are 1,093 patents in the name of Thomas Edison.
  • He collected 2,332 patents from all over the world.

Cool Thomas Edison Facts for Kids

In his schooldays, Edison narrates that his father always thought of him as a silly child. However, his mother was very kind to him and no other person was ever more confident about his talent than his mother. On one occasion, while one of the school teachers told inspector about Edison that he was a ‘confused child’ and that he shouldn’t be allowed to study any further, Edison heard that. This last blow burst Edison into tears and on his return told the same thing to his mom. On hearing this, his mother got infuriated and heatedly gets back to school with his child. She stood up for Edison very strongly and said to the teacher with great fury that Edison was far more intelligent than him and more stuff like that. Only at that moment did Edison realize that his mother was indeed the strongest supporter of his abilities.

When Edison was once traveling on a train with his usual apparatus, a shocking incident occurred. As train tilted due to high speed, the phosphorus spilled over to the floor and set the train on fire. Edison and conductor somehow managed to put it out. However, as the station turned up, the cruel conductor threw away Edison along with his apparatus (telegraph tools, printing press, chemicals and the like). This way he destroyed all the instruments of a young experimenter. Not only this, the conductor hit him so strongly on one of his ears that before long Edison lost his hearing too. The name of the conductor was Alexander Stevenson.

His trip to Port Huron was regularly interrupted when train spent a long time at Mount Clemens. Mackenzie, a station-master at Mount Clemens, became friend of Edison. Jimmy, a two-and-a-half-year-old son of Mackenzie, on one occasion was playing with sand on railway track. The kid was not aware about the train which was coming right towards him. When the train reached within spitting distance of the kid, Edison stepped on it right away and saved the boy. It made a lasting impact on Mackenzie for obvious reasons but since he was extremely poor, he sought to pay off Edison’s act of kindness by teaching him about the use of telegraph key and also told him something about electricity. Edison said yes to his suggestion with a smile.

He had a great desire to take off in the air like birds. One time Edison tried to convince a girl to drink a liquid (that he prepared) because according to Edison, it would take her to the air. At first, the girl turned down his offer but soon after tasted a little and became ill. However, Edison was so confident about his liquid that he thought girl didn’t fly due to her own fault.

When did Thomas Edison die

Edison passed away in October, 1931 because of diabetes.


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