Thomas Alva Edison was born on Feb. 11, 1847, in Milan, Ohio. Biography.com has a biographical sketch of Mr. Edison; they say he was an:
American inventor who, singly or jointly, held a world record 1,093 patents. In addition, he created the world’s first industrial research laboratory.
Edison was the quintessential American inventor in the era of Yankee ingenuity. He began his career in 1863, in the adolescence of the telegraph industry, when virtually the only source of electricity was primitive batteries putting out a low-voltage current. Before he died, in 1931, he had played a critical role in introducing the modern age of electricity. From his laboratories and workshops emanated the phonograph, the carbon-button transmitter for the telephone speaker and microphone, the incandescent lamp, a revolutionary generator of unprecedented efficiency, the first commercial electric light and power system, an experimental electric railroad, and key elements of motion-picture apparatus, as well as a host of other inventions.
For so many of the electricity and electrical products around us, we owe Edison a debt of gratitude.
Read more about Thomas Edison at Thomas Edison.com. Visit the Thomas Edison Papers and the Edison National Historic Site. The History Channel has a host of resources about Mr. Edison, including some videos of Mr. Edison describing the development of the light bulb and of electricity (for distribution).