I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000

ways that won’t work.

–Thomas Edison

Thomas Alva Edison was born on February 11th, 1847, in Milan, Ohio. He was the seventh and last child born to Samuel Edison Jr. and Nancy Elliott Edison, and would be one of four to survive to adulthood. Thomas Edison received little formal education, and left school in 1859 to begin working on the railroad between Detroit and Port Huron, Michigan, where his family then lived.

In his 84 years, Thomas Edison acquired a record number of 1,093 patents (singly or jointly) and was the driving force behind innovations such as the phonograph, the incandescent light bulb and one of the earliest motion picture cameras. He also created the world’s first industrial research laboratory. Known as the “Wizard of Menlo Park”, for the New Jersey town where he did some of his best-known work, Edison had become one of the most famous men in the world by the time he was in his 30s. In addition to his talent for invention, Edison was also a successful manufacturer and businessman who was highly skilled at marketing his inventions–and himself–to the public.