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Thomas Edison, American inventor

Thomas Edison, American inventor

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Credit

MARIA PLATT-EVANS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MARIA PLATT-EVANS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Thomas Alva Edison (1847-1931), American inventor. Edison received no formal education. In 1869, he invented a paper tape 'ticker' for sending stock prices across the country, and sold it for $30, 000. He used this to establish an industrial research laboratory where he spent the rest of his life. His more notable inventions include the carbon granule microphone, the phonograph and the electric light bulb. During his life he filed 1069 patents. He also enriched physics by discovering that electricity flows from a heated filament to a nearby electrode, but not in reverse (the Edison effect) which formed the basis of the thermionic valve.

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