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edison's childhood inventions and patents
the menlo park lab edison chronology
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Edison Chronology
1847 Thomas Alva Edison born February 11, in Milan, Ohio.

Thomas Edison, age 14.

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Edison proudly poses with his favorite invention, the phonograph
Photo: P.B.3459

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Mina Miller, ca. 1915
Photo: P.B.97671

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Edison recreating the invention of the incandescent light bulb at Greenfield Village dedication, 1929. Photo: P.188.1256

1854 Moves with his family to Port Huron, Michigan.
1855 Attends school for three months.
Works selling newspapers and candy on the Grand Trunk Railway between Port Huron and Detroit.
1863 Begins work as a telegraph operator wandering throughout the South and the Midwest.
1868 Finishes his years as a traveling telegraph operator and patents his first invention, an electric vote recorder.
1869 Announces his intention to become a full-time inventor, moves to New York City, and forms first business to manufacture telegraph equipment.
1871 Establishes his own factory and laboratory in Newark, New Jersey. Marries Mary Stilwell.
1874 Develops a Quadruplex system for the telegraph.
1876 Establishes laboratory at Menlo Park, New Jersey.
1877 Invents the phonograph and a carbon transmitter for use in a telephone receiver.
  Hear Edison recite "Mary had a little lamb."
1879 Develops the first truly successful electric incandescent light.
1882 Opens Pearl Street Central Power Station in New York City.
1884 Edison's wife, Mary, dies.
1886 Edison marries Mina Miller.
1887 Establishes laboratory in West Orange, New Jersey.
1888 Chichester Bell and Charles Tainter patent an improved phonograph called the "graphophone." Edison develops his own improved phonograph in response.
1889 Forms Edison General Electric, and invents kinetograph, an early motion picture camera.
1892 Sells his interest in the electricity companies with the formation of General Electric by the merger of Edison General Electric and Thomson-Houston.
1899 Fails in his efforts to develop a commercial process of magnetic ore separation.
1910 Perfects a nickel-iron-alkaline storage battery.
1911 Organizes Thomas A. Edison, Inc.
1929 The Henry Ford opens in Michigan on the 50th anniversary of the electric light. Edison reenacts his invention of the light bulb at the reconstructed Menlo Park lab in Greenfield Village.
1931 Edison dies October 18, aged eighty-four.
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