Thomas Alva Edison: Great American Inventor

Overview

As a young boy, Thomas Alva Edison was fascinated with technology and chemical experiments. Later, his attempt to improve the telegraph led to his first creation-the phonograph-that set the stage for his life of discovery and invention. His incandescent lightbulb made him a popular hero, and many dubbed him the "Wizard of Menlo Park." Driven by his curiosity and desire to make life easier for everyone, Edison ended up changing the world.
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Overview

As a young boy, Thomas Alva Edison was fascinated with technology and chemical experiments. Later, his attempt to improve the telegraph led to his first creation-the phonograph-that set the stage for his life of discovery and invention. His incandescent lightbulb made him a popular hero, and many dubbed him the "Wizard of Menlo Park." Driven by his curiosity and desire to make life easier for everyone, Edison ended up changing the world.
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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Pat Trattles
From the time he was a young boy, Thomas Alva Edison was known for his curiosity and inventiveness. When he was 12, he went to work as a newsboy for the Grand Trunk Railroad. When the Civil War broke out two years later, Edison took advantage of what he knew would be his customers' thirst for news by raising the price of the paper at each stop along the railroad. At the end of the day, the price had increased from five cents to twenty five cents a copy. Edison then decided to print his own newspaper, setting up a printer in the baggage car. He also started conducting chemistry experiments in an empty train car. This venture, however, came to an abrupt end when some of the chemicals spilled and started a fire. At age 16, Edison went to work for Western Union as a telegraph operator. Not satisfied with the status quo, he continually worked on ways to improve the telegraph. In 1869 Edison applied for and received his first patent, and soon after resigned his Western Union job to become a full-time inventor. Throughout his life, he received over 800 patents and became known as the Wizard of Menlo Park. With historical photographs, fact filled sidebars, extensive source notes, suggestions for further reading, websites, and listings of places to visit to learn more about Thomas Edison, this is not only a well-told story, but also a great research source. An accelerated reader test is available.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780756520991
  • Publisher: Capstone Press
  • Publication date: 9/1/2006
  • Series: Signature Lives: Modern America Series
  • Pages: 112
  • Age range: 10 - 14 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael Burgan has written numerous books for children and young adults during his nearly 20 years as a freelance writer. Many of his books have focused on U.S. history, geography, and the lives of world leaders. He has also written fiction and adapted classic novels. Michael has won several awards for his writing, and his graphic novel version of the classic tale Frankenstein (Stone Arch Books) was a Junior Library Guild selection. Michael has also worked as an editor at Weekly Reader, the classroom news magazine used in schools across the United States. Michael graduated from the University of Connecticut with a bachelor’s degree in history. When not writing for kids, he enjoys writing plays, and his works have been staged across the United States. He lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, with his cat, Callie.

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Table of Contents


The Wizard of Menlo Park     9
Scientist and Entrepreneur     15
On the Move     25
The Business of Inventing     35
The Invention Factory     43
A Better Lightbulb     55
Lighting Up the World     63
Capturing Movement     71
Creative Businessman     81
American Hero     89
Life and Times     96
Life at a Glance     102
Additional Resources     103
Glossary     105
Source Notes     106
Select Bibliography     108
Index     109
Image Credits     112
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