201 Inspiring Thomas Edison Quotes on Success and Failure

Thomas Alva Edison, born on February 11, 1847, is renowned for his significant contributions to the world of inventions.

Self-taught and hardworking, he started his career as a ‘news butcher’ and ‘tramp telegrapher’.

Despite initial failures, Edison’s breakthrough came with the improvement of the stock ticker.

His most famed works, the phonograph and the comprehensive electric light system, were developed in Menlo Park, earning him the nickname “Wizard of Menlo Park.”


Edison, despite being virtually deaf, managed to record and replay sound, signifying the birth of the phonograph.

He later relocated to West Orange, where he established a larger laboratory and worked on inventions like X-rays, storage batteries, talking dolls and motion pictures.

Widely acknowledged as a genius, Edison attributed his success to hard work, maintaining that “Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.”

See also: Jonas Salk Quotes from Inventor of Polio Vaccine and Charles Kettering Quotes from Famous American Inventor

In this article, I have selected the most inspirational quotes by Thomas Edison.

Best Thomas Edison Quotes

1. “There are no rules here – we’re trying to accomplish something.” ~ (Thomas Edison).


2. “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

3. “Genius is 1% inspiration, and 99% perspiration.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

4. “If we all did the things we are really capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

5. “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

6. “Five percent of the people think; ten percent of the people think they think and the other eighty-five percent would rather die than think.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

7. “There is no substitute for hard work.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

8. “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

9. “We often miss opportunity because it’s dressed in overalls and looks like work.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

10. “There’s a way to do it better – find it.” ~ (Thomas Edison).


11. “I never did a day’s work in my life, it was all fun.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

12. “When you have exhausted all possibilities, remember this – you haven’t.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

13. “Tomorrow is my exam but I don’t care because a single sheet of paper can’t decide my future.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

14. “Negative results are just what I want. They’re just as valuable to me as positive results. I can never find the thing that does the job best until I find the ones that don’t.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

15. “The three great essentials to achieve anything worthwhile are, first, hard work; second, stick-to-itiveness; third, common sense.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

16. “Everything comes to him who hustles while he waits.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

17. “I never did anything worth doing by accident, nor did any of my inventions come by accident; they came by work.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

18. “Just because something doesn’t do what you planned it to do doesn’t mean it’s useless.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

19. “I have friends in overalls whose friendship I would not swap for the favor of the kings of the world.” ~ (Thomas Edison).


20. “I never quit until I get what I want.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

21. “The doctor of the future will no longer treat the human frame with drugs, but rather will cure and prevent disease with nutrition.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

22. “The value of an idea lies in the using of it.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

23. “Vision without execution is delusion.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

24. “To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

25. “I didn’t fail 1000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1000 steps.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

26. “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

27. “Time is really the only capital that any human being has, and the only thing he can’t afford to lose.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

28. “I failed my way to success.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

29. “The successful person makes a habit of doing what the failing person doesn’t like to do.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

30. “Each time you fail, you have eliminated another wrong option.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

31. “The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will involve the patient in the proper use of food, fresh air and exercise.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

32. “Every failure is a lesson learned about your strategy.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

33. “Good fortune is what happens when opportunity meets with planning.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

34. “A man’s best friend is a good wife.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

35. “Being busy does not always mean real work. The object of all work is production or accomplishment and to either of these ends there must be forethought, system, planning, intelligence, and honest purpose, as well as perspiration. Seeming to do is not doing.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

36. “Success depends on how many experiments you can fit into 24 hours.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

47. “To get a great idea, come up with lots of them.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

38. “Never Say I Failed 99 Times, Say I Discovered 99 Ways Which Causes Failure!” ~ (Thomas Edison).

39. “Seeming to do is not doing.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

40. “Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration. As a result, a genius is often a talented person who has simply done all of his homework.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

Top Thomas Edison Quotes

41. “Most of my ideas belonged to other people who never bothered to develop them.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

42. “The first requisite of success is the ability to apply your physical and mental energies to one problem without growing weary.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

43. “Genius is 99% perspiration and 1% inspiration.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

44. “This problem, once solved, will be simple.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

45. “To do much clear thinking a person must arrange for regular periods of solitude when they can concentrate and indulge the imagination without distraction.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

46. “My success is due more to my ability to work continuously on one thing without stopping than to any other single quality.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

47. “There is far more opportunity than there is ability.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

48. “The money one gets for selling one’s soul is always spent in deadening one’s conscience, so the net gain at the end of a lifetime is no greater than if the diabolic bargain had not been struck.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

49. “Radio is just a fashion contrivance that will soon die out. It is obvious that there never will be invented a proper receiver!” ~ (Thomas Edison).

50. “An idea is something that won’t work unless you do.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

51. “The world owes nothing to any man, but every man owes something to the world.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

52. “Until man duplicates a blade of grass, nature can laugh at his so-called scientific knowledge.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

53. “Sleep is like a drug. Take too much at a time and it makes you dopey. You lose time and opportunities.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

54. “What you are will show in what you do.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

55. “The inventor can’t do it all, you’ve got to change people. We have an enormous capacity to invent super machinery. But our desire to install the device is weak. Human inertia is the problem, not invention. Something in man makes him resist change.” ~ (Thomas Edison).


56. “A genius is a talented person who does his homework.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

57. “I’d put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don’t have to wait till oil and coal run out before we tackle that.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

58. “I believe that the science of chemistry alone almost proves the existence of an intelligent creator.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

59. “Show me a thoroughly satisfied man and I will show you a failure.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

60. “The endeavor to change universal power by selfish supplication I do not believe in.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

61. “I have better use for my brain than to poison it with alcohol. To put alcohol in the human brain is like putting sand in the bearings of an engine.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

62. “Being busy does not always mean real work.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

63. “The First 40 hours of work per week are for survival. Everything after that is for success.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

64. “A good intention, with a bad approach, often leads to a poor result.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

65. “I find out what the world needs. Then I go ahead and try to invent it.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

66. “Work while others are wishing.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

67. “Success is the result of hard work.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

68. “The greatest invention in the world is the mind of a child.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

69. “Discontent is the first necessity of progress.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

70. “My mother was the making of me. She was so true and so sure of me, I felt that I had someone to live for – someone I must not disappoint. The memory of my mother will always be a blessing to me.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

71. “I start where the last man left off.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

72. “Sticking to it is the genius.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

73. “Personally, I enjoy working about 18 hours a day. Besides the short catnaps I take each day, I average about four to five hours of sleep per night.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

74. “The real measure of success is the number of experiments that can be crowded into 24 hours.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

75. “The best thinking has been done in solitude. The worst has been done in turmoil.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

76. “Fools call wise men fools. A wise man never calls any man a fool.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

77. “I think work is the world’s greatest fun.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

78. “There seems to be no limit to which some men will go to avoid the labor of thinking. Thinking is hard work.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

79. “The strength of the Constitution lies in the will of the people to defend it.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

80. “Everyone steals in commerce and industry. I’ve stolen a lot, myself. But I know how to steal! They don’t know how to steal!” ~ (Thomas Edison).

Famous Thomas Edison Quotes

81. “A diamond is a piece of coal that stuck to the job.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

82. “From his neck down a man is worth a couple of dollars a day, from his neck up he is worth anything that his brain can produce.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

83. “As a cure for worrying, work is far better than whiskey. I always found that, if I began to worry, the best thing I could do was focus upon doing something useful and then work very hard at it. Soon, I would forget what was troubling me.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

84. “I did not fail two thousand times. I merely found two thousand ways not to make a lightbulb.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

85. “We don’t know a millionth of one percent about anything.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

86. “We shall have no better conditions in the future if we are satisfied with all those which we have at present.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

87. “Success is based on imagination plus ambition and the will to work.” ~ (Thomas Edison).


88. “The first requisite for success is to develop the ability to focus…” ~ (Thomas Edison).

89. “I owe my success to the fact that I never had a clock in my workroom.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

90. “Failure is the most effective technique to optimize strategic planning, implementation, and processes.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

91. “Nearly every man who develops an idea works it up to the point where it looks impossible, and then he gets discouraged. That’s not the place to become discouraged.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

92. “Do the thing and the power will come.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

93. “I’ve realized that most of my best ideas have followed a good night’s sleep.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

94. “What is a college? An institute of learning. What is a business? An institute of learning. Life, itself, is an institute of learning.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

95. “I never failed once. It just happened to be a 2000-step process.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

96. “I believe that the motion picture is destined to revolutionize our educational system and that in a few years it will supplant largely, if not entirely, the use of textbooks.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

97. “The chief function of the body is to carry the brain around.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

98. “Maturity is often more absurd than youth and very frequently is most unjust to youth.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

99. “We will make electricity so cheap that only the rich will burn candles.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

100. “I’ve never made a mistake. I’ve only learned from experience.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

Short Thomas Edison Quotes

101. “We haven’t failed. We now know a thousand things that won’t work, so we are much closer to finding what will.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

102. “First be sure a thing is wanted or needed, then go ahead.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

103. “There is great value in disaster. All our mistakes are burned up. Thank God we can start a new.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

104. “Focus on how the end-user customers perceive the impact of your innovation – rather than on how you, the innovators, perceive it.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

105. “Non-violence leads to the highest ethics, which is the goal of all evolution. Until we stop harming all other living beings, we are still savages.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

106. “The reason a lot of people do not recognize opportunity is because it usually goes around wearing overalls looking like hard work.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

107. “Never be discouraged, because every wrong turn attempt, when left behind you, is another step forward taking you closer to your goals.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

108. “I make more mistakes than anyone else I know, and sooner or later, I patent most of them.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

109. “I would rather have one man with enthusiasm working with me than ten who are complacent.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

110. “Failure is really a matter of conceit. People don’t work hard because, in their conceit, they imagine they’ll succeed without ever making an effort. Most people believe that they’ll wake up someday and find themselves rich. Actually, they’ve got it half right, because eventually, they do wake up.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

111. “Keep on the lookout for novel ideas that others have used successfully. Your idea has to be original only in its adaptation to the problem you’re working on.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

112. “I never once failed at making a light bulb. I just found out 99 ways not to make one.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

113. “Your worth consists in what you are and not in what you have.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

114. “I owe my success to the fact that I never had a clock in my workroom. Seventy-five of us worked twenty hours every day and slept only four hours – and thrived on it.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

115. “I believe in the existence of a Supreme Intelligence pervading the Universe.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

Inspiring Thomas Edison Quotes

116. “The only time I really become discouraged is when I think of all the things I would like to do and the little time I have in which to do them.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

117. “Consider data without prejudice.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

118. “I will not say I failed 1000 times, I will say that I discovered there are 1000 ways that can cause failure.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

119. “When you become quiet, it just dawns on you.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

120. “There is a better way for everything. Find it.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

121. “Accomplishing something provides the only real satisfaction in life.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

122. “I have not failed 700 times. I have not failed once. I have succeeded in proving that those 700 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

123. “No, I haven’t failed thousands of times. On the contrary, I have successfully eliminated thousands of ideas that do not work!” ~ (Thomas Edison).

124. “Large portions of life’s disappointments are individuals who did not understand that they were so near achievement when they surrendered.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

125. “Of the 200 light bulbs that didn’t work, every failure told me something that I was able to incorporate into the next attempt.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

126. “The thing I lose patience with the most is the clock. Its hands move too fast.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

127. “The perils of overwork are slight compared with the dangers of inactivity.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

128. “The stomach is the only part of man which can be fully satisfied. The yearning of man’s brain for new knowledge and experience and for more pleasant and comfortable surroundings never can be completely met. It is an appetite which cannot be appeased.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

129. “If I could solve all the problems myself, I would.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

130. “Great ideas originate in the muscles.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

131. “Every wrong attempt discarded is another step forward.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

Inspirational Thomas Edison Quotes

132. “I am a vegetarian as well as a passionate anti-alcoholic, because I can thus make better use of my brain.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

133. “The body is a community made up of its innumerable cells or inhabitants.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

134. “When down in the mouth, remember Jonah. He came out all right.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

135. “Anything that won’t sell, I don’t want to invent. Its sale is proof of utility, and utility is success.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

136. “The radio craze will die out in time.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

137. “Life’s most soothing things are a child’s goodnight and sweet music.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

138. “My mother was the making of me.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

139. “A lawsuit is the suicide of time.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

140. “I do not believe any type of religion should ever be introduced into the public schools of the United States.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

141. “Continued innovation is the best way to beat the competition.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

142. “I was always afraid of things that worked the first time. Long experience proved that there were great drawbacks found generally before they could be got commercial; but here was something there was no doubt of.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

143. “I do not believe in the God of the theologians; but that there is a Supreme Intelligence I do not doubt.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

144. “Until man duplicates a blade of grass, nature can laugh at his so-called scientific knowledge. Remedies from chemicals will never stand in favor compared with the products of nature, the living cell of the plant, the final result of the rays of the sun, the mother of all life.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

145. “Not only will atomic power be released, but someday we will harness the rise and fall of the tides and imprison the rays of the sun.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

146. “There is far more danger in public than in private monopoly, for when Government goes into business it can always shift its losses to the taxpayers. Government never makes ends meet and that is the first requisite of business.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

147. “To my mind the old masters are not art; their value is in their scarcity.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

148. “I have determined that there is no market for talking pictures.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

149. “I am so deaf I am debarred from hearing all the time articulation and have to depend on the judgment of others.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

150. “I think that Ingersoll had all the attributes of a perfect man, and, in my opinion, no finer personality ever existed. Judging from the past, I cannot help thinking that the intention of the Supreme Intelligence that rules the world is to ultimately make such a type of man universal.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

Thomas Edison Quotes on Innovation

151. “I never view mistakes as failures. They are simply opportunities to find out what doesn’t work.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

152. “The man who doesn’t make up his mind to cultivate the habit of thinking misses the greatest pleasure in life.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

153. “People are not remembered by how few times they fail, but by how often they succeed. Every wrong step is another step forward.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

154. “I find my greatest pleasure, and so my reward, in the work that precedes what the world calls success.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

155. “Absorb ideas from every source.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

156. “Nothing that’s good works by itself, you’ve got to make the damn thing work.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

157. “We have merely scratched the surface of the store of knowledge which will come to us. I believe that we are now, a-tremble on the verge of vast discoveries – discoveries so wondrously important they will upset the present trend of human thought and start it along completely new lines.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

158. “None of my inventions came by accident. I see a worthwhile need to be met and I make trial after trial until it comes. What it boils down to is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

159. “I am long on ideas, but short on time. I expect to live to be only about a hundred.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

160. “I am 67, but I’m not too old to make a fresh start.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

161. “To Monsieur Eiffel the Engineer, the brave builder of so gigantic and original a specimen of modern Engineering from one who has the greatest respect and admiration for all Engineers including the Great Engineer the Bon Dieu.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

162. “M. A. Rosanoff: Mr. Edison, please tell me what laboratory rules you want me to observe. Edison: There ain’t no rules around here. We’re trying to accomplish something!” ~ (Thomas Edison).

163. “Because I readily absorb ideas from every source – frequently starting where the last person left off – I never pick up an item without thinking of how I might improve it.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

164. “Two percent. is genius, and ninety-eight percent is hard work.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

165. “Education isn’t play – and it can’t be made to look like play. It is hard, hard work. But it can be made interesting work.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

166. “The trouble with most people is that they quit before they start.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

167. “The dove is my emblem.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

168. “For faith, as well-intentioned as it may be, must be built on facts, not fiction – faith in fiction is a damnable false hope.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

169. “Somewhere between the ages of eleven and fifteen, the average child begins to suffer from an atrophy, the paralysis of curiosity and the suspension of the power to observe. The trouble, I should judge, to lie with the schools.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

170. “If I had not had so much ambition and not tried to do so many things, I probably would have been happier, but less useful.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

Motivational Thomas Edison Quotes

171. “Friendship is the heaven of life.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

172. “To me, the idea and expectation that the day is slowly and surely coming when we will be able to honestly say we are our brother’s keeper and not his oppressor is very beautiful .” ~ (Thomas Edison).

173. “Youth doesn’t take advice.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

174. “Through all the years of experimenting and research, I never once made a discovery. I start where the last man left off. All my work was deductive, and the results I achieved were those of invention pure and simple.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

175. “Religion is all bunk.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

176. “The inventor tries to meet the demand of a crazy civilization.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

177. “I get my ideas from listening from within.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

178. “All bibles are man-made.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

179. “I can never pick up a thing without wishing to improve it.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

180. “There cannot be over-production of anything which men and women want. And their wants are unlimited, except by the size of their stomachs.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

181. “I try not to invent things that people don’t need.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

182. “The biggest failure of man is that he gives up before he realizes how close he was to success.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

183. “The very first thing an executive must have is a fine memory. Of course, it does not follow that a man with a fine memory is necessarily a fine executive. But if he has the memory he has the first qualification, and if he has not the memory nothing else matters.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

184. “Be courageous. I have seen many depressions in business. Always America has emerged from these stronger and more prosperous. Be brave as your fathers before you. Have faith! Go forward!” ~ (Thomas Edison).

185. “Let the public throw bouquets to the inventors and in time we will all be happy.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

186. “I have never seen the slightest scientific proof of the religious theories of heaven and hell, of future life for individuals, or of a personal God.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

187. “Nobody knows whether our personalities pass on to another existence or sphere, but if we can evolve an instrument so delicate to be manipulated by our personality as it survives in the next life such an instrument ought to record something…” ~ (Thomas Edison).

188. “Waste is worse than loss. The time is coming when every person who lays claim to ability will keep the question of waste before him constantly. The scope of thrift is limitless.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

189. “Even though I am nearly deaf, I seem to be gifted with a kind of inner hearing which enables me to detect sounds and noises which the ordinary person does not hear.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

190. “Baseball is the greatest of American games. Some say football, but it is my firm belief, and it shall always be, that baseball has no superior.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

191. “Interest is the invention of Satan.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

192. “You can’t realize your dreams unless you have one to begin with.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

193. “My mind is incapable of conceiving such a thing as a soul. I may be in error, and man may have a soul; but I simply do not believe it.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

194. “I never did anything worth doing by accident, nor did any of my inventions come indirectly through accident, except the phonograph. No when I have fully decided that a result is worth getting, I go about it, and make trial after trial, until it comes.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

195. “I am not overly impressed by the great names and reputations of those who might be trying to beat me to an invention. It’s their ‘ideas’ that appeal to me. I am quite correctly described as ’more of a sponge than an inventor.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

196. “It is remarkable to what lengths people will go to avoid thought.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

197. “Be brave as your fathers before you. Have faith and go forward.” ~ (Thomas A. Edison).

198. “I remember that I was never able to get along at school. I was at the foot of the class.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

199. “In creating technology for ourselves we created it for the world.” ~ (Thomas Alva Edison).

200. “It is a terrible situation when the Government, to insure the National Wealth, must go in debt and submit to ruinous interest charges, at the hands of men, who control the fictitious value of gold. Interest is the invention of Satan.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

201. “Direct thought is not an attribute of feminity. In this, women are now centuries behind man.” ~ (Thomas Edison).

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Short Biography of Thomas Edison

Thomas Alva Edison, an influential American inventor and businessman, developed pivotal technologies in electric power, mass communication, sound recording, and film, including the phonograph, motion picture camera, and early electric light bulbs.

Thomas Edison

He pioneered the use of organized science and teamwork in invention, establishing the first industrial research lab.

Born in the Midwest, Edison started as a telegraph operator, inspiring his initial inventions.

Full Name Thomas Alva Edison
Born February 11, 1847 Milan, Ohio, U.S.
Died October 18, 1931 (aged 84) West Orange, New Jersey, U.S.
Burial place Thomas Edison National Historical Park
Education Self-educated; some coursework at Cooper Union
Occupations Inventor, Businessman
Years active 1877–1930
Spouses Mary Stilwell​(m. 1871; died 1884); Mina Miller ​(m. 1886)
Children 6, including Madeleine, Charles, and Theodore
Relatives Lewis Miller (father-in-law)
Awards Matteucci Medal (1887);
John Scott Medal (1889);
Edward Longstreth Medal (1899);
John Fritz Medal (1908);
Franklin Medal (1915);
Navy Distinguished Service Medal (1920);
Congressional Gold Medal (1928)

He held over 1,093 U.S. patents and founded multiple laboratories, including the world’s first film studio, the Black Maria.

Edison, who was married twice and had six children, passed away in 1931 from diabetes complications.

Quick Facts about Thomas Edison

  • Thomas Alva Edison’s full name reflects his heritage and renown.
  • He was born on February 11, 1847, in Milan, Ohio.
  • Edison passed away on October 18, 1931.
  • He pursued his education at The Cooper Union.
  • Edison’s career spanned roles as an inventor and a businessman.
  • He identified as a freethinker in terms of religion.
  • Notably, Edison invented the phonograph in 1877 and improved the light bulb in 1879.
  • He was a key figure in the founding of General Electric.
  • Edison was famously dubbed “The Wizard of Menlo Park.”
  • Although often credited with inventing the light bulb, Edison actually refined existing designs to make them commercially viable.
  • Edison once held the record for the most U.S. patents, totaling 1,093 until 2003.
  • In 1901, he developed a nickel-iron battery intended for electric vehicles.
  • As a teen, Edison began working by selling newspapers and candy on trains.
  • He also conducted chemistry experiments on trains during his downtime.
  • His career in telegraphy deeply influenced his later inventions.
  • The phonograph, his first major invention, brought him widespread acclaim.
  • Edison started the Edison Illuminating Company, New York City’s first electric company.
  • He had six children from two marriages, first to Mary Stilwell and then to Mina Miller.
  • Nikola Tesla, a notable inventor, once worked for Edison but left due to a disagreement over electrical currents.
  • One of Edison’s youthful misadventures involved a chemistry experiment gone awry on a train.
  • Edison’s life took a pivotal turn when he saved a child from a runaway train.
  • His career at the Associated Press ended abruptly when he accidentally spilled acid on his boss’s desk.
  • Edison and Henry Ford shared a deep friendship and numerous road trips together.
  • At Menlo Park, Edison led a team of inventors who helped realize his ideas.
  • “Mary Had a Little Lamb” was the first sound Edison recorded on his phonograph.
  • A test tube supposedly containing Edison’s last breath was kept by Henry Ford as a memento.
  • Edison was a staunch advocate for direct current (DC) for residential electrical supplies.
  • He was responsible for 150 patents related to improvements in telegraph technology.
  • Edison’s influence and inventions earned him the title of a prolific innovator.
  • His legacy continues to shine as a testament to his role in shaping modern technology.

Top Questions about Thomas Edison

Q: What are some of Thomas Edison’s most famous inventions?

A: Thomas Edison’s most notable inventions include the electric light bulb, the phonograph, the motion picture camera, and the alkaline battery. These innovations had a profound impact on how we live and communicate.

Q: What is Thomas Edison most famous for?

A: Edison is most renowned for his development of the incandescent light bulb. Additionally, he made significant contributions to the phonograph and the motion picture camera, which revolutionized the fields of entertainment and communication.

Q: How many patents did Thomas Edison hold?

A: Throughout his lifetime, Thomas Edison obtained 1,093 U.S. patents, reflecting his wide-ranging ingenuity and relentless pursuit of new ideas.

Q: What did Edison call his lab?

A: Thomas Edison referred to his laboratory in Menlo Park as the first research and development facility in the world. It was here that he made substantial progress in developing the telephone and experimenting with sound recording.

Q: Who is considered the greatest inventor of all time?

A: Many consider Thomas Alva Edison among the greatest inventors ever, holding over a thousand patents and significantly advancing the application of electrical power.

Q: What impact did Thomas Edison have on the world?

A: Edison’s inventions fundamentally changed several industries, including lighting, communications, and entertainment. His work offered practical solutions to common problems, greatly advancing human technological progress.

Q: What is named after Edison?

A: Many educational institutions bear Edison’s name, such as Edison High School and Thomas A. Edison Middle School. Interestingly, the famous footballer Pelé was originally named Edison in honor of the inventor, although his birth certificate mistakenly reads “Edson.”

Q: Was Thomas Edison solely responsible for his inventions?

A: While Edison is credited with numerous inventions, he was not working alone; he collaborated with teams of skilled individuals who contributed to refining and developing his ideas.

Q: What was Thomas Edison’s approach to failure?

A: Edison famously regarded his failures as learning opportunities, famously stating, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” His perseverance and willingness to persist through setbacks were key to his success.

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Chandan Negi
Chandan Negi

I’m the Founder of Internet Pillar - I love sharing quotes and motivational content to inspire and motivate people - #quotes #motivation #internetpillar