Downtown in Indianapolis in Marion County, Indiana — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
(February 11, 1847 - October 18, 1931)
Thomas Alva Edison, the youngest of seven children, did poorly in school because his mind frequently wandered during lessons. After his mother began homeschooling him, Edison began to excel at learning. Untreated ear infections and a childhood bout with scarlet fever caused complete hearing loss in his left ear and partial loss in his right ear. A youthful career as a newsboy demonstrated his ability as a businessman, but his life focused when he became a telegraph operator. Most of Edison's 1,093 are improvements to the telegraph or are based on its technology. Edison applied methods of mass production to create numerous inventions. His ability to envision design technologies which would change everyday life brought him lifelong success.
Edison saved a railroad station agent's 3-year-old son from a runaway train. The child's father taught Edison how to operate a telegraph.
Edison became a Western Union telegraph operator. On the night shift, he read books and conducted scientific experiments.
In 1876, Thomas Edison opened the first
Edison's first famous invention was the phonograph. His earliest recordings on tin foil wore out after being played several times.
Edison's first successful test of a light bulb with a carbon-based filament lasted 13 hours and 30 minutes.
Edison patented an electrical distribution system and founded the Edison Electric Illuminating Company. In 1882, the company began providing 110 volts of direct current to 59 customers in lower Manhattan.
Edison built a kinetoscope, a peephole viewer, which displayed the first motion picture films. The device became a mainstay of penny arcades.
Erected by Cultural Trail Indianapolis.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Communications • Industry & Commerce • Science & Medicine. In addition, it is included in the Indiana, Cultural Trail Indianapolis series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1862.
Location. 39° Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 705 North Illinois Street, Indianapolis IN 46204, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Mark Twain (a few steps from this marker); Booker T. Washington (a few steps from this marker); Susan B. Anthony (within shouting distance of this marker); Andrew Carnegie (within shouting distance of this marker); Benjamin Franklin (within shouting distance of this marker); Wilbur and Orville Wright (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Albert Einstein (about 300 feet away); Scottish Rite Cathedral (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Indianapolis.
Credits. This page was last revised on May 16, 2023. It was originally submitted on April 27, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 172 times since then and 46 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on April 27, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.