Where did he grow up?
A: He grew up in Port Huron, Michigan.
He was the seventh and last child of whom?
A: Samuel Ogden Edison Jr. and Nancy Matthews Elliott.
Edison only attended school for how long?
A: A few months.
Who taught him?
A: His mother.
Much of his education came from reading what?
A: R.G. Parker's School of Natural Philosophy and The Cooper Union for the Advancement of
Science and Art.
Edison developed what kind of problem at an early age?
The cause of his deafness has been attributed to a bout of “what" during childhood and recurring untreated middle-ear infections?
A: Scarlet fever.
Around the middle of his career, Edison attributed the hearing impairment to what?
A: Being struck on the ears by a
train conductor when his chemical laboratory in a boxcar caught fire and he was thrown off the train in Smiths Creek, Michigan.
In his later years, he modified the story to say the injury occurred when the conductor did what?
A: Helped him onto a moving train by lifting him by the ears.
Edison's family moved to Port Huron, Michigan, after the canal owners did what?
A: Kept the railroad out of Milan Ohio in 1854 and business declined.
Where did Edison sell candy, newspapers, and
A: On trains running from Port Huron to Detroit.
He became a telegraph operator after he did what?
A: He saved three-year-old Jimmie MacKenzie from being struck by a runaway train.
Jimmie's father, station agent J. U. MacKenzie of Mount Clemens, Michigan, was so grateful that he did what?
A: Trained Edison as a telegraph operator.
Where was Edison's first telegraphy job away from Port Huron?
A: It was at Stratford Junction, Ontario, on the Grand Trunk Railway.
He was held responsible for a what?
A: Near collision.
In 1866, at the age of 19, Edison moved to Louisville,
Kentucky, where, as an employee of Western Union, he did what?
A: He worked the Associated Press bureau
Edison requested the night shift, which allowed him plenty of time to do what?
A: Spend time at his two favorite pastimes—reading and experimenting.
Eventually, the latter pre-occupation cost him what?
A: His job.
One night in 1867, he was working with a lead–acid battery when he spilled what onto the floor?
A: Sulfuric acid.
It ran between the floorboards and onto what?
A: His boss's desk below.
The next morning what happened to Edison?
A: He was fired.
One of his mentors during those early years was a fellow telegrapher and inventor named Franklin Leonard Pope, who allowed Edison to do what?
A: To live and work in the basement of his Elizabeth,
New Jersey, home.
Some of Edison's earliest inventions were related to telegraphy, including a what?
A: A stock ticker.
His first patent was for what?
A: An electric vote recorder, U.S. Patent 90,646, which was granted on June 1, 1869.
Edison's major innovation was the establishment of a “what" in 1876?
A: An industrial research lab.
Where was it was built?
A: In Menlo Park, a part of Raritan Township in Middlesex County, New Jersey.
Where did he get the money to build it?
A: He used the funds from the sale of his quadruplex telegraph.
After he demonstrated the telegraph, he wasn’t sure that his original plan to sell it for $4,000 to $5,000 was right, so he did what?
A: He asked Western Union to make a bid.
He was surprised to hear them offer how much money?
A: $10,000 ($216,300 in today's dollars) which he accepted.
The quadruplex telegraph was Edison's first big what?
A: Financial success.
Menlo Park became the first institution set up with what specific purpose?
A: Producing constant technological innovation and improvement.
William Joseph Hammer, a consulting electrical engineer, started working for Edison and began his duties as a “what“ in December 1879?
A: Laboratory assistant.
Hammer worked primarily on what?
A: The incandescent electric lamp and was put in charge of tests and records on that device.
In 1880, he was appointed what?
A: Chief engineer of the Edison Lamp Works.
In his first year, the plant under General Manager Francis Robbins Upton turned out how many lamps?
A: 50,000 lamps.
According to Edison, Hammer was what?
A: "a pioneer of incandescent electric lighting".
Nearly all of Edison's patents were what kind of patents?
A: Utility patents.
About a dozen were design patents, which protect what?
A: An ornamental design for up to a 14-year period.
As in most patents, the inventions he described were improvements over what?
A: Prior art.
The phonograph patent, in contrast, was unprecedented as describing the first what?
A: Device to record and reproduce sounds.