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She was so true, so sure of me, and I felt I had some one to live for, some one I must not disappoint." 1 At an early age, he showed a fascination for mechanical things and for chemical experiments.In 1859, Edison took a job selling newspapers and candy on the Grand Trunk Railroad to Detroit.
An accidental fire forced him to stop his experiments on board.The following is only a brief sketch of an enormously active and complex life full of projects often occurring simultaneously.Several excellent biographies are readily available in local libraries to those who wish to learn more about the particulars of his life and many business ventures. Edison's forebears lived in New Jersey until their loyalty to the British crown during the American Revolution drove them to Nova Scotia, Canada.Around the age of twelve, Edison lost almost all his hearing.There are several theories as to what caused his hearing loss.One of the most famous and prolific inventors of all time, Thomas Alva Edison exerted a tremendous influence on modern life, contributing inventions such as the incandescent light bulb, the phonograph, and the motion picture camera, as well as improving the telegraph and telephone.In his 84 years, he acquired an astounding 1,093 patents.Edison received several patents for improvements to the telegraph.The partnership merged with the Gold and Stock Telegraph Co. Edison also established the Newark Telegraph Works in Newark, NJ, with William Unger to manufacture stock printers.Known as "Al" in his youth, Edison was the youngest of seven children, four of whom survived to adulthood. To seek a better fortune, Sam Edison moved the family to Port Huron, Michigan, in 1854, where he worked in the lumber business. When a schoolmaster called Edison "addled," his furious mother took him out of the school and proceeded to teach him at home.Edison said many years later, "My mother was the making of me.