Thomas Alva Edison was a very prolific inventor with over 1,000 inventions. He was born in Milan, Ohio, and grew up in Port Huron, Michigan. His first invention was an electric vote-recording machine. It was patented in 1869 and used in legislative chambers. However, politicians did not want to speed up the voting process and thus, it did not do so well. Thus, Edison decided to create more useful inventions more people would want to use.
He is famous for inventing the phonograph, or record player. Edison, with the help of his assistant William Dickson, can be credited with inventing the motion picture camera and a viewer which he called the kinetoscope. He developed a new storage battery that, although unsuitable for cars, worked well for railroad and shipping applications. Edison is perhaps most famous for inventing the incandescent light bulb.
Edison was friends with Nikola Tesla. He would spend time camping with his friends Henry Ford, Harvey Firestone, and John Burroughs.
Edison is known to have said after his first 8,000 experiments failed, "Well, at least we know 8,000 things that don't work."
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