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Thomas Alva Edison Thomas Edison was born on Feb 11 1847 in Milan Ohio a bustling port that next to Odessa Russia was then the largest wheat shipping center in the world Later his family moved to Port Huron Michigan Not long after young Thomas learned to talk he began pleading with just about everyone he met to give him their explanation of how everything worked If someone said they didnt know he would stare into their face with his deeply set and vibrant blue-gray eyes and ask them why At the age of seven after spending 12 weeks in a one room schoolhouse - with 39 other students of all ages - Toms short tempered teacher lost his patience with the childs persistent questioning and rather self centered behavior When the evaluator from the local school board made a routine visit the teacher reported that Tom appeared to be mentally unstable When his beloved mother became aware of the situation she promptly withdrew him from school and began to home-teach him To complicate matters soon after Tom recovered from a bout of scarlet fever he began to lose his hearing making it ever more difficult for him to acquire knowledge in a structured setting Interestingly the one thing that he missed most after becoming 80 deaf in his right ear - and very deaf in his left ear - was the sound of singing birds At age 16 after working in a variety of telegraph offices Tom came up with his first authentic invention It was an automatic repeating device that transmitted telegraph signals between unmanned stations allowing anyone to translate code at their own convenience with relative ease and accuracy Curiously he did not patent his initial version of this idea During his free time Edison soon returned to his habit of moonlighting on his own inventions including the telegraph the quadruplex transmitter and
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