History of the U.S.: Thomas Edison Gets Enlightened

Stacy Conradt

In 1862, at the age of 15, Thomas Edison’s first job was selling newspapers at a train station near his home in Mount Clemens, Michigan. While hawking papers one day, Edison saved a three- year-old boy, Jimmy Mackenzie, from a runaway freight car. The boy’s father, the train station’s telegraph operator, was so grateful that he trained Edison in telegraphy, beginning his lifelong love affair with technology (and especially electricity). Later, at his laboratory in Menlo Park, New Jersey, Edison went on to invent everything but the kitchen sink.

A bonus Edison fact:
The first recorded sound on Edison’s new invention was the inventor’s own voice, reciting the nursery rhyme “Mary Had a Little Lamb.” He later claimed that it was the first thing that sprang to mind. Edison didn’t wish to make a grand announcement in case the device failed to work properly.

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