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Thomas Edison was born on February 11, 1847 in Milan, Ohio. He was the last of seven children by Samuel and Nancy Edison.
In his early years, scarlet fever and ear infections left him with hearing difficulties. Due to this, and being a hyperactive child, his teacher called him "difficult" and his mom pulled him out of school and began homeschooling him.
At age 12, Edison set out to put much of that education to work. He convinced his parents to let him sell newspapers to passengers along the Grand Trunk Railroad line. By age 15, he had learned enough to be employed as a telegraph operator.
In 1866, at age 19, Edison moved to Louisville, Kentucky, working for The Associated Press. In 1868, Edison returned home to find his mom mentally ill and his dad out of work.
In 1870, Thomas Edison set up his first small laboratory and manufacturing facility in Newark, New Jersey, and employed several machinists. As an independent entrepreneur, he formed many partnerships with others in the industry.
In October 1879, Edison successfully tested a filament that burned for 13.5 hours and by November 1879, he filed for a U.S. patent for an electric lamp using “a carbon filament or strip coiled and connected to platinum contact wires”.
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