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Thomas Alva Edison ( 11th Feb 1847 - 18 Oct 1931 )

Scientist Thomas Alva Edison
The great scientist who invented the electric light bulb and many other important devices – Thomas Alva Edison, was born on February 11, 1847, at Milan, Ohio, in the United State of America. He came from a poor family. His parents admitted him to the local primary school. This inquisitive child always posed questions to his teachers. But his teachers instead of providing him with answers considered him stupid and rejected him. Finally, his self-respecting mother stopped his schooling and took upon herself the task of teaching him. Coupled with this, Edison loved to experiment. He would experiment with any object he could lay his hands on.

After getting permission from his father, at the age of 12, Edison started selling newspapers in trains. He would travel the 96 km distance from Huron port to Michigan City and sell newspapers. He liked his work, besides it brought him money. In 1869, he purchased a printing press. In a railway compartment he would print his journal Grand Trunk Herald. Most of the contest was written by him. He would also perform experiments during his spare time. During one such experiment, phosphorus fell on the floor and the compartment got engulfed in the fire. The rail guard arrived and threw out all the contents of his laboratory. The enraged guard slapped Edison due to which he was left short of hearing in one ear.
Scientist Thomas Edison
Scientist Thomas Edison
It seemed as if the world had come to an end. But Edison didn’t admit defeat and give up. It came as a blessing in disguise. Now he started selling newspapers at the station itself. He gradually got interested in electricity. His experience with engines and railroad repair shops turned his thoughts towards machines and inventions. One bright morning Edison was talking to the telegraph operator Mackenzie, whose little son Jimmie was playing at the station. In the middle of the conversation, Edison saw the little baby crawling along the stony track, in front of a small box-car. Edison realized the danger and rushed towards the child. He seized the child and jumped to safety, but the car struck him on the legs and ear. It was the second blow on his ear. As a reward for the brave deed, Mackenzie offered to teach Edison telegraphy and promised him a job on the line. A thrilled Edison grabbed the opportunity. He was lucky to have an offer for a paid job at the Port Huron telegraph office and at a station in Canada, on the Grand Trunk Railway. Every hour he had to send ‘signal six’ which proved that the operator was awake. The signal came through from Edison’s station exactly at the correct time. But attempts to get him over his own phone frequently failed. One night an official came to check and found Edison fast asleep. Beside him was a mechanism connecting the telegraph with the clock and when the clock struck the hour, the small machine sent the signal over the wire. He was fired. After work hours, he used his time to develop a ‘Vote Recorder’ which worked on electricity.

Thomas Edison Images
Thomas Edison Images
After a few days, he decided to move to New York for the better opportunities. But life was not easy. Finding a job was difficult. While searching for a job, he landed up at a company office, which sold information to its clients about stock exchange rates through its machines. One of their machines, ‘Gold Indicator’ had broken down. Edison checked the machine and repaired it in minutes. The manager was pleased and immediately offered him a job besides rewarding him for his repair work. With this money he started a workshop in New Jersey. In association with another engineer, he developed a telegraphic equipment which fetched him a good price.

In 1876, he went to Menlow Park and improved upon the telephone invented by Alexander Graham Bell, by providing better sound quality by inventing carbon granule microphone. He also went on to invent a talking machine called the Phonograph. This machine could reproduce the pre-recorded sounds on a steel disc revolving on it. A German scientist improved the machine and made the gramophone in 1887. Edison gained quite a bit of reputation with his phonograph. But the height of his popularity came with the invention of the electric light bulb. In 1879, with the help of 30 assistants, he organized a public demonstration. He had covered a part of Menlow Park with electric light bulbs. The spectators were taken aback when he switched on the bulbs. The next morning the New York Herald published the news of this wonderful invention and Thomas Alva Edison became a famous man.
Thomas Childhood Photo
Within two years he again surprised the world with yet another spectacular invention. This time it was the kinetograph, a kind of movie camera. He even created a machine that could project visuals on a screen, which he called Kinetoscope. He connected the phonograph with it and projected audio-visual images on the screen.
This genius had 1069 patents to his credit. He had noted down the intricacies of his inventions in about 3500 notebooks. It is most surprising that this scientist was not awarded a Nobel Prize for his inventions, though he is considered as the greatest inventor of all times. In 1914, at the age of 67, Edison expressed his gratitude towards his nation by gifting the American Army with about 40 useful inventions.

On October 18, 1931, Edison died at the age of 84. He was buried at West Orange in New Jersey. This great inventor was honoured across America when electric light bulbs across the nation dimmed for a minute. He had worked his way up with great difficulty. He believed that his success was 1 % inspiration and 99% perspiration. We are grateful to this self-made man who made this world a better place with hard work and perseverance, aided with extraordinary genius.

Famous Scientist Thomas Edison Images
Famous Scientist Thomas Edison Images
Great Scientist Thomas Edison Images
Great Scientist Thomas Edison Images
Great Scientist Thomas Edison Photo
Great Scientist Thomas Edison Photo
Scientist Thomas Alva Edison Photo
Scientist Thomas Alva Edison Photo
Scientist Thomas Edison Photo
Scientist Thomas Edison Photo
Scientist Thomas Edison Pictures
Scientist Thomas Edison Pictures
Thomas Alva Edison Photo
Thomas Alva Edison Photo
Thomas Alva Edison's Family
Thomas Alva Edison's Family
Thomas Alva Edison's Inventions
Thomas Alva Edison's Inventions
Thomas Alva Edison
Thomas Alva Edison
Thomas Edison Snapshot
Thomas Edison Snapshot
Thomas Edison's Photo
Thomas Edison's Quote
Thomas Edison's Quote
Thomas Edison's Young Photo
Thomas Edison's Young Photo
Thomas Edison
Thomas Edison

James Clerk Maxwell (13 June 1831- 5 November 1879)

James Clerk Maxwell
James Clerk Maxwell
The pioneer of electromagnetism and contributor to the kinetic theory of gases James Clerk Maxwell, was born on November 13, 1831 at Edinburgh, Scotland. He was from a rich, famous and landowning family. This family had many a famous and promising personalities who brought laurels and honour to it. James spent his childhood in the rural areas. His father had studied law but never practiced. He was interested in educating his son and maintaining the family property. Little James had the hobby of dismantling mechanical toys and understanding their mechanism carefully. He would open up newly acquired toys and fix them again. He had a very curious and sharp mind.

He lost his mother when he was 9 years. His father took up the twin responsibilities of a mother and father in bringing up James then. At ten, James was admitted at the Edinburgh Academy. His father brought him specially stitched clothes and shoes. Other students at the academy would laugh and poke fun at him because of his old-fashioned dress. But soon the students began respecting him for his intelligence and knowledge. They found him very moody.

At 16, Maxwell entered the Edinburgh University. His excellence in mathematics astonished everyone. He began experimenting in science. He also wrote poetry, but it was not of high standard. Yet, he continued writing poems all his life.

Young James Maxwell Photo
Young James Maxwell Photo
In 1850, he entered Combridge University for higher studies in mathematics. He topped at the all examinations in mathematics. Mathematics competition was held every year for clever students. To ensure success at the examinations, he was put under William Hopkins’ guidance. Maxwell stood second at the examinations. In 1854, Maxwell graduated from college in mathematics. For higher studies, he joined the Trinity College, Cambridge. Here he conducted many experiments on colors and their mixtures. He created a colorful top indication primary colours – red, green and blue and other colours by mixing them in proper proportions. He even published a paper on this. The colours we see on our Television sets are based on the principles put forth by Maxwell. He was awarded the Rumsford Medal for this.

Around this time, his father was not keeping well. He planned to go to his father and take his care, returning from Edinburgh. Meanwhile, he got appointed as a professor at Marischal College, Aberdeen. But before he could join the college, his dear father died. After some time, he met the daughter of the college principal and soon married her. Now, Maxwell focused his attention on research and experimentation. He had researched on the rings of Saturn and had developed certain mathematical equations with reference to them. Even today, scientists follow the mathematical model he had developed then.

The researches and findings of Maxwell in the fields of electricity and magnetism are considered to be path breaking and original. Maxwell was inspired and influenced by Michael Faraday’s electromagnetic theory. He arrived at the principles of electromagnetic theory. He arrived at the principles of electromagnetic lines of force always exist in a closed circuit and are circular in form without and end.

James Maxwell Photos
James Maxwell Photos
Changes in the magnetic field create an electric field and changes in the electric field create a magnetic field. This way, magnetic field model was crystallised in Maxwell’s mind. Earlier, Faraday had used the terms, lines of force and tube of force. He explained the changes taking place when a magnet is placed close to it. Maxwell went a step further to develop Faraday’s ideas and put forward the unified theory of electromagnetism. Much later, his prediction of electromagnetic waves was verified by Heinrich Hertz.

To study further on electromagnetic forces and magnetic force fields, he left his job for a short time and proceeded to stay at his estate in Glinar. He wrote many books on heat, mathematics, color vision and physical sciences. During this period, he came close to his neighbors and socialized with them. He would even play with children from the neighborhood.

James Clerk Maxwell Photo
Maxwell also did monumental work in developing the kinetic theory of gases. He, together with his wife, conducted some experimental work on viscosity of gases.
Under pressure from the public, the Cambridge University decided to create a post of professor in the experimental physical sciences department to teach heat, electricity and magnetism. The Duke of Devonshire, Chancellor of the University, who was directly related to Henry Cavendish, provided necessary funds for establishing Canvendish Laboratory. Maxwell was requested to head the new laboratory. Maxwell was to direct research activities was also empowered to buy new equipment for the laboratory.

Over and above the activities mentioned earlier, he would also write on diverse subjects. He would edit the writings of Henry Cavendish to ensure that the general public would be informed of his works. This way he would keep himself busy. He dedicated his life to science in this manner.

During the last two years of his life, he took care of ailing wife. He was also aware that he was suffering from cancer, but did not let anyone know about it. Finally, on November 5, 1879 he died at the age of 48. World was  unfortunately denied further benefits of researches and experiments of this esteemed scientist. Ten years later, Hertz invented the radio transmitter and receiver, thus validating the mathematical theory of Maxwell.

Maxwell’s electromagnetic radiation theory played an important role in the understanding and making of Randar and microwaves. In reality Maxwell’s theory contributed in clearly understanding the propagation of heat and light waves, radio waves, X-rays, gamma rays or any other type of electromagnetic radiation.

James and his Wife Katherine Maxwell  Photo
James and his Wife Katherine Maxwell  Photo

James Clerk Maxwell's Invention
James Clerk Maxwell's Invention

James Maxwell Photos

James Maxwell's College Photo, University of Edinburgh
James Maxwell's College Photo, University of Edinburgh

James Maxwell's School Photo, Edinburgh Academy
James Maxwell's School Photo, Edinburgh Academy

Monument of Scientists James Clerk Maxwell
Monument of Scientists James Clerk Maxwell

Scientist James  Maxwell's Invention
Scientist James  Maxwell's Invention

Scientist James Clerk Maxwell's Invention
Scientist James Clerk Maxwell's Invention

Scientist James Clerk Maxwell's Quotes
Scientist James Clerk Maxwell's Quotes

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