[Thomas Alva Edison, half-length portrait, seated, facing left]
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J252121 U.S. Copyright Office.
Copyright by Bachrach.
Thomas Alva Edison (February 11, 1847 – October 18, 1931) was an American inventor and businessman. He developed many devices that greatly influenced life around the world, including the phonograph, the motion picture camera, and the long-lasting, practical electric light bulb. Dubbed "The Wizard of Menlo Park", he was one of the first inventors to apply the principles of mass production and large-scale teamwork to the process of invention, and because of that, he is often credited with the creation of the first industrial research laboratory. "Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up."