Thomas Edison was born February 11, 1847 in Milan, Ohio. At age 15, Edison became a “tramp telegrapher”, sending and receiving messages via morse code, an electronically-conveyed alphabet using different clicks for each letter. Eventually, he worked for the Union Army as a telegrapher. Edison often entertained himself by taking things apart to see how they worked. Soon, he decided to become an inventor.

In 1884, after he attained great fame and fortune, and built one of the largest laboratories in the world. He worked extremely hard and registered 1,093 patents. Edison continued to invent or improve products and make significant contributions to x-ray technology, storage batteries and motion pictures (movies). His inventions changed the world forever. They still influence the way we live today.

In the late 1800s, DC could not be easily converted to high voltages. As a result, Edison proposed a system of small, local power plants that would power individual neighborhoods or city sections. By 1887, Edison had constructed 121 DC power stations in the United States.