Worksheet "Thomas Edison"

Thomas Edison 1847-1931

Thomas Edison was born on 11 February 1847. He was one of the outstanding geniuses of technology and he obtained patents for more than one thousand inventions including the electric light bulb, the record player and an early type of film projector. He also created the world's first industrial research laboratory.

He was born in Milan, Ohio and he was always an inquisitive boy. By the time he was 10 he had set up a small chemical laboratory in his house after his mother had shown him a science book. He soon became fascinated with electrical currents and it remained the main interest of his life.

In 1869, he borrowed a small amount of money and became a freelance inventor. In the same summer, there was a crisis in the New York financial district called Wall Street when the new telegraphic gold-price indicator broke down. Edison was called in to repair it and he did it so well that he was given a job as supervisor with the Western Union Telegraph Company. They later commissioned him to improve the Wall Street stock ticker that was just coming into use. He did so and produced the Edison Universal Stock Printer, which immediately brought him a fortune of $40,000. With this money, he set up as a manufacturer in order to produce electrical machines.

In 1876 he built a new laboratory so that he could spend all his time inventing. He planned to turn out minor inventions every ten days and a 'big trick' every six months. Before long he had 40 different inventions going at the same time and was applying for as many as 400 patents a year. The following year, Edison moved to New Jersey in order to build the Edison Laboratory (now a national monument) which was 10 times bigger than his first laboratory. In time it was surrounded by factories employing 5,000 people and producing many new products. Edison died on 18 October, 1931 having had a remarkably productive life.

Activity 1 - Checking comprehension

Below are the sentences from the text in jumbled order.

Read the passage and then re-arrange these sentences into the correct order. Try to look back at the passage as little as possible.

  • He planned to turn out minor inventions every ten days and a 'big trick' every six months.
  • In 1869, he borrowed a small amount of money and became a freelance inventor.
  • In 1876 he built a new laboratory so that he could spend all his time inventing.
  • He was born in Milan, Ohio and he was always an inquisitive boy.
  • They later commissioned him to improve the Wall Street stock ticker that was just coming into use. He did so and produced the Edison Universal Stock Printer, which immediately brought him a fortune of $40,000.
  • By the time he was 10 he had set up a small chemical laboratory in his house after his mother had shown him a science book.
  • The following year, Edison moved to New Jersey in order to build the Edison Laboratory (now a national monument) which was 10 times bigger than his first laboratory.
  • Thomas Edison was born on 11 February 1847. He was one of the outstanding geniuses of technology and he obtained patents for more than one thousand inventions including the electric light bulb, the record player and an early type of film projector.
  • In the same summer, there was a crisis in Wall Street when the new telegraphic gold-price indicator broke down.
  • Edison died on 18 October 1931 having had a remarkably productive life.
  • Before long he had 40 different inventions going at the same time and was applying for as many as 400 patents a year.
  • In time it was surrounded by factories employing 5,000 people and producing many new products.
  • With this money, he set up as a manufacturer in order to produce electrical machines.
  • He also created the world''s first industrial research laboratory.
  • He soon became fascinated with electrical currents and it remained the main interest of his life.
  • Edison was called in to repair it and he did it so well that he was given a job as supervisor with the Western Union Telegraph Company.

Activity 2 - Gap-filling exercise

Complete the passage by filling in the blanks. In some cases you may need more than one word. The words you choose do not need to be identical to the original but they should be appropriate.

Thomas Edison ......... on 11 February 1847. He was one of the outstanding geniuses of technology and he obtained ......... for more than one thousand ......... including the electric light bulb, the record player and an early type of film projector. He also created the world's first industrial research laboratory.

He was born in Milan, Ohio and he was always an inquisitive boy. By the time he was 10 he had set up a small chemical ......... in his house after his mother had shown him a science book. He soon became fascinated with ......... currents and it remained the main interest of his life.

In 1869, he borrowed a small amount of ...... and became a freelance ....... In the summer of 1869, there was a ...... in Wall Street when the new telegraphic gold-price indicator broke down. Edison was called in to repair it and he did it so well that he was given a job as ...... with the Western Union Telegraph Company. They later commissioned him to improve the Wall Street stock ticker that was just coming into use. He did so and produced the Edison Universal Stock Printer, which immediately brought him a fortune of $40,000. With this money, he set up as a manufacturer ...... electrical machines.

In 1976 he built a new laboratory ...... he could spend all his time inventing. He planned to turn out minor ...... every ten days and a 'big trick' every six months. Before long he had 40 different inventions going at the same time and was applying for as many as 400 ...... a year.

In 1887 Edison moved to New Jersey ...... build the Edison Laboratory (now a national monument) which was 10 times bigger than his first laboratory. In time it was surrounded by ......... employing 5,000 people and producing many new products.

Edison died on 18 October 1931 having had a remarkably ...... life.

There are lesson planning notes for this Thomas Edison passage in the Teacher's Centre.


 

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