Thomas Alva Edison was an American inventor whose most important contributions were the electric light bulb and phonograph. He held a world record number of invention patents —1093.
Edison was born in Milan, Ohio, in 1847, and he played a major role in shaping the modern world. Some of his inventions included the electrographic vote recorder, the automatic telegraph, the electric pen, the carbon telephone, the electric generator, the alkaline battery and the kinetographic camera. He also improved the way cement was manufactured by using the rotary kiln. Besides being an inventor, Edison was also a business manager and industrialist.