11 Fakta Tentang Thomas Alva Edison

Thomas Alva Edison (lahir 11 Februari 1847 – meninggal 18 Oktober 1931 pada umur 84 tahun) adalah penemu dan pengusaha yang mengembangkan banyak peralatan penting. Si Penyihir Menlo Park ini merupakan salah seorang penemu pertama yang menerapkan prinsip produksi massal pada proses penemuan.

Berikut 11 fakta tentang Thomas Alva Edison

1.Sulit mendengar, bukan tuli

Edison kerap kali disebut tuli, padahal ia bukan sama sekali tidak bisa mendengar, namun memiliki kesulitan untuk mendengar secara sempurna. Penyebabnya berbeda menurut beberapa sumber. Ada yang menyebut karena demam ketika ia masih kecil serta beberapa kali infeksi bagian tengah telinga yang tidak diobati. Ada juga yang menyebutkan karena telinganya dipukul kondektur kereta api ketika laboratorium kimianya di gerbong barang terbakar.

2.Surat kabar di atas kereta pertama

Kegemaran Edison bereksperimen di gerbong kereta api membuatnya memiliki laboratorium di dalam gerbong barang meski akhirnya laboratorium itu terbakar. Edison kemudian membangun kembali laboratorium kimia dan percetakan di bagasi mobil. Dari sinilah ia mempublikasikan Grand Trunk Herald yang merupakan surat kabar pertama yang dipublikasikan di atas kereta.

3. Dot dan Dash

Edison memiliki 3 orang anak dari pernikahannya dengan Mary Stilwell. Dua orang anaknya diberi nama panggilan unik, Dot (Marion Estelle Edison) dan Dash (Thomas Alva Edison Junior), yang diduga diambilnya dari lambang yang digunakan dalam sandi Morse yaitu titik “.” dan garis “-“.

4. Melamar Mina dengan kode Morse

Setelah Mary Stilwell meninggal dunia, Edison bertemu Mina Miller yang adalah seorang anak penemu, Lewis Miller. Ia mengajari Mina kode Morse agar mereka dapat berkomunikasi secara rahasia dengan ketukan kode di tangan mereka. Suatu hari Edison bertanya kepada Mina: –./—/..-/.-../-..//-.–/—/..-//–/.-/.-./.-./-.–//–/.// yang kemudian dijawab Mina dengan: -.–/./… Tak lama kemudian, keduanya pun menikah.

5. Menolak disebut gagal

Edison memprotes sebuah surat kabar yang memuat judul berita utama: “Setelah 9.955 kali gagal menemukan bola lampu pijar, Edison akhirnya berhasil menemukan lampu yang menyala”. Ia meminta judul berita itu diganti. Keesokan harinya, atas permintaan Edison, surat kabar itu mengganti judul berita utamanya menjadi: “Setelah 9.955 kali berhasil menemukan lampu yang gagal menyala, Edison akhirnya berhasil menemukan lampu yang menyala”

6. Paten pertama yang gagal

Pada tahun 1869, di usianya yang ke-22, Edison memperoleh paten pertamanya untuk mesin perekam suara telegrafik yang dirancangnya untuk badan legislatif. Dengan alat itu, setiap anggota badan legislatif cukup menggerakkan satu tombol pada mesin yang akan merekam RUU yang dipilihnya. Sayangnya, alat tersebut ditolak badan legislatif karena cara kerjanya yang lambat.

7. Mesin tato

Pada tahun 1876, Edison mematenkan Stencil-pens, sebuah alat yang kemudian dimodifikasi Samuel O’Reilly untuk menjadi mesin tato pertama. Namun ia tetap dianugerahi penghargaan atas penemuan mesin tato yang pertama.

8. Laboratorium riset industri pertama

Setelah menjual quadruplex telegraf yang dibeli Western Union seharga $10 ribu, Edison menggunakan uang yang diperolehnya untuk membangun sebuah tempat yang sengaja akan dikhususkannya untuk terus menghasilkan serta mengembangkan produk inovasi teknologi. Tempat yang terletak di Menlo Park, New Jersey itu akhirnya berkembang menjadi laboratorium riset industri pertama di dunia.

9. Penyihir Menlo Park

Julukan tersebut didapat Edison setelah berhasil menemukan fonograf pada tahun 1877 sekaligus mengangkat popularitasnya. Pencapaian itu sangat tidak disangka-sangka oleh banyak orang sehingga tampak seperti sihir. Fonograf pertamanya berhasil merekam suara pada kertas timah yang mengelilingi sebuah silinder beralur. Namun kulitas suara yang dihasilkan masih buruk dan hasil rekamannya hanya bisa diputar ulang beberapa kali saja.

10. Istri Pertama Edison Meninggal Karena Overdosis Morfin

Pada tahun 1884, Edison dan anak-anaknya mengalami tragedi yang menyedihkan. Istrinya, Mary, meninggal pada usia 29 tahun. Meskipun ada laporan bahwa Mary meninggal karena demam tipus, penyebab resmi kematian tercatat karena “penyumbatan otak.” Namun, diagnosa menunjukkan bahwa istri Edison mengalami overdosis morfin akibat terlalu banyak diberikan morfin.

Kehidupan Edison dilaporkan hancur setelah hilangnya nyawa sang istri dan menyalahkan diri sendiri karena selalu berada jauh dari rumah dan keluarga.

11. Edison Memiliki Tato Misterius

Menurut laporan perusahaan asuransi jiwa di New York tahun 1911, Edison memiliki tato berbentuk 5 titik di lengan kanannya. Yang cukup menarik, Edison mendapatkan penghargaan atas penemuan mesin tato yang pertama. Pada tahun 1876, ia mematenkan stencil-Pens, sebuah alat yang kemudian dimodifikasi oleh Samuel O”Reilly untuk menjadi mesin tato yang pertama. Bentuk tato ini dikenal oleh para street gangs untuk mengenali para anggotanya, namun alasan mengapa Edison memiliki tato itulah yang menjadi misteri.

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