Read the following passages and answer the questions below.
1 Thomas Alva Edison lit up the world with his invention of the electric light. Without him, the world might still be a dark place. However, the electric light was not his only invention. He also invented the phonograph, the motion picture camera, and over 1,200 other things. About every two weeks Edison created something new.
2 Thomas A. Edison was born in Milan, Ohio, on February 11, 1847. His family moved to Port Huron, Michigan, when he was seven years old. Surprisingly, he attended school for only two months. His mother, a former teacher, taught him a few things, but Edison was mostly self-educated. His natural curiosity led him to start experimenting at a young age with electrical and mechanical items at home.
3 When he was 12 years old, he got his first job. He became a newsboy on a train that ran between Port Huron and Detroit. He set up a laboratory in a baggage car of the train so that he could continue his experiments in his spare time. Unfortunately, Edison’s first job did not end well. He was fired when he accidentally set fire to the floor of the baggage car.
4 Edison then worked for five years as a telegraph operator, but he continued to spend much of his time on the job conducting experiments. He got his first patent in 1868 for a vote recorder run by electricity. However, the vote recorder was not a success. In 1870, he sold another invention, a stock-ticker, for $40,000. A stock-ticker is a machine that automatically prints stock prices on a tape. He was then able to build his first shop in Newark, New Jersey.
5 Thomas Edison was totally deaf in one ear and hard of hearing in the other, but thought of his deafness as a blessing in many ways. It kept conversations short, so that he could have more time for work. He called himself a "two-shift man" because he worked 16 out of every 24 hours. Sometimes he worked so intensely that his wife had to remind him to sleep and eat.
6 Thomas Edison died at the age of 84 on October 18, 1931, at his estate in West Orange, New Jersey. He left numerous inventions that improved the quality of life all over the world.
1 Benjamin Franklin was one of the most important Americans in history. In the early part of his life, Franklin was a business person and inventor. He ran the Pennsylvania Gazette (newspaper) and also published Poor Richard's Almanac. Poor Richard's Almanac was very popular because it made predictions about the future and had wise sayings. Ben Franklin also invented the Franklin stove, lightning rod, bifocals (eyeglasses), and started America's first library. He is probably best known for his kite experiment which proved electricity could be harnessed from lightning.
2 In the later part of his life, Franklin became interested in politics. He spent many years in England before coming back to America. In 1776, Franklin helped Thomas Jefferson write the Declaration of Independence. Two years later, he went to France and convinced the French to help America in the war against England. After the war, Franklin joined the Continental Congress and signed the Constitution. He died in 1790. Today, Ben Franklin is honored on the $100 dollar bill. His name is honored on highways, schools, and businesses across America