Here's a time line of Thomas Edison's life:
- 1847 - Born in Milan, Ohio
- 1866 - Starts working at Western Union
- 1867 - Leaves Western Union
- 1869 - Patents the electric vote recorder
- 1871 - Marries Marry Stilwell
- 1876 - Opens first industrial research lab
- 1877 - Completes the model for the first phonograph
- 1878 - Patents the first phonograph
- 1879 - Improves the carbon filament lamp
- 1880 - Patents DC electricity distribution. Founds the Edison Illuminating Company.
- 1882 -Nikola Tesla begins working for Continental Edison
- 1883 - Edison and Swan United Electric Company (later known as Ediswan) is established
- 1884 - Marry Edison dies
- 1885 - Nikola Tesla quits working for Edison
- 1886 - Marries Mina Miller
- 1887 - War of Currents era begins
- 1892 - General Electric is established. Edison patents two way telegraph
- 1893 - Nikola Tesla and George Westinghouse power the World's Columbian Exposition
- 1897 - Receives a patent for the kinetographic camera
- 1915 - Tesla and Edison ignored by Nobel Prize committee
- 1931 - Dies at the age of 84
"Edison was by far the most successful and, probably, the last exponent of the purely empirical method of investigation."
For more details on Thomas Edison's life and achievements, check out his Wikipedia entry.