Thomas Edison was born in 1847 in Milan, Ohio. He grew up in Port Huron, Michigan. Edison holds the record on the greatest number of patents granted to a single person (over 1000). His most famous invention is the electric bulb, although some people still see Joseph Swann or even James Bowman Lindsay as the true inventor of the light bulb. Many of his inventions were not unique, but Edison showed unique skills in winning the patents and beating his opponents by better marketing skills and influence. (A legend has it that he invented the electric chair as a means of impressing the public that alternating current was more dangerous than direct current)
Initially, it was believed that Thomas Edison invented the motion picture camera, but it has since been proven that William Kennedy Laurie Dickson actually invented it at the Edison laboratories. However, his influence on the history of film stretches far beyond that of instigator. He became a powerhouse of film production and must be given credit for establishing a standard that allowed film to emerge as a mass media and not just a vaudeville novelty.
The greatest invention of Thomas Edison was the Menlo Park research lab, which was built in New Jersey. Most of the inventions there carried Edison as the inventor, while he mostly oversaw the operation.