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Gluehlampe_01_KMJThomas Edison (1847-1931) was an American inventor responsible for many of our modern electrical devices, including the phonograph for amplifying sound, the motion picture camera, the light bulb, the stock ticker, a mechanical vote recorder, and a battery for an electric car. To say he was prolific would be an understatement!


The term ‘dyslexia’ did not exist when Edison was a child, but many have suspected that he must have been dyslexic. His teachers called him “addled”, but he had superior visual-spatial abilities that enabled him to be a skilled engineer later in life. He was eventually pulled out of school due to his difficulties and home-educated by his mother. Like many diagnosed dyslexics, he had recurrent ear infections as a child which would have interfered with early literacy tasks.

The light bulb is perhaps his most well-known invention, developed in 1879, when it remained lit for 13.5 hours – a world record! Later he tweaked the invention to the point where it could last over 1200 hours.

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Sarah Forrest is a Reading Specialist for the Easyread System, and online course that uses innovative Guided Phonetic Reading techniques to help struggling learners grasp phonics. Easyread has been designed to help all children with poor reading and spelling, including those with dyslexia, auditory processing disorder, highly visual learning styles and more.