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Thomas Edison was a famous American inventor active in the late 19th century and early 20th century. His works became the basis of many of today's modern technologies. Edison was called the "Wizard of Menlo Park," in honor of his residence and laboratory in Menlo Park, California. He worked on primitive versions of video cameras, light bulbs and audio recording devices.
Many of Edison's more than 1,000 patents had to do with the use of electricity, which gradually developed into the modern global system of electrical grids connected to the properties of residential and business customers. Edison was a pioneer in communications, in IT and in the use of practical systems to develop much-needed modern utilities.
Despite his contributions to many technological advances, Edison is still seen by some as a negative force in the world of science. His critics contrast his vastly popular and lucrative efforts to the efforts of another pioneer, Nikola Tesla, alleging that he sabotaged Tesla as a competitor and generally suppressed different kinds of budding technologies that would have created an even more sophisticated set of advancements, such as a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle and methods of electrical induction that are now being studied for use in telecommunications.