Thomas Alva Edison: The Famous Inventor Was Also Hearing Impaired

One of the most famous people with hearing loss in history is the inventor Thomas Alva Edison (1847-1931). What many people are not aware of, is the fact that Edison had had hearing problems from childhood on. This hearing loss caused him some difficulty in school. In addition, he reportedly lost more of his hearing, becoming technically deaf, in his early teens. The cause is not definitely known - it could have been a result of early childhood illness or the result of a "boxing" of his ears by a rail conductor, possibly a myth.

While as an inventor Edison was involved with several things, ironically one of them was motion picture development. It is ironic that a person with hearing loss would have been so involved in the development of an entertainment mode that has largely been inaccessible to the deaf and hard of hearing for so many years.

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