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Thomas Edison


11 February 1847 – 18 October 1931 (Aged 84)

Edison was a prolific American inventor, who held over 1,000 patents after his lifetime of innovation.

After setting up a laboratory in Menlo Park, New Jersey, Edison became known as the ‘Wizard of Menlo Park’.

Among the inventions that made Edison one of history’s greatest inventors are the phonograph, the first practical electric light bulb, the motion picture camera, and an electric car battery.

Edison also developed a famous rivalry with a fellow inventor, and former co-worker, Nikola Tesla. Edison would found the company that came to be General Electric.

The advent of electricity saw Edison’s direct current electricity and Tesla’s alternating current electricity, clash to become the dominant form of electrical power.

Following his death from diabetes complications, he was buried behind his New Jersey home, ‘Glenmont’, in West Orange.

His story of rising from humble beginnings to being a wealthy inventor and businessman made him a hero to ordinary people across America.

Anna Pavlova

(Ballet Dancer)

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12 February 1881 – 23 January 1931 (aged 49)

Pavlova was a world-renowned Russian ballerina, who became the first ballerina to tour the world after she formed her own company.

She died after contracting pneumonia while on tour in The Hague, Netherlands.

The Pavlova dessert was named in her honor following one of her tours to Australia and New Zealand.

Ida B. Wells

(Civil Rights Activist)

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16 July 1862 – 25 March 1931 (Aged 68)

Wells was an African-American journalist who became an early civil rights activist.

She was also a founding member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

During the late 19th century, Wells led an anti-lynching campaign through her work as a journalist, over which she had her life threatened.

She went on to also be a powerful advocate for women’s rights.

Motilal Nehru

(Indian Activist)

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6 May 1861 – 6 February 1931 (Aged 69)

Nehru was a lawyer, who became a leading activist in the Indian independence movement.

He also served as the President of the Indian National Congress twice.

Motilal’s son, Jawaharlal Nehru, became the first Prime Minister of India.

Melvil Dewey


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10 December 1851 – 26 December 1931 (aged 81)

Dewey was an influential American librarian, who helped found the American Library Association and America’s first library school.

His invention of the Dewey Decimal System of classification revolutionized the storage of books in libraries and is used around the world to this day.