Thomas Edison was the youngest child out of seven. His father was an exiled political activist from Canada, and his mother was a school teacher--both encouraged him to think out of the box, in new and innovate ways, during Thomas's childhood.
As a child and young teen, he's was deemed a 'problem child' by his teachers, always too hyperactive, so his mother began teaching him from home. He was an extremely curious child, so he read many books on his own and developed methods of self teaching that gave him an advantage later in life.
As a teen he ventured the country as a telegraph operator. When he came back after a few years however, his mother was mentally ill and father unemployed, so Edison had to take matters into his own hands.
Edison moved to New York City and developed his first invention, the Universal Stock Printer--and got paid quite handily for it too. From there he was unstoppable. He created a small lab and made inventions/innovations such as the phonograph, the commercial incandescant lightbulb, the motion picture camera, and many others.
Contributions to the Tessera:
After his first widespread invention--the Universal Stock Printer--a man introduced Edison to the Tessera. He knew of Edison's potential and talent, and showed him the Tessera. Edison, with his curious mind, was inducted into the society. Edison used his innovation and inventiveness to completely revamp every aspect of the Tessera puzzles. One of these was his addition of binary in Level 3 of the Tessera, as Edison had read about it in his studies and figured it was not a very well-known number system that would increase the level of protection.