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Ohio unveils Thomas Edison statue that will go to US Capitol

Guests to the state house try to get a closer look at the unveiling of the Thomas A. Edison statue, by Zanesville sculptor, Alan Cottrill, Wednesday, May 20, 2015, in Columbus, Ohio. The statue will be in the statehouse Rotunda before being shipped to Washington to be permanently added to Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol. (Courtney Hergesheimer/The Columbus Dispatch via AP)n

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio officials unveiled a new statue of inventor Thomas Edison on Wednesday that will be added to the collection of sculptures in Statuary Hall at the U.S. Capitol.

Each state gets to place two statues of notable historic figures in the Capitol.

Edison was chosen in a vote at historic sites around Ohio in 2010, winning narrowly over aviation pioneers Orville and Wilbur Wright. He will replace a statue of Gov. William Allen, who supported Southern slave owners, and join U.S. President James Garfield as the state’s designated representatives in the hall.

State leaders said Edison exhibits Ohio’s entrepreneurial nature.

“He is a great representative of the innovative spirit that has lived in the state of Ohio for time eternal,” Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor said during the statue’s unveiling ceremony at the Ohio Statehouse.

The inventor was born in the northern Ohio town of Milan (pronounced MY’-lan) and spent the first seven years of his life there. The statue of his likeness will be on display at the Statehouse through October.

The state General Assembly and Republican Gov. John Kasich decided to recall the statue of Allen in 2012. Allen, a Democrat, served in the U.S. House and U.S. Senate before becoming Ohio’s 31st governor in 1874.

Edison received more than one thousand patents, including ones for the phonograph, the kinetoscope for viewing motion pictures and the first practical incandescent light bulb.

Zanesville sculptor Alan Cottrill created the bronze statue of Edison holding a light bulb.

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