Thomas Alva Edison

by Steven from Montvale

Thomas Alva Edison is my hero because he was so extraordinarily creative and inventive. Almost all of his inventions and ideas affect our lives today. From the standard incandescent lightbulb to the phonograph, Thomas Edison has greatly contributed to the world. Well, if it weren't for him, we might all be living in the dark!

He was born on February 11, 1847, in the fairly dormant town of Milan, Ohio. By the age of only 12, he had been fully educated. Thomas was taught by his mother for three months at home, but he needed to learn through life experiences. Later that year, he started selling candy, fruit, and papers on The Grand Trunk Railroad. Several years later, Thomas began writing and printing The Grand Trunk Herald which was distributed to 400 railroad employees. That same year, Thomas had signs of deafness and would eventually become completely deaf before his death. No one exacly knows how Thomas became deaf, but there are different possible explanations. One possible cause of his deafness might have been the frequent ear infections and serious case of scarlet fever he had as a child. The other possibility concerns how he was treated by a train conductor. Thomas had started an accidental fire in his baggage car laboratory, and before the conductor kicked Thomas off the train, he boxed Thomas's ears. On another occasion, Thomas was late for the train, and as he ran after the departing train, that same conductor grabbed the only part of Thomas he could, his ears. Through the rest of his life, Thomas worked as a telegrapher, inventor, and business man. He also worked with the U.S. Navy, Henry Ford, the Firestone company, and AT&T. Thomas Edison was also extremely determined and dedicated to his work, sometimes working 40-50 hours straight and getting only less than four hours of sleep each night. By the time Thomas had died, he had patented over 1,000 inventions and ideas. Thomas Alva Edison died in West Orange, New Jersey, on October 18, 1931. After everything that he has accomplished, I think that he deserves to be called "the most inventive person of the century."

QUOTATIONS: "I am more of a sponge than an inventor. I absorb ideas from every source.... My principal business is giving commercial value to the brilliant but misdirected ideas of others...I always invent to obtain money to go on inventing....I find out what the world needs, then I go ahead and try to invent it...."

"All you need to be an inventor is a good imagination and a pile of junk... Good fortune is what happens when opportunity meets with preparation...I have more respect for the fellow with a single idea who gets there than for the fellow with a thousand ideas who does nothing...."

"Results? Why, man, I have gotten lots of results! If I find 10,000 ways something won't work, I haven't failed. I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is another step forward. Just because something doesn't do what you planned it to do doesn't mean it's useless....Reverses should prove an incentive to great accomplishment.... There are no rules here, we're just trying to accomplish something."

Page created on 7/8/2004 6:31:44 PM

Last edited 7/8/2004 6:31:44 PM

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