Academic journal article et Cetera

Edison: Inventing the Century

Academic journal article et Cetera

Edison: Inventing the Century

Article excerpt

Neil Baldwin. Edison: Inventing the Century. New York: Hyperion, 1995.

He invented the phonograph, light bulb, motion picture camera, and registered 1,093 patents. He was to the telegraph technology of his day what Bill Gates is to computers today. He married twice and neglected his six children. He was the Wizard of Menlo Park and his life story is compellingly told by Neil Baldwin in this illustrated, well-researched (almost one hundred pages of notes and bibliography) biography. Thomas Edison is credited with saying that genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration. He never lacked for either. When the idea struck he worked 18 hour days for months at a time. His first wife (she was a sixteen year-old bride) was often left a lonely lady. His second wife (Edison was widowed at age thirty-seven) knew he wasn't going to be home very much.

Edison's remarkable career was accomplished with only three months of formal schooling. He recalls that one day, as a young child, he heard the teacher tell a visiting school inspector that the boy was "addled" and it would not be worthwhile for him to remain in school. His mother obliged by teaching Tom at home. She did pretty well, for besides his inventing prowess Edison was a voracious life-long reader. …

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