EDISON IN COMMERCE AND MANUFACTURE
AN applicant for membership in the Engineers' Club of Philadelphia is required to give a brief statement of the professional work he has done. Some years ago a certain application was made, and contained the following terse and modest sentence:
"I have designed a concentrating plant and built a machine shop, etc., etc. THOMAS A. EDISON."
Although in the foregoing pages the reader has been made acquainted with the tremendous import of the actualities lying behind those "etc., etc.," the narrative up to this point has revealed Edison chiefly in the light of inventor, experimenter, and investigator. There have been some side glimpses of the industries he has set on foot, and of their financial aspects, and a later chapter will endeavor to sum up the intrinsic value of Edison's work to the world. But there are some other interesting points that may be touched on now in regard to a few of Edison's financial and commercial ventures not generally known or appreciated.
It is a popular idea founded on experience that an inventor is not usually a business man. One of the exceptions proving the rule may perhaps be met in Edison, though all depends on the point of view.