Edison is known as one of the greatest inventors of his time. Heinvented so much that it is difficult to say which of his achievements is thegreatest. He was an experimenter and a practical man more than a theoretician.
Edison did not have any education. He went to school only forthree months. Then he left it because the teacher considered him a dull boy.His mother became his teacher. The boy loved books and his mother said that hehad a wonderful memory. When he first visited a public library and saw a lot ofshelves with books he decided that he would know everything in the world. He measuredthe shelf and decided to read a foot of books every week.
In 1868 Edison built his first patented invention — anelectromagnetic device.
It is said that he planned to ask three thousand dollars for hisinvention, though he secretly decided he would sell it for two thousand ifnecessary. He was invited to a meeting of businessmen who were interested inbuying his invention, but when he was asked to name the price he was verynervous and quite unable to speak.
«It is no use asking us a big price», said one of thebusinessmen, «we have already decided how much we will pay. Forty thousanddollars is our limit».
With this money Edison established a workshop and began hiscareer as a professional inventor at the age of twenty one.
All his inventions were the result of hard work. He sometimesmade thousands of experiments. According to his words the idea that a geniusworks only by inspiration was absurd. «Genius is 2 per cent inspirationand 98 per cent perspiration», he often said.
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