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Thomas Edison: The Blue-Collar Inventor

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Thomas Edison
The blue-collar inventor
Born 1847 Died 1931

Thomas Edison only had 3 months of formal education, and his schoolmaster thought that Edison may have been retarded. And no one not even his family could envision that Edison would become the inventor that he would eventually end up to be. Born in Milan, Ohio, youngest of 7 children, Edison would often ask questions that his father and mother both could not answer. So naturally he sought out answers through experimentation. Through out his younger years Edison’s mother tried to make learning fun for him, describing it as “exploring”. At age 12 Edison had begun selling newspapers on a railroad line. After purchasing some old type, he soon began printing his own newspapers Grand Truck Herald, the first known newspaper to be printed on a train. However, printing soon halted due to the fact that Edison had set the boxcar on fire, and Edison along with his equipment was thrown from the train. At age 16 Edison got his second job as a telegrapher. He would have to signal Toronto every hour, and Edison thought this to be pointless, thus creating his first invention something to automatically signal Toronto every hour. At 21 Edison made his commercial debut as an inventor with an electric vote-recorder. It did not sell so thereafter he decided to concentrate his efforts on inventions that he was sure would be in universal demand. Then in 1869 Edison arrived in Boston, practically penniless he persuaded a broker to let him sleep in his office. Then when the broker’s stock ticker broke Edison was able to repair it where many others had failed. Amazed the manager quickly made Edison one of his superiors. Soon after Edison invented the printing telegraph, but before approaching the company president to sell the device he thought he should settle on a fair selling price, 3,000$. But Edison decided to let the president of the company to make an offer on his machine, which turned out to be 40,000$ Edison accepted the offer. After selling the patents for the stock ticker Edison had enough money to open his own workshop known as Menlo Park, it was here that some of his most important inventions were created. Of these were
· Modernized type writer
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