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Thomas Edison's Recolections of his Life

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Thomas Edison

It is extremely hard for most people today – at least those of us in so-called "developed countries" – to remember, or even picture a world without telephones, movie theaters, recorded music or even electric lights. But not very long ago, none of those inventions existed. Some say I was ahead of my time, that I was the wizard of Menlo Park. By now you know who I am, I'm Thomas Edison, I invented the first incandescent electric light bulb, the first motion picture camera, the first industrial research lab, and much more. But I am more than an inventor. Have you lately faced a road block or found yourself giving up? Well I can fix that. Let's start with a brief history of myself so you can understand my motivations and beliefs, starting right at the beginning and finishing on October 18th, 1931. Lets begin.

Contrary to popular belief, I was not born into poverty in a backwater mid-western town. Actually, I was born on Feb. 11, 1847, to middle-class parents in the busy port of Milan, Ohio, a community that was one of the largest wheat shipping centers in the world. In 1854, my family moved to the vibrant city of Port Huron, Michigan.

When I was seven - after spending 12 weeks in a noisy one-room schoolhouse with thirty-eight other students of all ages - my short-tempered teacher finally lost his patience with my constant questioning and seemingly self-centered behavior. Noting that my forehead was unusually broad and my head was considerably larger than average, he made no secret of his belief that my brains were “scrambled”.
When my beloved mother became aware of the situation, she quickly withdrew me from school and began to "home-teach". She was convinced that my slightly unusual poise and physical appe...

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...ll because there were events that had stuff in common. When I was seven, my teacher thought my brains were scrambled, also I was deaf in one ear and 80% deaf in the other, and one day a reporter came up to me and said, "Mr. Edison, why do you keep trying to make light by using electricity when you have failed so many times? Don't you know that gas lights are with us to stay?"
To this I replied, "Young man, don't you realize that I have not failed but have successfully discovered six thousand ways that won't work!" All of those situations have something in common, they were roadblocks that I had to get over and persevere through. Those type of things happened all the time, and I just looked at them like another problem I had to solve. So you must persevere and find happiness in what you are doing. Don’t give up, or we would be lighting oil lamps right now.
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