Edison Thomas Edison was a famous American inventor (1847-1931). He is widely regarded as the greatest inventor who has ever lived. He singly, or jointly, held a world record 1,093 patents. In addition, he created the world's first industrial research laboratory.

In his lifetime, he played a critical role in introducing the modern age of electricity. "From his laboratories and workshops emanated the phonograph, the carbon-button transmitter for the telephone speaker and microphone, the incandescent lamp, a revolutionary generator of unprecedented efficiency, the first commercial electric light and power system, an experimental electric railroad, and key elements of motion-picture apparatus, as well as a host of other inventions [Encyclopedia Britannica]."

Edison was the seventh and last child of Samuel and Nancy Edison. At an early age he developed hearing problems, which strongly influenced his behaviour and career, providing the motivation for many of his inventions.

Here are a few of his well known quotes:

  • Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.
  • Genius is one per cent inspiration and ninety-nine per cent perspiration. Accordingly, a  'genius' is often merely a talented person who has done all of his or her homework. Time is really the only capital that any human being has and the thing that he can least afford to waste or lose.
  • If parents pass enthusiasm along to their children, they will leave them an estate of incalculable value. 
  • Barring serious accidents, if you are not preoccupied with worry and you work hard, you can look forward to a reasonably lengthy existence…. Its not the hard work that kills, its the worrying that kills.

  • Results? Why, man, I have gotten lots of results! If I find 10,000 ways something won't work, I haven't failed. I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is often a step forward. 
  • The first requisite for success is to develop the ability to focus and apply your mental and physical energies to the problem at hand – without growing weary. Because such thinking is often difficult, there seems to be no limit to which some people will go to avoid the effort and labor that is associated with it.
  • There is no substitute for hard work.
  • I never perfected an invention that I did not think about in terms of the service it might give others… I find out what the world needs, then I proceed to invent.
  • I never did a day's work in my life. It was all fun.

Food for thought!

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