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5 Lessons from Thomas Edison
"The three great essentials to achieve anything worthwhile are, first, hard work; second, stick-to-itiveness; third, common sense.”
The esteemed inventor, Thomas Edison (born February 11, 1847), is not only known for his inventions which still have significant impact on our world to this day, but also for the positive attitude and uncompromising approach he utilized in his endeavors.
Incredible Achievements of Thomas Alva Edison:
Incandescent Light Bulb. The light bulb was actually invented by Joseph Swan in 1878, however it was impractical, staying lit for only a few minutes. Through Thomas Edison's persistents, he was able to create an incandescent lamp which would stay lit for hours and hours. His first public demonstration was in December of 1879.
“I have not failed, I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
Electricity. Perhaps Thomas Edison's greatest contribution was the time he spent developing the electric industry. The first commercial power distribution system, stationed on Pearl Street in lower Manhattan, went into operation in September 1882. Edison was now providing power and light to customers in a one square mile area of New York, ushering the beginning of the electric age.
"There are no rules here – we’re trying to accomplish something.”
Phonograph. The phonograph revolutionized audio recording. This was one of Edison's favorite inventions, which he continued to improve upon for decades. In the late 1870's he developed the two needled device (one for recording and one for playback), by the 1890's Edison began to manufacture the phonograph for both home and business use.
“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”
Motion Picture Camera. After the phonograph, Edison wanted to create a device that "does for the eye what the phonograph does for the ear". Edison first demonstrated his motion pictures in 1891. He would conceive everything needed to create motion pictures. Edison's productions included: The Boxing Gordon Sisters, fighting cats, and films starring Annie Oakley from Buffalo Bill’s traveling “Wild West Show”.
“To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk.”
Alkaline Batteries. Edison spent ten years developing a better storage battery intended for use in electric vehicles. Edison enjoyed automobiles and owned many different types during his life, powered by gasoline, electricity, and steam. Edison believed that electric propulsion was certainly the best method of powering cars, but realized that conventional lead-acid batteries were inadequate for the job. The storage battery ultimately became Thomas Edison's most lucrative work and paved the way for the current day alkaline battery products.
“Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.”