Edison's story

系统文章 类别:英文 时间:2010-07-01 00:00:00
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Thomas Alva Edison was a man of wonderful ability who had the good luck to be
born at a good time. In the period just after the American Civil War, the United
States was growing conditions were right for the talents of a man like Edison.
The Edison family had come to the United States from Holland in the early part
of the 18th century. Thomas Alva the youngest of Samuel's seven children was
born in 1847. Thomas was an unusually curious child. Even at an early age he
loved to read and make experiments. Because he was so dreamy and quiet, a
teacher once accused him of being stupid. Thomas's mother was so displeased
by this remark that she took her son out of school and never sent him back.
She took charge of his education herself and taught him reading history,
science and philosophy. Edison was a very quick reader and he remembered
everything. Once he got an idea of starting at the first shelf of a large
library and reading everything in it. But after reading through fifteen
feet of books he gave up this ambition. In order to earn money for books and
for his scientific experiments, Thomas sold vegetables from the family garden.
This work did not bring in enough money and so he began to sell newspapers and
candy on a train that ran between Port Huron Michigan and Detroit. Because
people were so eager for the latest news about the Civil War which was then at
its height Thomas decided in February 1862 when he was fifteen years old to
print a newspaper of his own the Weekly Herald, in a baggage car of the train
where he worked.In four years he earned two thousand dollars from this business.
While he worked on the train young Edison continued to experiment setting up
a laboratory in the baggage car. One day a stick of phosphorus fell to the floor
and set the car on fire. The conductor of the train was so angry that he threw
Tom and all his equipment off the train at the next station; he also struck
Tom causing a permanent injury which later made him deaf in the right ear. One
day not long after he had started his newspaper, Edison saw a child playing on
the tracks in front of a train. He jumped off the station platform and snatched
the child from the wheels of the train. The father who happened to be
the station master was so grateful that he offered to teach Tom to become a
telegraphoperator. He gave him lessons four days a week after the station had
closed for the night and in three weeks Edison was a better telegrapher than
his teacher. Edison was sober and independent for his age, but he was restless
and very careless in his dress. He began to wander from city to city and from
job to job. Because his ideas were too strange to please the men who hired him,
they often asked him to leave. During this time, he worked in Indianapolis,
Cincinnati, Memphis, and Louisville. 
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