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Edison was a thoughtful little boy. He was very in­quisitive and always wanted to know how to do things. He was not very strong, and went to school when he was quite a big child. But his teacher thought him very stupid1 because he asked so many questions. So his mother, who was a teacher, took him away from school at the end of two months and taught him at home. With so kind a teacher, he made progress; and above all, he learned to think. His mother had some good books and among them an encyclopedia. It was probably from the encyclopedia that he first took an interest in chemistry. He liked to make experiments, so he bought some books, and made a little laboratory in the cellar2 of his home.

When he was twelve years old, he started to earn his living and became a newsboy on the train which ran from Port Huron to Detroit. There was a corner in the baggage car where he kept his stocks of newspapers, magazines and candy. To this comer he moved his little laboratory and library of chemical books, and when he was not busy, went on with his experiments. All went well for two or three years. But when he was in his sixteenth year, one day a phosphorus bottle broke on the floor. It set fire to the baggage car, and the conductor not only put the boy off the train, but soundly boxed his ear. That was the most unfortunate part of the accident, for as a result Edison gradually lost his hearing, and became almost deaf.

Once he was standing on the platform of the station in Michigan, watching a coming train, when he saw the station agent's little boy on the track4 right in front of the coming engine. Another moment and the child would have been crushed; but Edison sprang to the track, seized the little one in his arms, and rolled with him to one side, just in time to escape the wheels. To show his gratitude the baby's father offered to teach telegraphy to Edison. Working at telegraphy he at the same time spent all the spare moments in the study of chemistry and electri­city. Experimenting he improved telegraph apparatus. About the same time Edison made an improvement in the transmitter of the telephone which made it easier for the waves to travel, and improved the usefulness of the telephone very much. It was just about the same time that he invented the phonograph. This is the parent idea of the gramophone, dictaphone and other instruments, but these inventions are only a small part of the work of this wonderful man.




Date: 2015-10-21; view: 730; Нарушение авторских прав

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