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Thomas Alva Edison (1847 – 1931) was born in Milan, Ohio. Edison is considered by many as one of the greatest inventors in history. He obtained patents in such fields as telegraphy, phonography, electric lighting and photography. In 1882, he designed the first hydroelectric plant in Appleton, Wisconsin. In 1879, he and Sir Joseph Wilson Swan (in England) simultaneously invented similar carbon filament incandescent light bulbs but Edison improved upon Swan’s design. By the end of 1880, Edison had produced a 16-watt light bulb that would last for 1500 hours. As a boy, Edison had only three months of formal schooling. He was taught at home by his mother, a former teacher. He changed the lives of millions of people with such inventions as the electric light bulb and the phonograph. In his lifetime, he patented 1,093 inventions. After the death of his first wife, he married again. He had six children, three by each wife. Thomas Edison valued long, hard work.

“Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.”

“I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is another step forward.”

“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”

“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”

“Everything comes to him who hustles while he waits.”

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

“The value of an idea lies in the using of it.”

“Being busy does not always mean real work. The object of all work is production or accomplishment and to either of these ends there must be forethought, system, planning, intelligence, and honest purpose, as well as perspiration. Seeming to do is not doing.”

If we did all the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves.”

“Great ideas originate in the muscles.”

“Hell, there are no rules here – we’re trying to accomplish something.”

“Show me a thoroughly satisfied man and I will show you a failure.”

“Be courageous! Have faith! Go forward!”

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