Last week we watched a special documentary on the History Channel about great men who have made America; J. P. Morgan, Alexander Graham Bell, John D. Rockefeller, etc.
All of them were important but I think Thomas Edison did the most for us. He was the inventor of the incandescent light bulb and figured out a way for electricity to be distributed to our homes. After watching the special on television, I wanted to know more about Thomas Alva Edison. I looked on the computer and read many very interesting articles about his life and his 1,093 inventions that he did up until the age of 83.
Edison was born in Ohio on February 11, 1847 (just 100 years before I was) and went to school in a one-room schoolhouse with 37 other pupils of all ages. He had not started talking until almost age 4 as he was practically deaf in both ears. When he did talk, he was always asking an adult what made something work. If they did not know, he looked them in the eyes and asked "Why?" He spent 12 weeks in the school and the male teacher was always aggravated with him. Edison could not be still and would not pay attention. He probably had what so many children have today — ADHD. The teacher became mad with him one day and told him he was "addle minded." Little Tom must have gone home and told his mama. Well, mama got mad and jerked him out of school. That was all of the public schooling he would ever get. Mama home-schooled him. His mother was very well educated, but even she could not answer the complicated questions he would eventually ask about physics and how things worked. He was a very inquisitive and brilliant kid. Thomas later said about his mother, "My mother was the making of me. She was so true, so sure of me, and I felt I had someone to live for, someone I must not disappoint." His parents introduced him to the public library which was a lifesaver to him. He used it diligently all his life.
Thomas Alva Edison had a lab in his home basement by age 10 and continued throughout his life experimenting and inventing things until he became too frail at the age of 83. On Oct. 18, 1931, he suddenly awoke from a coma and whispered to his wife Mina, "It is very beautiful over there." The world’s most famous and prolific inventor of all time had passed on from this life at the age of 84. Edison’s inventions have helped to enhance the lives of people throughout the world and all walks of life. His famous quote was "Genius is 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration!"
After watching this special, my husband Gene asked me how I would like to do without electricity. I remember not having it and the day that our electricity was turned on. I thought it was the most amazing thing to be able to pull the string and see the light bulb light up the room. That was about 1951. Just recently when Hurricane Matthew visited our area we learned again what it was to be without electricity for several days. We missed it very much!
Let me name a few of the things that I have used electricity for in the last few days: turning on the light in the bathroom and not having to light a candle, turning on the faucet and not having to go outside to the water shelf and prime the pump and get cold water, get hot water from the faucet and not have to go and light a fire in the wood stove to warm a kettle of water, cook breakfast in the microwave and on the electric stove, get milk or creamer from electric refrigerator and know the refrigerator has plenty of ice cubes in it and not worry about using all the ice or the food spoiling before the ice truck runs again, wash the dishes in a sink and have hot water without having to pump it and heat it on the wood stove, put on a load of dirty clothes in the electric washer and not have to gather wood, build fire under the iron pot, draw well water and fill three tubs and scrub my knuckles bare on the scrub boards, put the clothes in the dryer and dry them soft and fluffy without having to hang them on the clothes line and wait all day for them to dry stiff and wrinkled, bake a cake in the electric oven instead of having to constantly make sure the fire in the wood stove burns constantly, opening the cat food cans with the electric can opener instead of turning the manual one, turning on the air conditioner or heater for warm or cool air instead of having to gather wood and build a fire in the fire place or open all the windows and hope a breeze will blow through, being able to pick up a book at night and read it by the electric lamp light instead of having to try to read it by the light of a smelly kerosene lamp, being able to sit at this computer and type this article without having to handwrite it or type on a manual typewriter with carbon paper between two sheets of paper and if I make a mistake have to try and erase it and hope to find the correct place again and last but most amazing is to be able to hit a button to send this article for printing in the Courier without having to drive to Hinesville to deliver it!
Thank you, Thomas Alva Edison for not giving up on your ideas.
Think of the many blessings that we are all blessed with this Thanksgiving and give thanks to God for them. Look around you and share with someone.