Happy Birthday Thomas A. Edison

Geek Culture

In honor of Thomas Edison’s birthday, Neatorama has compiled 10 Fascinating Facts About Edison. And they are fascinating. Every geekkid should learn about Edison (beyond what is taught in school) at some point. Turns out he was also the Ur geekkid:

2. Edison Built His First Lab at the Age of 10

When Edison turned 9, his mother gave him an elementary science book on how to do chemistry experiments at home. Edison was hooked: he did every experiments in the book and soon spent all his spare money buying chemicals.

At the tender age of 10, Edison built his first science laboratory in the basement of his family’s home. His father tried to bribe him with a penny if only Edison would get out of the basement and go read a book. This he did, but he also used the penny to buy more chemicals for experiments. And to make sure no one took his prized chemicals, he labeled all his bottles "poison."

Excellent. Edison worked constantly on just about everything and used to hire local shops to do much of his prototyping work. My grandfather actually had a stint making dies for parts and crafting other pieces for Edison in his later years and had to put up with his unexpected visits to his shop. At one point, he was bent on creating working solar cells for generating electricity and he had my grandfather experimenting with different metals for their photoelectric and piezoelectric properties. Cool stuff. Check out the condensed history of Edison’s career.

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