Edison, an ambitious newsboy travelling the railroad line from Detroit to Port Huron,
learned on April 9, 1862 that the Detroit Free Press would carry banner headlines
reporting the devastating Battle of Shiloh. Knowing that such headlines increased sales,
he negotiated with a Detroit station telegrapher to transmit the news to each depot on the
line, including Smith's Creek, for posting on station chalkboards. He then arranged to
receive on credit five times his normal draw of newspapers. His daring plan worked. At
each station crowds flocked, paying ever higher prices as his stock of 1,000 newspapers
diminished. "It was then it struck me that the telegraph was just about the best
thing going, for it was the notices on the bulletin board that had done the trick. I
determined at once to become a telegrapher."
Thomas Edison's Smith's Creek experience inspired him to study telegraphy and become an innovator in this high technology of the era.
While Thomas Edison is most well known for his work later in life, it was his formative years in Port Huron, Michigan which developed the future inventor and set him on the path towards world-wide fame. One would expect the young boy to have been a child prodigy, but just the opposite was true. In fact, unfavorable reports by teachers infuriated Tom's mother to the point she withdrew him from school and taught him at home herself. With today's obsession with labeling everything and everyone, the young Edison would probably have been called Hyperactive or Attention Deficient.
In fact, a long held myth speaks of Thomas Edison losing his hearing after being pulled from certain death from in front of a speeding train. Having spent considerable time around trains, it sounds plausible enough, but it is more likely his poor hearing which placed him in the dilemma in the first place. The inability to hear well, may also have had considerable influence on his ability to learn in a group atmosphere such as a classroom.
Some of Thomas' early endeavors included printing his own newspaper, which included
local news and advertisements for his fathers store, and selling them on the trains
running between Detroit, Mt.Clemens and Port Huron, Michigan.
Experiments in Chemistry, an early passion, took an unexpected turn when an accident destroyed the railcar in which he had set up shop. Carrying on the family tradition, he was forced to move both his lab and printing equipment to his home where he continued in the basement and where his errant pieces of type tumbled from his nimble fingers and lay for decades waiting to be rediscovered.
Thomas Alva Edison wordt bij ons vooral vereenzelvigd met de uitvinding van de gloeilamp en de fonograaf, maar in feite was hij de leider van een heus uitvindingsbedrijf met een productie die opliep tot 1093 grote en kleine uitvindingen, en staan vele tientallen patenten op zijn naam. Tussen 1868 en Edisons dood in 1931 ontdekte of vond hij uit:
In zijn tienerjaren ontdekte Thomas Edison enkele oude beduimelde Indiaanse documenten
in een doos in de openbare bibliotheek van Port Huron (Michigan, VS), waar hij woonde. Uit
deze documenten kon Edison afleiden dat er een zeer
creatieve Indiaanse stam bestaan had, de "Fluxus", die een lange lijst met
ideeën voor toekomstige uitvindingen hadden aangelegd. Zij hadden heel wat ongewone
Vele jaren later werkte Edison deze ideeën uit. Het verhaal gaat dat zelfs de gloeilamp door de Fluxus werd beschreven, zoals ook de kopieermachine, de platenspeler, de filmcamera en de projector, en zelfs televisie. Thomas A. Edison heeft ertoe bijgedragen dat deze ideeën in werkelijkheid werden omgezet.
Dit verhaal is misschien niet waar, maar wel mooi. Zo mooi zelfs dat we er een EDISON-versie naar hebben genoemd... EDISON FLUXUS 3 voor Windows.