Thursday, February 10, 2011

A Tribute to Thomas Alva Edison

Today we remember Edison who of course does not celebrate his birthday but the world does. He was born on February 11, 1847 and thus it is 164th birthday. He had only 3 months formal education but rose up to a level that the history of science remembers. He had 1093 US patents besides many in UK, France and Germany. He started as a Newspaper boy. Who would have thought of hiring an old train coach to carry out scientific experiments at that age other than Edison? From there he rose up to become an entrepreneur who had many companies too including the present General Electricals. He is really qualified to be called an innovator because he knew how his inventions could be made into money. His invention of electric bulb, phonograph and kinetograph which is the forerunner of cinema are well known. However, he had laid his hands on many more such as fluorography, electric railway, etc. The interesting work in biology is he tried extraction of rubber from herbs and other small plants which yielded smaller amount of rubber. He has a patent on this too. though he did not succeed in finding a better substitute for rubber, his work did give an idea for people where not to look. After all he once said "If I find 10,000 ways something won't work, I haven't failed. I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is another step forward. Just because something doesn't do what you planned it to do doesn't mean it's useless".

I had got inspiration from many scientists life in my childhood and Edison was one of them. I advise the youngsters who aspire to become an inventor should also know "Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration" as Edison put it.

He has lighted up many people's life whether they knew him or not. Life is all about achieving and however small one's contribution is, if it makes some one happy and better placed in life, it is our happy moment. Let us all get inspiration from his life and achievements.

Dr.T.Charles John Bhaskar
Scientist & Social Activist

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