Thomas Edison (1847 – 1931) was one of the world’s greatest inventors. As a child he showed great curiosity and imagination so much so that his teachers complained that he was continually asking questions. At the age of ten he ran his own vegetable stall so that he could make money to buy chemicals for his chemistry experiments.
When he was 12 he sold fruit and magazines to commuters on a train and then set up a printing press in the train to print up to date information for travellers. Unfortunately one of his bottles of chemicals broke and set fire to the carriage. The boy was fired. He learnt Morse code and telegraphy.
He worked in various telegraph offices before going to New York penniless and friendless. But he had a stroke of luck. He went into a telegraph company just as the telegraph stopped working. He was the only one there who could fix it and the boss was so pleased that he gave Edison a job. He then designed a stock ticker for relaying information about share prices. He sold the design for a large sum and decided to go into invention full time.