중앙데일리

The Final Years of Edison

Mar 14,2000
Thomas Edison(1847-1931) is famous for inventing the phonograph, light bulb, the projector and 1,300 other inventions, viewed life through his quote, "The body's sole duty is to carry the brain."
Edison had absolutely no interest in sports, but Edison's greatest mistake was to overlook the marketability of radio broadcasts and record players owing to his excessive attachment to his phonogragh company.
This attachment left Edison a great inventor, but a poor businessman. Edison insisted that "people will soon get tired of radio that sends out music and will wish to hear their favorite music through phongraphs."
Edison's three sons, who failed to convince their father of their belief in the record player, went on to manufacture an electric record player on their own, which enraged Edison.
However, during his late 70s Edison came to his senses and set out to manufacuture a radio after listening to other people's advice. The radio factory was closed down two years after openning after recording a loss of $200,000.
After all, it was Edison who was too late to join the race.
When he reached 80, Edison this time started to show great interest in manufacturing rubber. Edison proudly predicted that "United States will export rubber within five years."
Neverthless Edison's new rubber was a lot more complicated to produce than raw rubber, and most of all, its quality was bad beyond belief.
Edison finally finished inventing when he passed away on October 18, 1939 at the age of 84.
The Children's Grand Park is holding "Edison Science Inventions-2000 Seoul Exhibition", starting in early March and will run until late August.
It is not a bad idea to visit the exhibition with your children and savor Edison's inventions and learn how they affected the whole world.
One may also think about the irony of a man who once had inventions ahead of his time but ironically fell behind in business.






by Ro Jae-hyun




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