Thomas Alva Edison is one of the best-known inventors in history. He was the youngest of the seven children of his parents, and everyone called him 'Al'. Young Al was a weak and fragile child with an unusually large head. For some years he was not allowed to go to school because of poor health.
Al was poor at studies. Once a teacher said in front of his mother that he was 'addled'. His mother was a teacher herself. She decided to withdraw Al from school and educate him at home. As a boy, Edison's curiosity and daring led him into unusual adventures. At the age of six he went missing one day. After an anxious search his father found him sitting in a nest he had made in a barn. The nest was filled with goose-eggs and hen's eggs he had collected. Edison had noted the way a goose hatched her eggs by sitting on them, and he wanted to try it out himself!
Though Edison did not attend school regularly, he used to read every book in his reach. His parents were educated and refined people with a good library at home. He read voraciously, mostly books on history and science. He even tried reading scientific books that were beyond the grasp of a child.
In the cellar of his home, Edison set up a small laboratory when he was ten year old. Every time he read about an experiment in a science book, he would try it in his laboratory, He had collected around two hundred bottles of chemicals and arranged them carefully on shelves of his cellar lab. All of them were labelled 'Poison', so that no one else would handle or disturb them.
The experiments consumed the boy's pocket money rapidly. Soon he started working as a newsboy, though his parents objected to this.
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