Thursday, January 21, 2010


Contrary to popular belief, Thomas Edison was not born into poverty in a backwater mid-western town. Actually, he was born -on Feb. 11, 1847 - to middle-class parents in the bustling port of Milan, Ohio, a community that - next to Odessa, Russia - was the largest wheat shipping center in the world. In 1854, his family moved to the vibrant city of Port Huron, Michigan, which ultimately surpassed the commercial preeminence of both Milan and Odessa....

Edison as a childAt age seven - after spending 12 weeks in a noisy one-room schoolhouse with 38 other students of ll ages - Tom's overworked and short tempered teacher finally lost his patience with the child's persistent questioning and seemingly self centered behavior. Noting that Tom's forehead was unusually broad and his head was considerably larger than average, he made no secret of his belief that the hyperactive youngster's brains were "addled" or scrambled.

If modern psychology had existed back then, Tom would have probably been deemed a victim of ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) and proscribed a hefty dose of the "miracle drug" Ritalin. Instead, when his beloved mother - whom he recalled "was the making of me... [because] she was always so true and so sure of me... And always made me feel I had someone to live for and must not disappoint." - became aware of the situation, she promptly withdrew him from school and began to "home-teach" him. Not surprisingly, she was convinced her son's slightly unusual demeanor and physical appearance were merely outward signs of his remarkable intelligence.


Heidi said...

He was born one day too I knew he was one of the famous Ohioans. Is he childhood home a museum? We went to his house in Florida when you lived up the road from him. :-)

Love and hugs ~

angelasweby said...

I think you are ready to write the definitive guide to Ohio. Your tour of this beautiful place is better than any guide book. It's related by someone who truly loves the place. I have enjoyed finding out about it so much :>)
Warm hugs Angela xx

Beatrice said...

woohoo Nancy it worked I can comment...It picks and choose and it chose
Very interesting all that should write a book...hmmmm touring Ohio..maybe I'll have to come and visit that wonderful state...
Have a good day!

Carolien said...

This was an interesting story, Nancy! Thanks for sharing.

Hugs, Carolien

Linda said...

I'm enjoying learning more about your state and the famous people, someday I'd love to actually visit there.

I think his mom was ahead of the times recognizing his genius and being his inspiration to succeed...hugs, Linda