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Radio Boys Cronies eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 104 pages of information about Radio Boys Cronies.

“But, to save his own time, Edison had to hire a bookkeeper whose inefficiency made him regret for a while the change in his way of doing business.  He tells of one of his experiences with this accountant: 

“’After the first three months I told him to go through his books and see how much we had made.

“Three thousand dollars!” he told me after studying a while.  So, to celebrate this, I gave a dinner to several of the staff.

“’Two days after that he came to tell me he had made a big mistake, for we had lost five hundred dollars.  Several days later he came round again and tried to prove to me that we had made seven thousand dollars in the three months!’

“This was so disconcerting that the inventor decided to change bookkeepers, but he never ’counted his chickens before they were hatched.’  In other words, he did not believe that he had made anything till he had paid all his bills and had his money safe in the bank.

“Mr. Edison once made the remark that when Jay Gould got possession of the Western Union Telegraph Company, no further progress in telegraphy was possible, because Gould took no pride in building up.  All he cared for was money, only money.

“The opposite was true of Edison.  While he had decided to invent only that which was of commercial value, it was not on account of the money but because that which millions of people will buy is of the greatest value to the world.

“After he stopped telegraphing, Edison turned his mind to many inventions.  It is not generally known that the first successful, widely sold typewriter was perfected by him.

“This typewriter proved a difficult thing to make commercial.  The alignment of the letters was very bad.  One letter would be one-sixteenth of an inch above the others, and all the letters wanted to wander out of line.  He worked on it till the machine gave fair results.  The typewriter he got into commercial shape is now known as the Remington.

“It is not hard to understand that Mr. Edison invented the American District Messenger call-box system, which has been superseded by the telephone, but very few people know when they are eating caramels and other sticky confectionery that wax or paraffin paper was invented by Edison.  Also the tasimeter, an instrument so delicate that it measures the heat of the most distant star, Arcturus.  One of the few vacations Mr. Edison allowed himself was when he traveled to the Rocky Mountains to witness a total eclipse of the sun and experiment on certain stars with his tasimeter, and this very clearly shows that Mr. Edison is as much interested in the advancement of science as in matters purely commercial.”

CHAPTER XXV

THE GENIUS OF THE AGE

“I want to tell you something more about the personal side of this great man,” continued the voice from the horn.

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