After G—— began earning money for himself by mechanical and electrical work, he would go without luxuries, food and clothing, tramping to the shop almost barefoot one entire winter, for the sake of buying tools and equipment to carry on his mechanical experiments. It is not surprising, therefore, that he left school at an early age to engage in actual work in railroad shops. He afterward secured a position as a locomotive fireman. Circumstances arose which made it necessary for him to give up railroading. He secured a position as fireman on a stationary engine.
It was while he was engaged in this kind of work that the suggestion was made to him that he ought not to try to go through life with only the rudiments of an education. It was pointed out that, while he had undoubted mechanical and inventive ability, he would have small opportunity to use it unless he also had the necessary technical and scientific knowledge to go with it. At first his interest in mechanics was so intense and his interest in school in general so comparatively slight, that he did not look with very much favor upon the suggestion. However, as time went on and he saw more and more of the results of such action as he was contemplating, he became more and more interested in completing his education. He therefore entered a good preparatory school and, with some little assistance from relatives, worked his way through by doing electrical and mechanical work about the little college town. In this kind of work he soon became well known and was in constant requisition. Occasionally his ingenuity and resourcefulness enabled him to do successfully work which had puzzled and baffled even those who were called experts. Having finished his preparatory course, he began a course in mechanical and electrical engineering in one of the best known of our universities. About this time practically all assistance from relatives had been withdrawn, owing to changed circumstances, and he was left almost entirely dependent upon his own efforts. The story of his struggles would fill a volume. Oftentimes he was almost entirely without food. There was one month during which he was unable to collect money due him for work done. Because he was a poor university student he had no credit. So he lived the entire month on $1.25. He thus explains how it was done: