Coming back from the university after having finished his course, T. found a position as engineer in an electric light and power plant. Then he began saving up money to purchase the necessary equipment for a laboratory of his own. Finally, he had a little building and was one of the proudest young men we ever saw. Little by little, he added to his apparatus the things he needed. Several nights a week, after his hard day’s work in the engine room, he toiled, trying to solve the problem upon which he had fixed his mind. About this time he married, and he and his wife moved into a narrow little flat. Years passed, children came into the little flat, and still he worked at his problem. Again and again, and still again, he failed. Yet, each time he failed, he told us he was coming closer to the solution. At last came the day, after many heart-breaking experiences, when the problem, while not fully solved, had at least revealed a solution which was commercially valuable.
His years of self-denial and toil seemed to be about to end in success. But he found that he had only begun another long period of discouraging and almost desperate work. It was a struggle to scrape together the necessary funds for securing a patent. If he was to complete and perfect his invention, he must have more capital. So, with his model, he made the rounds of manufacturers of engines, manufacturers who used engines, railroads, steamboat companies, electric light and power companies; in fact, everywhere he thought he might get some encouragement and financial assistance. His little family was living on short rations. He himself had not eaten as he ought for years. One after another, the men in authority said: “Yes, your proposition looks good, but I don’t think it can ever be made practical. Some of the brightest men in the engineering profession have spent years trying to solve that problem, and have not found the answer to it. I do not believe that it will ever be found. You seem to have come near it, but yet you have not found it, and we cannot see our way clear to put any money into it.”
T. argued, pleaded, and demanded an opportunity for a demonstration, but all in vain. Then, one day, a lawyer, who had been consulted by T., said: “I have no money to invest in anything myself, but I’ll tell you frankly and honestly, it looks good to me. Now, I happen to be on very good terms with Mr. J. over at the T. & B. Company. He has been interested in this problem for years and has worked along toward its solution. He understands every phase of it, and I believe he will do something with your device. Unless I am mistaken, he will be interested in it, and will give you an opportunity to demonstrate it. If your demonstration works out as well as you think it will, he has the authority