It is not enough to read motivational quotes from a genius such as Thomas Edison, but equally important to read his history. We have therefore provided brief history of Thomas Edison for you to know he is not an angel, but a man like you who had his challenges, and could stand tall in the midst of what life offered him. 

History of Thomas Edison

Thomas Edison was born in February 11, 1847 and died in October 18, 1931. Edison was the seventh and last child of Samuel Ogden Edison Jr. and Nancy Matthews Elliott.

Edison attended school for only a few months. He was taught reading, writing, and arithmetic by his mother who used to be a school teacher.

He developed hearing problems at the age of 12. Edison believed his hearing loss allowed him to avoid distraction and concentrate more easily on his work as he got older. 




Despite challenges, Thomas Edison was an American inventor and businessman who has been described as America’s greatest inventor. In addition, Edison developed many devices in fields such as electric power generation, mass communication, sound recording, and motion pictures.

“He was one of the first inventors to apply the principles of organized science and teamwork to the process of invention, working with many researchers and employees. He established the first industrial research laboratory.” (Source)

According to the Edison Innovation Foundation, (As cited by Inc.), he operated on four simple principles, taught to him by his loving mother:

  1. Never get discouraged if you fail. Learn from it. Keep trying.
  2. Learn with both your head and hands.
  3. Not everything of value in life comes from books- experience the world.
  4. Never stop learning. Read the entire panorama of literature. 

Read the history and motivational quotes from other geniuses such as;

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Awards won by Thomas Edison (1887-2011)

1887, Matteucci Medal.

1889, The Philadelphia City Council named Edison the recipient of the John Scott Medal

1899, Edward Longstreth Medal of The Franklin Institute.

1904, named an Honorable Consulting Engineer at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition World’s fair.

1908, American Association of Engineering Societies John Fritz Medal.

1915, Franklin Medal of The Franklin Institute for discoveries contributing to the foundation of industries and the well-being of the human race.

1920, Navy Distinguished Service Medal by the United State Navy department

1923, the American Institute of Electrical Engineers created the Edison Medal and he was its first recipient.

1928, Congressional Gold Medal.

1983, the United States Congress, pursuant to Senate Joint Resolution 140 (Public Law 97–198), designated February 11, Edison’s birthday, as National Inventor’s Day.

2008, inducted in the New Jersey Hall of Fame.

2010, honored with a Technical Grammy Award.

2011, inducted into the Entrepreneur Walk of Fame and named a Great Floridian by the governor and cabinet of Florida.




 Thomas Edison Quotes

“Restlessness is discontent and discontent is the first necessity of progress. Show me a thoroughly satisfied man and I will show you a failure.”

“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”

“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.”

“Fools call wise men fools. A wise man never calls any man a fool.”​

Motivational Quotes“Being busy does not always mean real work. The object of all work is production or accomplishment and to either of these ends there must be forethought, system, planning, intelligence and honest purpose, as well as perspiration.”

“Nearly every man who develops an idea works it up to the point where it looks impossible, and then he gets discouraged. That’s not the place to become discouraged.”

“Anything that won’t sell, I don’t want to invent. Its sale is proof of utility, and utility is success.”

“A genius is often merely a talented person who has done all of his or her homework.”

“I do not believe in God of the theologians; but that there is a supreme intelligence I do not doubt.”

Thomas Edison Motivational Quotes“Your worth consists in what you are and not in what you have.”

“I never did anything by accident, nor did any of my inventions come by accident; they came by work.”

“When I have finally decided that a result is worth getting, I go ahead on it and make trial after trial until it comes.”

“I will not say I failed 1000 times, I will say that I discovered there are 1000 ways that can cause failure.”

“My main purpose in life is to make enough money to create ever more inventions…. The dove is my emblem…. I want to save and advance human life, not destroy it…. I am proud of the fact that I have never invented weapons to kill….”




History of Thomas Edison“I’d put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don’t have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that. I wish I had more years left.”

“To have a great idea, have a lot of them.”

“To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk.”

“There is no substitute for hard work.”

“Hell, there are no rules here – we’re trying to accomplish something.”

Quotes from Thomas Edison“Many of life’s failure are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”

“I have more respect for the fellow with a single idea who gets there than for the fellow with a thousand ideas who does nothing.”

“I have friends in overalls whose friendship I would not swap for the favor of the kings of the world.”

“Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety nine percent perspiration”

“Everything comes to him who hustles while he waits.”

Motivational Quotes“The man who doesn’t make up his mind to cultivate the habit of thinking misses the greatest pleasure in life.”


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