Sunday, January 13, 2013

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Great Value in Disaster

Thomas Edison's laboratory was virtually
destroyed by fire in December 1914.
Although the damage exceeded $2 million,
the buildings were only insured for $238,000
because they were made of concrete and
thought to be fireproof. Much of Edison's
life's work went up in spectacular flames that
December night.
At the height of the fire, Edison's 24-year-
old son, Charles, frantically searched for his
father among the smoke and debris. He final-
ly found him, calmly watching the scene, his
face glowing in the reflection, his white hair
blowing in the wind.
"My heart ached for him," said Charles.
"He was 67-no longer a young man-and
everything was going up in flames. When he
saw me, he shouted, 'Charles, where's your
mother?' When I told him I didn't know, he
said, 'Find her. Bring her here. She will never
see anything like this as long as she lives.'"
The next morning, Edison looked at the
ruins and said, "There is great value in dis-
aster. All our mistakes are burned up. Thank
God we can start a new." Three weeks after
the fire Edison managed to deliver his first

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