Old News – Edison

More news from the past.

THE FAIRPORT HERALD, Wed., February 19, 1914


Ten Ounces of Food Fill Him For Fifteen Hour Work Day.


97n/36/huty/8100/23Thomas A. Edison, beginning his sixty-eighth year brimful of health and vigor, says that people eat too much and that’s why they are always getting sick and worked out. In the course of an interesting interview the wizard of electricity said::

“I started it years ago to feed myself about ten ounces of food daily. I eat everything I like, but I don’t eat much of any one thing. I persuaded Mrs. Edison that I had the right idea and after some argument she tried it and has kept right on.”

“How hard do you work now, Mr. Edison?” was asked by a reporter, and speaking close to the investigator’s right ear, for the man who produced the phonograph and perfected the telephone and who has solved wonderful problems in sound delicacy has been hard of hearing since boyhood when a Grand Trunk conductor boxed his ears for uncorking a bottle of phosphorus.

“Oh, I don’t work hard any more,” he said, with a chuckle. “I start in about 8:30 a. m. and keep at it until 12.”

“Twelve, noon?”

“No; 12 midnight. You see, Mrs. Edison objected to my grinding, so she cut down my work hours. But I’ve got her pretty well trained now. Got her so she needs only five or six hours of sleep a day and nine to ten ounces of food. I get up about 6 usually and find something to play with until 12 or 1 o’clock. A young fellow like me with a lot of ideas in his head only needs five hours of sleep.

“Is it a fair question, Mr Edison, continued the reporter, “to ask what your income is from phonographs, the movies, storage batteries, incandescent lights, telephones and the many other inventions patented and commercialized?”

“Why, I’d tell you in a minute if I knew exactly myself but I don’t. The only way for me to get rich is to die. I make a whole lot of money, but I save only what would be a salary for a railroad president.”

“A good railroad president?”

“Well, yes, a pretty good one. Money always had a habit of getting away from me, because I’m always experimenting, and that costs a heap. In my laboratory, where I sort of play with science and keep the toys I love best, I spend $200,000 a year. That’s what my experimenting cost me. I’ve always been that way. When I sold to the Western Union the inventions I had got up for them, that years ago, they gave me $100,00. But I knew I was a goner if I took all that money at once, so I made the agreement read that I was to get it in seventeen installments. They lasted over seventeen years, and I kept feeding em into the mill.”

“Have you any special word to say to the United Sates?” Mr Edison was asked.

“I should like to say,” he replied. “that I hope the government will be slow about going into Mexico. We are big enough to stand a little humiliation, maybe, for humanity’s sake. Let them fight it out down there, I say. That will be the best thing in the end.”

“I truly believe the world is leaning more towards peace.”

One Comment

  1. Edison’s quote about “peace” at the end of the article is particularly ironic in that the world was again at war within six months of this interview.

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