Character in Real Life - One-Minute Testimonials

Initiative – A One-Minute Testimonial Announcement

Faith Committee, Character Council of Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky


Contributed from Encyclopedia of 15,000 Illustrations


Thomas Edison (1847-1931) did not give up when his first efforts failed in finding an effective filament for the carbon incandescent lamp. He did countless experiments with countless kinds of materials. As each failed, he would toss it out the window. The pile reached to the second story of his house. Then he sent men to China, Japan, South America, Asia, Jamaica, Ceylon and Burma in search of fibers and grasses to be tested in his laboratory.

One weary day on October 21, 1879-after 13 months of repeated failures-he succeeded in his search for a filament that would stand the stress of electric current. This was how it happened:

Casually picking up a bit of lampblack, he mixed it with tar and rolled it into a thin thread. Then the thought occurred: Why not try a carbonized cotton fiber? For 5 hours he worked, but it broke before he could remove the mold. Two spools of thread were used up. At last a perfect strand emerged-only to be ruined when trying to place it in a glass tube. Edison refused to admit defeat. He continued without sleep for two days and nights. Finally, he managed to slip one of the carbonized threads into a vacuum-sealed bulb. And he turned on the current. “The sight we had so long desired to see finally met our eyes.”

His initiative and persistence amidst such discouraging odds has given the world the wonderful electric light!

[Adapted with permission from Encyclopedia of 15,000 Illustrations, by Paul Lee Tan, Bible Communications, Inc., Dallas, TX, 1998, #9262]



This material is published by the Faith Committee of the Character Council of Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. Reproduction and Adaptation is encouraged.