Thomas Alva Edison, a very famous inventor who lived during the 19th and 20th centuries, invented the incandescent light bulb, the phonograph, and over a thousand other devices. He was always thinking of new ways to do things. Perhaps his only invention that wasn't an "improvement" of another device was the phonograph. Many of his devices paved the way for current technology, while others, although interesting, had no market for general use. He was one of the smartest, most inventive, productive, and persevering people in history. (Thomas Alva Edison Biography).
The first characteristic that is admirable is that Thomas Edison was very intelligent despite having only three months of formal education (Edison, Thomas Alva). At birth, he had an abnormally large head and was said to be very curious about things, even as a baby (Cousins 3). When he was twelve years old, his schoolteacher told his parents that he wasn't very smart and couldn't learn, so his mother began to home-school him. Years before that, Edison's mother had taught him to read (Thomas Alva Edison Biography). .
One of his main sources of learning came from reading. He came to love reading, particularly science books, but he would read anything he could find. Since he loved to learn, he always carried a book in his pocket (Cousins 22). .
Another main source for learning came from his lab experiments. Later in his childhood, he built a lab to do science experiments, first in his basement, then on the baggage car of the train he worked on (Edison, Thomas Alva). He liked his experiments because he enjoyed finding things out for himself and tinkering with different things to find how they worked. Over time he also came to know how to make money through selling, first papers and food and later inventions (Thomas Alva Edison Biography).
Besides his lack of formal schooling, Edison also had to rise above another kind of disadvantage-by adulthood he was almost deaf.