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Omaha daily bee. (Omaha [Neb.]) 187?-1922, December 25, 1898, Image 13

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Stories of the Great Inventor as a Train Boy ,
W & ® < XiSS ) ® < ; ) G ) <
One day recently Thomas A. Edison was
I Bitting In tils little office on Mount Mus-
conctcory , where his Iron mine Is located.
Ho was talking to several business ocqualnt-
anccs and In tbu course of the conversation
one of the men present stated that he once
hail been a train boy ,
"Were you ? " Bald Mr. Edison , char
acteristically plunging Into this new subject.
"I was one , you know. What road did you
run on ? "
"Grand Trunk , out of Port Huron. "
"Did you ? Why , so did 1. Hut I wns be
fore your time. I say , do you lemomber the
peanut trick ? "
"Indeed 1 do. Wasm't It the very first
thing they taught tin beforu they tuniod ui
foofle ? Everybody knew that. Why It
doubled the output. I remember once I
didn't jam them tight enough and they fell
through just as I wan about to turn them
Into the pocket of a countryman. Oh ,
wasn't ho mad ! Wouldn't buy the nuts and
cautioned every one on the car against me.
Bnlii 1 was a sharper and routed things gen
erally. "
The peanut trick of the old tlruo train boy
was executed as follons : The tin measures
' * i , ( in1 " -o rnrr nnd r" * fnv
They tapered gradually , being slightly
mailer at the top than at the bottom. In
Ullii. , , . , , . .i us ] tiOLJlU | iudh 1.
any , whereupon he grabbed the basket out
of my hands and dumped the nuts and ap
ples out of the window. 'Here's > our bas
ket , ' ho said , handing It to me. For a
moment 1 was too surprised to speak. Then
I yelled at him In a way that made every
body Jump around. 1 did not eay any
thing 1 just yelled at him on genural
" 'What's the matter , boy ? ' he snld when
I stopped. Some of the passengers laughed ;
others were Indignant , and some wbo had
not seen his action simply looked nt me
In amaremcnt. One man turned around
and said : 'My stars , whera have they
gone ? ' I suppose ho meant the peanuts.
Chun 1 protested.
" 'Look here , boy , ' said the young man ,
how much were they worth ? '
"Oh , about a dollar , I guess , ' mid I.
"Ho turned to the n gro on the next seat.
'Nlcodumus , ' ho said , 'give this boy a del
lar. '
"Tho negro grinned and turning to the
be.x beside him ho opened It. It was really
full of money and valuables , lie took out a
dollar and gave It to me. I took It and
walked up the car. I was still surprised.
At the door I looked back at them , and
everybody laughed at me for some reason
all except the young men ; that Is , they
amused , half regretful smile at this vision
of his trnlnboy days.
Mure ! ncmiltft of Hxiirrlmciitu rrltli a
C < > in in ( i n Muliitnnuc.
One of the most apt Illustrations ever
made by Lord Kelvin was hU likening the
lumenlfcrous ether to a mass of shoemakers'
wax. What Lord Kelvin said of shoemakers'
wax may be tested by any boy In a manner
that will astonish his playmates. First let
I It be said that the ether penetrates all
space. It Is as rigid as steel and yet so
flexible that It does not retard the paseago
of planets through space In the least. It Is
an Invisible substance which travels In
waves through all things. Now to Illustrate
the nature of such a piradoxlcal material
Lord Kelvin searched everywhere , and at
last concluded that shoemakers' wax repre
sented It best. He made teats and this Is
what he found :
He melted some wax In a common gloss
tumbler. After It had haidened he tried
to thrust a lead pencil through It. It would
not go , Then he placed a coin on the sur
face of the wax , and left It for several days.
When he again visited It the coin had sunk
to the bottom of the class. The wax had
closed over It and by lifting up 'the glass
| and leaking through the bottom he could
i tice the coin lylnc there. Had the wax
been as deep as a well the coin would have
gone on sinking until It had reached the
bottom. This proved that the wax would
conform only to very slow movements. If
ho had tried to push It too fast It would
have resisted him.
An Idea struck the scientist. It the wax
acted i'lko this toward the coin , how would
rapldry through , the peanuts ID the open
basket. A few nuts would rattle Inside , but
almost Immediately a dozen or two would
jam or' wedge In the narrow mouth of the
measure. When lifted up , the measure
would appear to be full , and , as the trick
wouM bo performed In full view of the pur
chaser , the latter would suspect nothing and
allow the boy to dump the contents of the
half empty can Into his pockets , when , of
course , alt trace of the deception would be
Mr. Edison laughed heartily flt the re
membrance of the trick and with the In-
ccntlvo thus given , stories of train-boy life
flew back and forth. The two men , for the
time , became train boys again. They forgot -
got the triumphs and carea of their after
Ilvca and the rest of the company present
listened ellently and cnjoyably to the remi
niscences of the days when the greatest
Inventor In the world sold newspapers and
peanut * Some of the atorlce told by Edison
have been pubNshed , but the following one
lias never before Appeared In print.
The "Stlfflen. "
" Curloue bow these things come back
to you , " wld Mr. Edison. "I remember a
funny thing that occurred on one of the
\ old three-car trains. In my day , you
know , they used to run trains made up of
three coaches a baggage car , a smoking
car and what wo called the women's car.
The women's car waa always last In the
string. Well , one day I was carrying my
basket of nuts and apples through the
women's car I hadn't sold a thing eo far
when I 'noticed two young fellows sitting
near the rear end of the car. They were
dandles , what might be called dudce now ,
but we called them 'slimes' In those days.
They were young southerners up north on
a lark , as I found out afterward. Behind
them sat a negro valet , who had a large
Iron bound box bcsldo him on the scat.
Probably ho was an old family slave. HP
was dressed In as many colors as an
English flunky.
"Tho young men were complaining of the
dullness of things. They stopped when
they saw me. I came along wabbling my
basket from side to side as I asked each
passenger If he wanted to buy anything.
When I reached the southerners I asked
them If they wanted pome. 'No ! ' replied
the fellow nearest to me. 'Wo do not , and
furthermore wo are not going to have
Dr. Hilton's Specific -
cific No. 3 Ib the
fi r s t R c in e ily
ever offered to the Ir. ) Hilton's
public to Cure n
Cold , the Grip.
and it is the
ONLY remedy to
day that can do it.
It w.is first ( ulver-
ti.ed January ,
1891. Since then
over a million bottle
tle s have been
sold. What bet
ter testimonial ns
to the efficacy of
this renifdv could The Crip
we ha\e ? If } onr
druggist doesn't
ha\c itscmljocts. ami
in P. O. slumps or
money order to
receive a bottle by
return mail. Pnciimonin.
We have a fresh stock of Hilton a No. 3.
Order of us. KHUKMAN & M'CONNELL
UHUQ CO. , Omaha , Neb.
never even smiled during the whole per
"Well , I filled up my basket with prize
packages and came back through the train.
Nobody bought any of them. When 1
reached the southerner , however , he said ,
'Excuse me , sir , ' and grabbing the basket
again ho sent the prize packages after the
peanuts. Ho banded me my basket and sat
keck without a emlle , 'but everybody else
laughed again. I did not yell this tlme.j I
simply said , 'Look here , mister , do you
know how much those are worth ? '
" 'No , ' said he ; 'how much ? '
"Well , there were three dozen and four
at 10 cents for each one , not to mention
the prizes In some of them. '
" 'Oh , ' he said ; 'Nlcodemus , count up how
much the boy ought 'to have and give It to
him. '
"The negro opened hla box and gave me
$4 , and again I went away with the empty
basket , while the passengers laughed.
"Next I brought In some morning papers
and nobody bought these either. Somehow
the passengers had caught the spirit of the
thing , and as It cost them nothing they
apparently did not wish to deprive those
southerners of their fun. I was watchful
when I came to the young bloods this time
and I carried the papers so they could grab
thorn easily. Sure enough , the nearest one
throw them out of the window after the
other things. I sat on the edge of a seat
and laughed myself. 'Oh , you settle with
Nlcodemus , ' he said , and Nlcodernus settled
A Job Lot.
"Then I bad an idea. I went Into the
baggage car and got every paper I could
find. I had a lot of that day's stock and
over a hundred returns of the day before
which I was going to turn In at the end of
the run. The whole lot was BO heavy that
I eould just manage to carry It on my ehoul-
der. When I staggered Into the ladies' car
and called Taper ! ' In the usual drawling-
way the passengers fairly shrieked with
laughter. I thought the soutLjrner would
back down , but he never flinched. He just
grabbed those papers and hurled them out
of the window by the armful. Wo could sea
them flying behind the train like great white
birds you know wo had blanket sheets
then and they spread themselves out over
the landscape In a way that must have
startled the rural population of the district.
I got $10 for all my papers.
"That dandy was game. 'Look here , boy , '
he said , when the passengers had seen the
last of those papers float around a curve ;
'have you anything else on board ? '
" 'Nothing except the basket and my box , '
I replied.
" 'Well , bring In those , too.1 ,
"You remember the big three by four boxes
they used to give us to keep our goods In ?
Well , I put the basket In the box and turned
It over and over down the aisle of the carte
to where the fellow cat. He threw the
basket out of the window , but the box was
too big to go that way. So he ordered
Nlcodemus to throw It off the rear platform.
I charged him S3 for that box. When it
had gone be turned to me and said :
" 'How much money have you made to
day ? '
"I counted up over 125 Nlcodemus bad
given me.
" 'Now , ' he said , 'are you sure you have
nothing more to sell ? '
"I would have brought In the smoking car
itove If It had not been hot , nut I was com *
polled to say there was really nothing more.
" 'Very welt I * and then with a change In
his tone he turned to the negro and said :
'Nlcodemus , throw this boy out of the win
dow ! '
"The passengers shrieked with laughter ,
but I got out of that car pretty quick I can
tell you. That fellow was a thoroughbred
and I believe he would have done It , even
If hii ! nigger had refused , which was not
likely. "
And the face of the Inventor wore half
it treat an object which floated ? He accord
ingly placed a cork In tumbler and pourncd
hot shoemaker's wax upon It. The wax
hardened with the cork at the bottom. Yet
i when Lord Kelvin looked at the bottom of
the glass In a day or two he found the cork
had disappeared. It was somewhere In the
mass of wax , and probably rising very slowly
but surely toward the top. Sure enough ,
after a given perioa of time the cork peeped
above the surface of the hard wax and finally
it rose to a point where It remained half
i Imbedded In the wax , Just as It would have
I done In a glass of water. It rose no higher
than this , however , and , corkscrew prob
ably would not have pulled It from the wax.
I Yet Its own buoyancy had raised It up from
the bottom , through what eeeraed an Im
penetrable mass of wax.
I This , In fact , Is the peculiarity of shoe
maker's wax , that It resists all sudden or
quick movements , but Is highly susceptible
to very slow and prolonged pressure. If you
pressed a flatlron hard down on a lump of
wax on a table It is probable you wouM
make no Impression on It , but If you left
that Iron resting on the wax for a < lay or
two , you would find the lump flattened out
under the Iron. So curious Is this property
of the wax that tuning forks have been cast
from pieces of It. These forks were capable
of vibration , giving a musical note and be
ing set going by vibration from another
tuning fork , yet when one of them was laid
acrors the open mouth of a Jar It slowly col
lapsed and fell Into the Jar In a shapeless ,
. sticky mass. Any boy may perform these
j experiments and the Iteson In physics to be
got therefrom Is no less valuable than the
amusement which the performance affords.
By C. H. S.
Santa Claus down the chimney has coma
He a filled our stocking , and gone off
Where IP his home , say , can you tell ?
1 vo often wondered , I'm afraid Its a sell.
Jsot c-e-l-l where bad men stay.
But a Joke , that lives In a good fashioned
Howe'er It may be , I believe just the same
As the first time , to me. he lovingly came.
Call him a myth , whatever you will ,
To me , tho' In years , he's Santa Claus still.
I wouldn't banish him , for any staid
preacher ,
Who essays to bo the world's only teacher.
I'd teach my children to wait for the tread
Of hlo relnde r , hitched to hla well laden
Others , the Devil may prefer to obtrude ,
nut my happy spirit repels such a mood.
Our fathers and mothers were better than
Who'd shatter these pleasures of a bye-
gone day.
I'd burn n philosophy , and plead no cause.
That would leave this world without Santa
Clans. ,
When 1 pet so old. and I get so wise ,
Let the Goad Lord take me right off to the
Hkle ? .
For Id rather be dead than murder the Joys
That Santa Claus brings to our dear girls
and boys.
A Slniplr Yet Hrlrntlflc Amuartncnt
That Kvrryone Can Try.
A common pin Is not generally regarded
as a musical Instrument , yet anybody with
a bit of common , soft deal board an Inch
thick , a few score of pins and a fair stock
of patience can get an amount of music
out of these materials that Is simply aston-
All that you have to do Is to first select
the tune that the Instrument Is to play ,
and get It thoroughly fixed In your brain.
Then drive a pin Into the beard and keep
trying It with the finger nail till It sounds
lllio the first note. Drive another for the
next note , and so on. The further a pin
Is driven In the higher the note It produces ,
and , of course , for the low notes the pins
eland out higher.
To regulate the length of a note , one
must regulate the distance of too pins apart ;
set them closely for quick music and wider
apart for slow. The tune should be set up
In a straight line , and played by running
an Ivory toothpick or a long bonnet pin
along tba line. There la no end of fun
getting the thing , started , and the music
always proves surprise and delight.
IMIATTM : OF TIIK vouNosmns.
Little Mildred Say , Tommy , do you
know what a category Is ?
Little Tommy Course ! It's the place
where the cats goes to when they die.
Fond Grandmamma Gcordle , tell the lady
what Oeorgo Washington never did.
Gcordle He never said a blamed word.
"My doll can shut her eyes and go to
sleep Just lovely. "
"Huh ! My doll never goes to sleep at all ;
she's got Inaomnlcr. "
Discerning Child ( who has heard some re
marks by hla father ) Are you our new
nurse ?
, Nurse Yes , dear.
I Child Well , then , I am one of those boys
who can only be managed by kindness , so
you had better get some sponge cake and
candy at once ,
I '
The Philadelphia Record tells of a teacher
who had just finished explaining the use of
the ditto marks , when she noticed one of her ,
young searchers for knowledge searching for j
It In a half-dime novel. So she made him
stay nfter school and told him to write the
sentence "Always pay attention" a hundred
times. In a very short tlinc ho gave a glad
about :
"I've did 111"
"What kind of langugage Is that ? " sh
remarked ( severely ; "ana you surely haven't
had time to do It. "
"Well , I'm done It , then anyhow , here
It is. "
He held up his paper. The sentence was
written once at the top and the remaining
surface was covered with dots.
"Hut you haven't done It ! " she exclaimed.
He gazed at her scornfully.
" 'Course I have them'a ditto marks
made 'era ninety-nine times they're good
things. "
What else was there to do but to let him
go at once , which che did ?
Could not express the raptuie of Annie E.
Springer of 11J5 ! Howard street , Philadelphia ,
Pa. , when she found that Ur. King's Now
Discovery for Consumption had completely
cured her of a hacking cough that for many
years had made llfo a burden. All other
remedies and doctors could give her no help ,
but she says of this Iloyal Cure : "It soon
removed the pain In my chest and 1 can
now sleep soundly , something I can scarcely
remember doing before. I feel like sounding
Us praises throughout the universe. " So will
every one who tries Dr. King's New Dis
covery for any trouble of the Throat , Chester
or Lungs. Price bOc and $1.00. Trial bottles
free nt Kuhn & Co.'s drug store ; every
bottle guaranteed.
"That lawyer Is such a great friend of
yours , " said one business man to another ,
"that 1 presume he charged you only a
nominal fee ? "
"Yes , oh , yea. Phenomenal ; bigger than
the Infernal verdict
"Hold up your hands ! "
At this startling command every one of
the six or eight stalwart men , taken by sur
prise , mechanically compiled.
Then the voice waa heard again , droning
out these words :
"You and each of you do solemnly awear
that the evidence you shall give In the case
now In bearing shall be the truth , the whole
truth , " etc.
She So you have decided to be a lawyer
and are enthusiastic at the prospect. They
say that love of a profession and love of a
woman conflict.
He Not necessarily. In love and law
there Is a difference , but not a vital one.
It goes to form rather than substance. In
love the attachment precedes the declara
tion , while In taw the declaration comes
before the attachment. In your case , for
Instance. I have long held the attachment.
I now file the declaration.
A justice of the peace In Texas , on the
fourth trial of a petty but tenaciously fought
case in which no appeal could be had , al
lowed the witnesses on cross-examination to
suit themselves about answering questions.
A witness would say , "I won't answer no
such g d fool questions as that , " and
the Justice , with similar emphasis , would
nay , "That's right. " There was a fight be
tween the attorneys because one of them
tried to stem the rushing , roaring tide of
the other' * eloquence to the jury by calling
him a liar. These amenities were appar
ently regarded as proper incidents of the
trial , but on complaint made against the
orator for "using loud and vociferous lan
guage In a public place , to-wlt , the court
house , " ho wen convicted by the justice and
fined $15. The justice seems to have a new
version of Dr. Watts , which says : "Let
lawyers delight to scrap and fight , for 'tis
their nature to ; but to yell like fury when
addressing the Jury , only Imps of satan
will do. "
Not long since the notice , "Court Ad
journed Sine Die , " was posted on the door
of the suprem court In Brooklyn nm
gentleman with an artistic and highly
trained sense of humor added a "d" to the
word "die" and went on his war rejoicing.
Next day a person who makes a practice ot
haunting the public buildings in Brooklyn
and professes acquaintance with every well
known man In the vicinity , dropped Into the
clerk's office.
"See here , " he said , "when did Sln paai
In his checks ? "
"What's that ? " demanded the astonished
"When did Sine die ? I see the courts are
closed on account of It , "
"Oh , " said the clerk , pulling himself to
gether , "he died yesterday. Did you know
him ? "
"Know him ? I should say I did. Knew
his father before him. Too bad , ain't It ? "
And Sine's bereaved friend passed out
with his burden of sorrow.
"CABCAttCTS rio nil ctataed fbr Una
Dd r atrulr wonderful oedlclnt. ItWTtofMn
wlibjd for nnt1lclne pleut4i > tlo take and at lut
h T fouDdltlnC so ret - -
nt. PaUublt. Ptwat , Tut Good.
ertr Sicken. Wn&ea. or Grl.10cUc.e (
uj , CH K . i.ittwl. tw T rt. Itt
soldtnd rnirRnteed ty all draz-
' < 'KJJ ' Tobacco H * IT
rrvvm % m % mjna M ir % m4xrvm/my % k/m/4rm mrm h.Ti
w The Bee has secured for publication in its Sunday issues a noteworthy and in
teresting series of articles dealing with the dominating American idea of success. It
provides a most attractive adaptation of this idea in the form of
who have worked their way to the top by their own exertions men whose names are
familiar to newspaper readers everywhere as the heads of.great businesses , as leaders
in the professions , or as masters and makers of great fortunes.
These life stories of prominent men are
.Each one presents in his own language his own opinions as to the influences ,
circumstances or events which have led to his success. The realities of life are
clothed with as deep an interest as the most stirring recitals of Action in these ac
counts of the turning points in great careers.
Among those who will contribute to this series are the following :
4 > x < 5 > xJ $ > xj > ' | 'vxj > > < jK8xj > < S > < j > Kx < jxj j > < jK § J > > 3xS > < j > < S > < < $ * S > < 3 > < § > 'S
Andrew Carnegie
The Scotch bobbin boy , tells in his own words of his early struggle for a
livelihood ; how he earned his first money , what was his first investment , and
I how he climbed the first rugged rounds of the ladder of success , which has led
| him to the head of one of the largest manufacturing concerns in the world.
* $ & & & & $ > 3 > < § > & $3 > $ > &S < <
Senator Thomas C. Platt
Kelates a highly interesting story under the title "How I Came to Go
Into Politics" in which he speaks from ripe experience.
Jacob Gould Schurman
The President of Cornell , gives the story of his advancement from the
place of grocer's boy in an obscure Nova Scotia town to the head of one of the
greatest universities in the country.
Stuart Robson
The veteran actor , who learned his profession in company with Forrest
and Booth , recalls the happy inspiration which saved him from discharge in
an early engagement and started him on his successful stage career.
3 > < 5S > < S > < S' < S > 3 > 3 > < 3 > ' $ >
Thomas A. Edison
Tells how he earned the first large sum of money that he possessed by a
remarkable sale of papers on a train running out of Detroit. The manner in
which he did it made him resolve to become a telegraph operator , and so < |
started him on his wonderful career of invention. < |
> w
Frank Thomson
President of the Pennsylvania railroad , tells the Btory of his rise from the
machine shops of the road to the president's office.
Dr. Lewis A. Sayre
Ex-President of the American Medical Association , tells how his success
dates from a difficult operation performed in a new way in an emergency case.
John Claflin
The head of the house of Claflin & Co. , the largest dry goods merchants f
| in the world , relates the romantic story of his first success and founding of his f
; ; house as a rival to A. T. Stewart , then the great merchant prince of America , y
* t *
This series will be extended by the addition of other equally notable names.
Each article will be accompanied by the most r ecent and accurate portrait of the
person who forms its subject.
Read It. Subscribe for It.

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