The Golden Ass
The Metamorphoses of Apuleius, which Augustine of Hippo referred to as The Golden Ass, is the only ancient Roman novel in Latin to survive in its entirety. The protagonist of the novel is called Lucius. At the end of the novel, he is revealed to be from Madaurus, the hometown of Apuleius himself; the plot revolves around the protagonist's curiosity and insatiable desire to see and practice magic. While trying to perform a spell to transform into a bird, he is accidentally transformed into an ass; this leads to a long journey and metaphorical, filled with inset tales. He finds salvation through the intervention of the goddess Isis, whose cult he joins; the date of composition of the Metamorphoses is uncertain. It has variously been considered by scholars as a youthful work preceding Apuleius' Apology of 158/9 AD, or as the climax of his literary career and as late as the 170s or 180s. Apuleius adapted the story from a Greek original of which the author's name is said to be Lucius of Patrae; this Greek text has been lost, but there is Λούκιος ἢ ὄνος, a similar tale of disputed authorship, traditionally attributed to Lucian of Samosata, a contemporary of Apuleius.
This surviving Greek text appears to be an epitome of "Lucius of Patrae's" text. The original lost story was written by Lucian and the abridged version was transmitted under his name. Book One The prologue establishes an audience and a speaker, who defines himself by location and occupation; the narrator journeys to Thessaly on business. On the way, he runs into an unnamed traveler; the unnamed traveler refuses to believe Aristomenes' story. The narrator tells a short story about a sword swallower, he promises Aristomenes a free lunch. The narrator becomes more eager to learn about magic; the narrator arrives at Hypata, where he stays with Milo, a family friend and miser, his wife Pamphile. Photis, Milo's servant, takes the narrator to the baths, after which the narrator goes to the marketplace. There, he buys some fish and runs into his old friend Pytheas, now a magistrate. Pytheas reveals the narrator's name as Lucius. Pytheas says that Lucius overpaid for the fish and humiliates the fish-monger by trampling on the fish.
Lucius returns to Milo's house and empty-handed. Milo asks Lucius about his life, his friends, his wanderings. Lucius goes to sleep hungry. Book Two The next morning, Lucius meets his aunt Byrrhena in the town, she warns him that Milo's wife is an evil witch who will kill Lucius. Lucius, however, is interested in becoming a witch himself, he returns to Milo's house, where he makes love to the slave-girl Fotis. The next day, Lucius goes to his aunt's home for dinner, there meets Thelyphron, who relates his tale of how witches cut off his nose and ears. After the meal, Lucius drunkenly returns to Milo's house in the dark, where he encounters three robbers, whom he soon slays before retiring to bed. Book Three The next morning, Lucius is abruptly arrested for the murder of the three men, he is taken to court where he is laughed at and witnesses are brought against him. They are just about to announce his guilt, it turns out that it was a prank played by the town upon Lucius, to celebrate their annual Festival of Laughter.
That day and Photis watch Milo's wife perform her witchcraft and transform herself into a bird. Attempting to copy her, Lucius accidentally turns himself into an ass, at which point Photis tells him that the only way for him to return to his human state is to eat a rose, she puts him in the stable for the night and promises to bring him roses in the morning, but during the night Milo's house is raided by a band of thieves, who steal Lucius the ass, load him up with their plunder, leave with him. Book Four On a break in his journey with the bandits, Lucius the ass trots over to a garden to munch on what seem to be roses when he is beaten by the gardener and chased by dogs; the thieves reclaim him and he is forced to go along with them. The thieves kidnap a young woman, housed in a cave with Lucius the ass. Charite starts crying, so an elderly woman, in league with the thieves begins to tell her the story of Cupid and Psyche. Psyche is the most beautiful woman on earth, Venus jealously arranges for Psyche's destruction, ordering her son Cupid to arrange for her to fall in love with a worthless wretch.
An oracle tells Psyche's parents to expose her on a mountain peak, where she will become the bride of a powerful, monstrous being. Psyche is left on the mountain, carried away by a gentle wind. Book Five The elderly woman continues telling the story of Psyche. Cupid, Venus's son, secretly preserves Psyche. Psyche's jealous sisters arouse her fear about her husband's identity. Book Six The elderly woman finishes telling the story of Cupid and Psyche, as Psyche is forced to perform various tasks for Venus with the help of Cupid and an assortment of friendly crea
Two Years Before the Mast
Two Years Before the Mast is a memoir by the American author Richard Henry Dana Jr. published in 1840, having been written after a two-year sea voyage from Boston to California on a merchant ship starting in 1834. A film adaptation under the same name was released in 1946. While an undergraduate at Harvard College, Dana had an attack of the measles which affected his vision. Thinking it might help his sight, Dana left Harvard to enlist as a common sailor on a voyage around Cape Horn on the brig Pilgrim, he returned to Massachusetts two years aboard the Alert. He kept a diary throughout the voyage, after returning, he wrote a recognized American classic, Two Years Before the Mast, published in 1840; the term "before the mast" refers to the quarters of the common sailors, in the forecastle, in the front of the ship. His writing evidences his sympathy with the lower classes, he became a prominent anti-slavery activist and helped found the Free Soil Party. In the book, which takes place between 1834 and 1836, Dana gives a vivid account of "the life of a common sailor at sea as it is".
He sails from Boston around Cape Horn to California. Dana's ship was on a voyage to trade goods from the United States for the Mexican colonial Californian California missions' and ranchos' cow hides, they traded at the ports in San Diego Bay, San Pedro Bay, Santa Barbara Channel, Monterey Bay, San Francisco Bay. Dana arrived in Alta California when it was a province of Mexico, no longer Spanish colonial Las Californias, he gives descriptions of landing at each of the ports up and down the California coast as they existed then. The ports served the Mission San Diego de Alcalá, Mission San Juan Capistrano, Pueblo de Los Angeles, Mission Santa Barbara, Presidio of Monterey, Presidio of San Francisco with their small settlements and surrounding large Mexican land grant ranchos, he describes the coastal indigenous peoples, the Mexican Californio's culture, the immigrants' and traders' influences from other locales. The headland bluffs near Mission San Juan Capistrano presented an obstacle to taking the cow hides to the beach for subsequent loading onto the ship.
So Dana, along with others of the Pilgrim's crew, tosses the hides from the bluffs, while spinning them like a frisbee. Some hides get stuck part way down the cliff and Dana is lowered with ropes to retrieve them; the headlands, along with the adjacent present day city, took on Dana's name as Dana Point. Being an intelligent and educated person, he learned Spanish from the Californian Mexicans and became an interpreter for his ship, he befriended Kanaka sailors in the ports, one of whose lives Dana would save when his captain would as soon see him die. He spent a season on the San Diego shore preparing hides for shipment to Boston, his journey home. Dana makes a tellingly accurate prediction of San Francisco's future growth and significance. Of the return trip around Cape Horn, on his new ship the Alert, in the middle of the Antarctic winter, Dana gives the classic account, he describes terrifying storms and incredible beauty, giving vivid descriptions of icebergs, which he calls incomparable.
The most incredible part is the weeks and weeks it took to negotiate passage against winds and storms—all the while having to race up and down the ice-covered rigging to furl and unfurl sails. At one point he has an infected tooth, his face swells up so that he is unable to work for several days, despite the need for all hands. Upon reaching Staten Island, they know. After the Horn has been rounded he describes the scurvy. In White-Jacket, Herman Melville wrote, "But if you want the best idea of Cape Horn, get my friend Dana's unmatchable Two Years Before the Mast, but you can read, so you must have read it. His chapters describing Cape Horn must have been written with an icicle." In 1869, Dana published a new edition which removed some content from the original and added an appendix entitled "Twenty-Four Years After". This appendix recounts his visit to California in 1859, after the Gold Rush, by which time the state had been transformed. During this trip, he revisited some of the sites mentioned in the book as well as seeing old friends, including some, mentioned in the book, others he did not like, such as the company agent he had worked with, Alfred Robinson, who by this time was himself an author of a book on California.
Dana expressed gratitude to Robinson for being polite to him, despite Dana not being kind to him in his book. He visited the Fremont mining operations in Mariposa County. Along with Jessie Fremont and her party, he went to Yosemite Valley. Stopping along the way at Clark's Station in Wawona, he described Galen Clark as a gracious host. A final note records the fate of the Alert. In 1862 during the Civil War, it was captured by the Confederate commerce raider Alabama, the crew were forced into the boats, the ship was destroyed. Dana's father first approached Harper and Brothers, as they were his publishers, though the Danas rejected the original offer for 10 percent in royalties after the first 1,000 sold; the manuscript titled Journal, was rejected by four publishing houses after that offer from Harpers in 1839. Two Years Before the Mast was published in September 1840 in two versions, without credit to Dana on the title page. Dana had asked for assistance from the poet William Cullen Bryant, whose poem "Thanatopsis" was praised by Dana's father.
Bryant again brought the manuscript
Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.
Oliver Wendell Holmes was an American physician and polymath based in Boston. A member of the Fireside Poets, he was acclaimed by his peers as one of the best writers of the day, his most famous prose works are the "Breakfast-Table" series, which began with The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table. He was an important medical reformer. In addition to his work as an author and poet, Holmes served as a physician, professor and inventor and, although he never practiced it, he received formal training in law. Born in Cambridge, Holmes was educated at Phillips Academy and Harvard College. After graduating from Harvard in 1829, he studied law before turning to the medical profession, he began writing poetry at an early age. Following training at the prestigious medical schools of Paris, Holmes was granted his Doctor of Medicine degree from Harvard Medical School in 1836, he taught at Dartmouth Medical School before returning to teach at Harvard and, for a time, served as dean there. During his long professorship, he became an advocate for various medical reforms and notably posited the controversial idea that doctors were capable of carrying puerperal fever from patient to patient.
Holmes retired from Harvard in 1882 and continued writing poetry and essays until his death in 1894. Surrounded by Boston's literary elite—which included friends such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, James Russell Lowell—Holmes made an indelible imprint on the literary world of the 19th century. Many of his works were published in a magazine that he named. For his literary achievements and other accomplishments, he was awarded numerous honorary degrees from universities around the world. Holmes's writing commemorated his native Boston area, much of it was meant to be humorous or conversational; some of his medical writings, notably his 1843 essay regarding the contagiousness of puerperal fever, were considered innovative for their time. He was called upon to issue occasional poetry, or poems written for an event, including many occasions at Harvard. Holmes popularized several terms, including Boston Brahmin and anesthesia, he was the father of Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. of the Supreme Court of the United States.
Holmes was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on August 29, 1809. His birthplace, a house just north of Harvard Yard, was said to have been the place where the Battle of Bunker Hill was planned, he was the first son of Abiel Holmes, minister of the First Congregational Church and avid historian, Sarah Wendell, Abiel's second wife. Sarah was the daughter of a wealthy family, Holmes was named for his maternal grandfather, a judge; the first Wendell, Evert Jansen, settled in Albany, New York. Through his mother, Holmes was descended from Massachusetts Governor Simon Bradstreet and his wife, Anne Bradstreet, the first published American poet. From a young age, Holmes was small and suffered from asthma, but he was known for his precociousness; when he was eight, he took his five-year-old brother, John, to witness the last hanging in Cambridge's Gallows Lot and was subsequently scolded by his parents. He enjoyed exploring his father's library, writing in life that "it was largely theological, so that I was walled in by solemn folios making the shelves bend under the load of sacred learning."
After being exposed to poets such as John Dryden, Alexander Pope and Oliver Goldsmith, the young Holmes began to compose and recite his own verse. His first recorded poem, copied down by his father, was written when he was 13. Although a talented student, the young Holmes was admonished by his teachers for his talkative nature and habit of reading stories during school hours, he studied under Dame Prentiss and William Bigelow before enrolling in what was called the "Port School", a select private academy in the Cambridgeport settlement. One of his schoolmates was author Margaret Fuller, whose intellect Holmes admired. Holmes's father sent him to Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, at the age of 15. Abiel chose Phillips, known for its orthodox Calvinist teachings, because he hoped his oldest son would follow him into the ministry. Holmes had no interest in becoming a theologian, as a result he did not enjoy his single year at Andover. Although he achieved distinction as an elected member of the Social Fraternity, a literary club, he disliked the "bigoted, narrow-minded, uncivilized" attitudes of most of the school's teachers.
One teacher in particular, noted his young student's talent for poetry, suggested that he pursue it. Shortly after his sixteenth birthday, Holmes was accepted by Harvard College; as a member of Harvard's class of 1829, Holmes lived at home for the first few years of his college career rather than in the dormitories. Since he measured only "five feet three inches when standing in a pair of substantial boots", the young student had no interest in joining a sports team or the Harvard Washington Corps. Instead, he allied himself with the "Aristocrats" or "Puffmaniacs", a group of students who gathered in order to smoke and talk; as a town student and the son of a minister, however, he was able to move between social groups. He became a friend of Charles Chauncy Emerson, a year older. During second year, Holmes was one of 20 students awarded the scholastic honor Deturs, which came with a copy of The Poems of James Graham, John Logan, William Falconer. Despite his scho
Samuel Langhorne Clemens, known by his pen name Mark Twain, was an American writer, entrepreneur and lecturer. His novels include The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and its sequel, the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, the latter called "The Great American Novel". Twain was raised in Hannibal, which provided the setting for Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, he served an apprenticeship with a printer and worked as a typesetter, contributing articles to the newspaper of his older brother Orion Clemens. He became a riverboat pilot on the Mississippi River before heading west to join Orion in Nevada, he referred humorously to his lack of success at mining, turning to journalism for the Virginia City Territorial Enterprise. His humorous story, "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County", was published in 1865, based on a story that he heard at Angels Hotel in Angels Camp, where he had spent some time as a miner; the short story brought international attention and was translated into French. His wit and satire, in prose and in speech, earned praise from critics and peers, he was a friend to presidents, artists and European royalty.
Twain earned a great deal of money from his writings and lectures, but he invested in ventures that lost most of it—such as the Paige Compositor, a mechanical typesetter that failed because of its complexity and imprecision. He filed for bankruptcy in the wake of these financial setbacks, but he overcame his financial troubles with the help of Henry Huttleston Rogers, he chose to pay all his pre-bankruptcy creditors in full after he had no legal responsibility to do so. Twain was born shortly after an appearance of Halley's Comet, he predicted that he would "go out with it" as well, he was lauded as the "greatest humorist this country has produced", William Faulkner called him "the father of American literature". Samuel Langhorne Clemens was born on November 30, 1835, in Florida, the sixth of seven children born to Jane, a native of Kentucky, John Marshall Clemens, a native of Virginia, his parents met when his father moved to Missouri, they were married in 1823. Twain was of Cornish and Scots-Irish descent.
Only three of his siblings survived childhood: Orion and Pamela. His sister Margaret died when Twain was three, his brother Benjamin died three years later, his brother Pleasant Hannibal died at three weeks of age. When he was four, Twain's family moved to Hannibal, Missouri, a port town on the Mississippi River that inspired the fictional town of St. Petersburg in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Slavery was legal in Missouri at the time, it became a theme in these writings, his father was an attorney and judge, who died of pneumonia in 1847, when Twain was 11. The next year, Twain left school after the fifth grade to become a printer's apprentice. In 1851 he began working as a typesetter, contributing articles and humorous sketches to the Hannibal Journal, a newspaper that Orion owned; when he was 18, he left Hannibal and worked as a printer in New York City, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Cincinnati, joining the newly formed International Typographical Union, the printers trade union.
He educated himself in public libraries in the evenings, finding wider information than at a conventional school. Twain describes his boyhood in Life on the Mississippi, stating that "there was but one permanent ambition" among his comrades: to be a steamboatman. Pilot was the grandest position of all; the pilot in those days of trivial wages, had a princely salary – from a hundred and fifty to two hundred and fifty dollars a month, no board to pay. As Twain describes it, the pilot's prestige exceeded that of the captain; the pilot had to:...get up a warm personal acquaintanceship with every old snag and one-limbed cottonwood and every obscure wood pile that ornaments the banks of this river for twelve hundred miles. Twain studied the Mississippi, learning its landmarks, how to navigate its currents and how to read the river and its shifting channels, submerged snags, rocks that would "tear the life out of the strongest vessel that floated", it was. Piloting gave him his pen name from "mark twain", the leadsman's cry for a measured river depth of two fathoms, safe water for a steamboat.
As a young pilot, Clemens served on the steamer A. B. Chambers with Grant Marsh, who became famous for his exploits as a steamboat captain on the Missouri River; the two liked each other, admired one another, maintained a correspondence for many years after Clemens left the river. While training, Samuel convinced his younger brother Henry to work with him, arranged a post of mud clerk for him on the steamboat Pennsylvania. On June 13, 1858, the steamboat's boiler exploded. Twain claimed to have foreseen this death in a dream a month earlier, which inspired his interest in parapsychology. Twain held himself responsible for the rest of his life, he continued to work on the river and was a river pilot until the Civil War broke out in 1861, when traffic was curta
Irish Rebellion of 1798
The Irish Rebellion of 1798 was an uprising against British/British controlled rule in Ireland from May to September 1798. The United Irishmen, a republican revolutionary group influenced by the ideas of the American and French revolutions, were the main organising force behind the rebellion, it was led by Presbyterians angry at being shut out of power by the Anglican establishment, joined by Catholics, who made up the majority of the population. Many Irish Ulster Protestants Church of Ireland sided with the British, resulting in the conflict taking on the appearance of a sectarian civil war in many areas, with atrocities on both sides. A French army which landed in County Mayo in support of the rebels was overwhelmed by British and loyalist forces; the uprising was suppressed by British Crown British army forces with a death toll of between 10,000 and 30,000. Since 1691 and the end of the Williamite War, Ireland had chiefly been controlled by the minority Anglican Protestant Ascendancy constituting members of the established Church of Ireland loyal to the British Crown.
It governed through a form of institutionalised sectarianism codified in the Penal Laws which discriminated against both the majority Irish Catholic population and Dissenters. In the late 18th century, liberal elements among the ruling class were inspired by the example of the American Revolution and sought to form common cause with the Catholic populace to achieve reform and greater autonomy from Britain; as in England, the majority of Protestants, as well as all Catholics, were barred from voting because they did not pass a property threshold. Despite Ireland nominally being a sovereign kingdom governed by the monarch and Parliament of the island, due to a series of laws enacted by the English, such as Poynings' law of 1494 and the Declaratory Act of 1719, Ireland in reality had less independence than most of Britain's North American colonies, adding to the list of grievances; when France joined the Americans in support of their Revolutionary War, London called for volunteers to join militias to defend Ireland against the threat of invasion from France.
Many thousands joined the Irish Volunteers. In 1782 they used their newly powerful position to force the Crown to grant the landed Ascendancy self-rule and a more independent parliament; the Irish Patriot Party, led by Henry Grattan, pushed for greater enfranchisement. In 1793 Parliament passed laws allowing Catholics with some property to vote, but they could neither be elected nor appointed as state officials. Liberal elements of the Ascendancy seeking a greater franchise for the people, an end to religious discrimination, were further inspired by the French Revolution, which had taken place in a Catholic country; the prospect of reform inspired a small group of Protestant liberals in Belfast to found the Society of United Irishmen in 1791. The organisation crossed the religious divide with a membership comprising Roman Catholics, Methodists, other Protestant "dissenters" groups, some from the Protestant Ascendancy; the Society put forward policies of further democratic reforms and Catholic emancipation, reforms which the Irish Parliament had but reluctantly granted in 1793.
The outbreak of war with France earlier in 1793, following the execution of Louis XVI, forced the Society underground and toward armed insurrection with French aid. The avowed intent of the United Irishmen was to "break the connection with England". However, only a small proportion of them took part in the 1798 rebellion, suggesting that most members supported its aims, but not to the extent of violence unless provoked, it linked up with Catholic agrarian resistance groups, known as the Defenders, who had started raiding houses for arms in early 1793. To augment their growing strength, the United Irish leadership decided to seek military help from the French revolutionary government and to postpone the rising until French troops landed in Ireland. Theobald Wolfe Tone, leader of the United Irishmen, travelled in exile from the United States to France in 1796 to press the case for intervention. By this stage the dominant Roman Catholic Hierarchy was opposed to the United Irish, having seen the results of the "Dechristianization" policy in France since 1789, this led to a reduction of support.
In 1796-97 the French armies had opposed the Papacy in Italy, in February 1798 the French republican system set up a short-lived "Roman Republic". The hierarchy was concerned that a republican rebellion led by protestant nationalists, would, if successful, be governed as yet another "Sister republic" of France. Tone's efforts succeeded with the dispatch of the Expédition d'Irlande, he accompanied a force of 14,000 French veteran troops under General Hoche which arrived off the coast of Ireland at Bantry Bay in December 1796 after eluding the Royal Navy; the despairing Wolfe Tone remarked, "England has had its luckiest escape since the Armada." The French fleet was forced to return home and the veteran army intended to spearhead the invasion of Ireland split up and was sent to fight in other theatres of the French Revolutionary Wars. The Establishment responded to widespread disorder by launching a counter-campaign of martial law from 2 March 1797, it used tactics including house burnings, torture of captives, pitc
Thomas Alva Edison was an American inventor and businessman, described as America's greatest inventor. He is credited with developing many devices in fields such as electric power generation, mass communication, sound recording, motion pictures; these inventions, which include the phonograph, the motion picture camera, the long-lasting, practical electric light bulb, had a widespread impact on the modern industrialized world. He was one of the first inventors to apply the principles of mass production and teamwork to the process of invention, working with many researchers and employees, he is credited with establishing the first industrial research laboratory. Edison was raised in the American Midwest and early in his career he worked as a telegraph operator, which inspired some of his earliest inventions. In 1876, he established his first laboratory facility in Menlo Park, New Jersey, where many of his early inventions would be developed, he would establish a botanic laboratory in Fort Myers, Florida in collaboration with businessmen Henry Ford and Harvey Firestone, a laboratory in West Orange, New Jersey that featured the world's first film studio, the Black Maria.
He was a prolific inventor, holding 1,093 US patents in his name, as well as patents in other countries. Edison fathered six children, he died in 1931 of complications of diabetes. Thomas Edison was born, in 1847, in Milan and grew up in Port Huron, Michigan, he was the last child of Samuel Ogden Edison Jr. and Nancy Matthews Elliott. His father, the son of a Loyalist refugee, had moved as a boy with the family from Nova Scotia, settling in southwestern Ontario, in a village known as Shrewsbury Vienna, by 1811. Samuel Jr. fled Ontario, because he took part in the unsuccessful Mackenzie Rebellion of 1837. His father, Samuel Sr. had earlier fought in the War of 1812 as captain of the First Middlesex Regiment. By contrast, Samuel Jr.'s struggle found him on the losing side, he crossed into the United States at Sarnia-Port Huron. Once across the border, he found his way to Ohio, his patrilineal family line was Dutch by way of New Jersey. Much of his education came from reading R. G. Parker's The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art.
Edison developed hearing problems at an early age. The cause of his deafness has been attributed to a bout of scarlet fever during childhood and recurring untreated middle-ear infections. Around the middle of his career, Edison attributed the hearing impairment to being struck on the ears by a train conductor when his chemical laboratory in a boxcar caught fire and he was thrown off the train in Smiths Creek, along with his apparatus and chemicals. In his years, he modified the story to say the injury occurred when the conductor, in helping him onto a moving train, lifted him by the ears. Edison's family moved to Port Huron, Michigan after the canal owners kept the railroad out of Milan Ohio in 1854 and business declined. Edison sold candy and newspapers on trains running from Port Huron to Detroit, sold vegetables, he became a telegraph operator after he saved three-year-old Jimmie MacKenzie from being struck by a runaway train. Jimmie's father, station agent J. U. MacKenzie of Mount Clemens, was so grateful that he trained Edison as a telegraph operator.
Edison's first telegraphy job away from Port Huron was at Stratford Junction, Ontario, on the Grand Trunk Railway. He was held responsible for a near collision, he studied qualitative analysis and conducted chemical experiments on the train until he left the job. Edison obtained the exclusive right to sell newspapers on the road, with the aid of four assistants, he set in type and printed the Grand Trunk Herald, which he sold with his other papers; this began Edison's long streak of entrepreneurial ventures, as he discovered his talents as a businessman. These talents led him to found 14 companies, including General Electric, still one of the largest publicly traded companies in the world. In 1866, at the age of 19, Edison moved to Louisville, where, as an employee of Western Union, he worked the Associated Press bureau news wire. Edison requested the night shift, which allowed him plenty of time to spend at his two favorite pastimes—reading and experimenting; the latter pre-occupation cost him his job.
One night in 1867, he was working with a lead–acid battery when he spilled sulfuric acid onto the floor. It ran onto his boss's desk below; the next morning Edison was fired. His first patent was for the electric vote recorder, U. S. Patent 90,646, granted on June 1, 1869. Finding little demand for the machine, Edison moved to New York City shortly thereafter. One of his mentors during those early years was a fellow telegrapher and inventor named Franklin Leonard Pope, who allowed the impoverished youth to live and work in the basement of his Elizabeth, New Jersey, while Edison worked for Samuel Laws at the Gold Indicator Company. Pope and Edison founded their own company in October 1869, working as electrical engineers and inventors. Edison began developing a multiplex telegraphic system, which could send two messages in 1874. Edison's major innovation was the establishment of an industrial research lab in 1876, it was built in Menlo Park, a part of Raritan Township in Middlesex County, New Jersey, with the funds from the sale of Edison's qua