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  • Thomas Edison

    Failure

    Through most of the 1890s, Edison focused his attention on the iron mines of northwestern New Jersey. As the demand for the raw materials for steel production grew, Edison thought he could develop a system for retrieving the remaining valuable iron ore from exhausted mines. His idea was to crush the leftover rock and send it past an electromagnet that would attract the iron particles and let the other, worthless material pass.Unfortunately, the system never worked as planned. The iron ore produced was lower in quality than expected, the machinery broke down often, and the fine, crushed iron was difficult to work withand then the price of iron fell. After investing millions of dollars in the iron milling venture, Edison had to admit defeat.Never one to be beaten by failure, though, Edison later redesigned the ore milling machinery for the production of Portland cement, a new building material that was gaining favor around the turn of the 20th century. While his cement works didnt prove to be his biggest money maker, Edison did realize some projects of notefor example, the original Yankee Stadium was made of Edison Portland cement. He also tried to market a line of prefabricated cement houses and cement furniture, but that wasnt a big success


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