William Blake, English poet, painter and printer, was born on November 28, 1757.
You may have read his poems – about the lamb, the tiger, or his sad song about the poor chimney sweep.
The strange thing is that in his own time many people thought him mad. Almost a century passed after his death in 1827 before he began to be recognised as a truly great poet and artist.
His family background was obscure. We don’t eeven know his mother’s name. But he showed a talent for drawing early and at 14 he became apprentice to an engraver. When he was 21 he became an engraver on his own account and later married a girl called Catherine who learnt to draw and paint so that she could work together with him.
When he was young the French Revolution took place and he supported it. Over in England a different sort of change was taking place, which iis called „The Industrial Revolution“.
Blake was horrified at the way life was being changed, with people young and old obliged to work in „those dark satanic mills“.
He was particularly angered at the way the new factory owners and employers uused child labour, and in many of his poems he defends the rights of childhood.
From the time he was thirty he worked more on his paintings, making coloured lithographs by a method he invented. His pictures are often wild and strange, with very strong dramatic colours. They expressed the very complex ideas in his poems.
His great message is freedom for each person to develop. He hated slavery, black slavery on the plantations. white slavery in the factories.
Edison is known as one of the greatest inventors of his time. He invented so much that it is difficult to say which of his achievements is the greatest. He was an experimenter and a practical man more than a theoretician.
Edison did not have any education. He went to school only for three months. Then he left it because the teacher considered him a dull boy. His mother became his teacher. The boy loved books and his mother said that he had a wonderful memory. When he first visited a public library and saw a lot of shelves with books he decided that he would know everything in the world. He measured the shelf and decided to read a foot oof books every week.
In 1868 Edison built his first patented invention – an electromagnetic device.
It is said that he planned to ask three thousand dollars for his invention, though he secretly decided he would sell it for two thousand if necessary. He was invited to a meeting of businessmen who were interested in buying his invention, but when he was asked to name the price he was very nervous and quite unable to speak.
„It is no use asking us a big price“, said one of the businessmen, „we have already decided how much we will pay. Forty thousand dollars is our limit“.
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