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Text Illustrations
December of 1914, a 67-year-old man watched as his life’s work was being burned to the ground. Adding insult to injury, his property was only insured for $238,000 - far less than the $2 million worth of damage. His twenty-four-year-old son, Charles, said, “My heart ached for him. He was sixty-seven, no longer a young man, and everything was going up in flames.”

When Charles found his father, he was surprised by his dad’s request. He said, “Find your mother and bring her here. She will never see anything like this as long as she lives.” The next morning the older man gathered his employees at the charred ruins and said, “There is great value in disaster. All of our mistakes are burned up. Thank God that we can start anew.” And, start anew he did. Three weeks later, Thomas Edison delivered his first phonograph.