The Inventor Who Kept His Promise – Summary, Theme and Questions


Thomas Alva Edison is one of the greatest scientists the world has ever produced. He was born in 1847 in Milan, USA, and is regarded as the man of many inventions. Whenever you turn on the lights in your home, or turn on a record player, you remember the genius of Thomas Edison. He fulfilled his vow on the 4th of September, 1882. It is said that nine hundred houses in New York burst into a bright light on that day.

Questions and Answers

Q. 1 Who was Edison?

Answer: Edison was a famous American scientist who invented electric light and gramophone.

Q. 2 Why was Edison taken out of school?

Answer: Edison was taken out of school because his teacher thought him naughty and stupid.

Q. In what way did Edison find his mother the best teacher for him?

Answer: Edison found his mother as his best teacher because she always gave a satisfactory answer to his questions and helped him in all his experiments.

Q. How did he become famous in America?

Answer: He became famous in America by inventing the gramophone and electric light.

Q. What did Edison promise to the people of America? Why did all the scientists laugh at him?

Answer: Edison promised to the people of America that he would give them electric light in two years. All the scientists said that it was impossible. So they laughed at him.

Q. What inventions did Edison make?

Answer: Edison invented electric light and gramophone. He also made forty was time inventions.

Q. Describe some of the inventions made by Edison.

Answer: Edison made a number of inventions. Some of them are as follow:

(i) Electric lamp, (ii) Gramophone, (iii) War time inventions.

Q. How did Edison decide to take up a job in the railway? How much did he earn on the first day?

Answer: Edison needed more money. So he decided to take up a job in the railway. He earned two dollars on the first day.

Question: 9 Why did the teacher think that Edison was stupid and naughty?

Answer: The teacher said that man could not fly like a bird because man had no wings. Then Edison said, “But kites have no wings and still we can fly them in the sky.” The boys laughed. So the teacher thought Edison was stupid and naughty.

Question: 10 What was the funny experiment for which Edison was punished?

Answer: Edison got a dozen eggs and sat on them. He got up after some time but he did not find any chickens. His mother punished him for the experiment.


Thomas Alva Edison was an American who invented the electric lamp. Even when he was a child, he loved doing experiments and often asked questions which never satisfied him until he got the right answer. He made an epic contribution to mankind by inventing the gramophone and the electric light bulb. In this story we will get a glimpse of his life as a child and his journey.


The story starts with the introduction of the protagonist. Thomas Alva Edison was an American who invented the electric lamp. Even when he was a child he loved doing experiments and often asked questions which never satisfied him until he got the right answer. In this story we get a glimpse of his childhood.

One day at Albert’s school, the teacher was telling the children a story about the birds. He got up and asked the teacher why can’t a man fly like a bird?

The teacher answers that it is because a man has no wings. The Young boy thought for a moment and said kites can fly even though it does not have wings. The other boys started laughing while the teacher lost her patience. She thought that Albert was naughty and asked his parents to take him out of school. His parents took him home but they knew that he was not stupid as he was just eight years old when this happened.

Young Edison was taught by her mother after he was taken out of school. She patiently answered all his answers and provided good guidance. Albert observed things very closely and did a lot of experiments, some of them were silly.

One morning he was watching a bird flying down to the ground pocking up a few worms in its beak and flying away. This gave young Edison an idea. He thinks that the bird is able to fly because it eats worms.

He desperately wanted to try this experiment on someone. He caught hold of a few worms, beat them into a pulp and mixed it in water. He offered the mixture to a servant girl saying if she drank if she will be able to fly. She believed him and fell ill drinking the mixture. His mother had warned him to not do such silly experiments.

Once he went to a poultry farm with his mother and asked his mother why the hens were sitting on the eggs. His mother answered that the hens are hatching eggs so he wanted to know why he can’t hatch eggs. The next morning, he sat on a dozen eggs and ruined his shirt by smashing them. He got a good beating from his mother that day.

He failed in all these experiments but he learnt that his ideas were wrong. He was very fond of books and read quite a lot as his father gave him twenty-five cents for every book he read. He read widely and kept buying books and set up a small laboratory with the help of his mother.

After sometime he realized he needed more money for new books and to meet new people and see new places so he took a job in the railway. At first, his parents did not like this idea as he was just twelve but they agreed because he gave them valid reasons for his decision. He became a newspaper boy and travelled to Detroit.

He sold sweets, newspapers and fruits and earned two dollars on the first day. That night he gave his mother one dollar and promised that he will give her a dollar from every earning.

A year or two later he bought an old printing press and set it up his railway wagon. He edited and printed his paper and made more money to set up a small laboratory in his railway wagon.

When he was fifteen he met with an accident while he was doing an experiment in his laboratory. The train turned round a corner leading to a sudden jolt and a bit of phosphorus fell on the floor of his carriage and it caught fire. The fire spread and Albert screamed for help and the guard came in and together they were able to put out the fire. Albert was dismissed at the next station.

The next five years he took job in different cities and learnt a lot from experts he met at factories and workshops. During this period, he was out of a job and was staying with a friend who worked in a company there. One day an important machine stopped working suddenly at the company. Edison was there and took a look and repaired it in a short time. The manager of the company gave him a job. Edison paid his debts and improved his laboratory.

In the next six years Edison made a series of inventions. Edison earned more money and fame. The next year he invented the talking machine known as the gramophone now. He was invited to the white house to show the president his new invention which made him famous all over America. He owed it all to his mother’s help and encouragement and to his own hard work.

In march 1878, he began to work on an electric lamp and promised the people that he will invent electric light in two years when everyone used candles and oil lamps. Scientists laughed at him and said it was impossible. He conducted a lot of experiments which failed but he did not give up hope. I was determined to keep his promise and after one thousand and two hundred experiments he succeeded in making an electric bulb. On New Year’s Day,1880 he and his workers put up an electric light at his laboratory and on 4th September 1882, for the first time, New York shone in the brightness of electric light.

Edison served his country during the First World War and made forty war time inventions and was awarded a medal for his service. Edison fell ill at a function hosted by the President of the United States of America. His illness became worse and died on Sunday morning of 18th October 1931.

He never wanted to invent anything which will destroy life and just wanted to make people happy. He believed the world had lived in darkness for too long and he wanted to give laughter and light.


Thomas Alva Edison: He was an American who invented the electric lamp. Even when he was a child, he loved doing experiments and often asked questions which never satisfied him until he got the right answer. He was very hardworking as he took up jobs to get more money to buy books and was very intelligent and determined. He was very passionate about reading books and conducting experiments. He made an epic contribution to mankind by inventing the gramophone and the electric light bulb.

Edison’s mother: She was a very kind and patient woman as she taught Edison at home after he was taken out of school. She answered every silly question that Edison asked and patiently gave him answers. She was very supportive towards Edison as she helped him set up his laboratory. Edison owes his success to his mother’s support and his hard work.

Edison’s father: He wanted Edison to read as many books as possible. He encouraged him to read more by giving him more money every time he finished reading a book. This helped in developing Edison’s habit of reading.

Write Your Opinion

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Subscribe. Yes, it is free!

Shout questions, submit your articles, get study notes and smart learning tips and much more...!