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Meet Amazing Americans Scientists & Inventors Thomas Alva Edison
 
Photo of Edison Sitting at the Door of the Ore-milling Plant; Ogdensburg, NJ, 1895.
Edison sitting at the door of the ore-milling plant in New Jersey in 1895

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Edison's Failed Inventions
The greatest failure of Edison's career was his inability to create a practical way to mine iron ore. He worked on mining methods through the late 1880s and early 1890s to supply the Pennsylvania steel mills' demand for iron ore. In order to finance this work, he sold all his stock in General Electric, but was never able to create a separator that could extract iron from unusable, low-grade ores. Eventually, Edison gave up on the idea, but by then he had lost all the money he'd invested.
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