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In 1871, Edison set up a workshop and laboratory in Newark, New Jersey, just across the Hudson River from New York City. Newark was known at the time for its community of fine machinists, the kind of people Edison needed to build his telegraph equipment. In that same year, he married Mary Stillwell, who worked for his Newark business.In 1874 Edison had his first big financial success with his quadruplex telegraph system. This was a way of sending more than one message in one direction over a single wirein this case, two messages in opposite directions simultaneously. Telegraph companies were eager for such a scheme because it let them send more messages over fewer wires, increasing their profits while cutting their costs.
The story goes something like this Thomas Edison approached the Western Union Telegraph Company with several inventions of his relating to the telegraph, especially the quadruplex telegraph system he had just completed. When asked how much he wanted for the inventions Edison thought of asking for about $2000, but instead he turned the question around and replied, Well suppose you make me an offer. Edison was amazed when they offered him $40,000 This was a lot of money for those days and it allowed him to fulfill his wish to become a full time inventor.Edison signed a highly profitable contract with Western Union, took the money to the New Jersey countryside, and built a laboratory complex at Menlo Park, nicknamed The Invention Factory.