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When Thomas Edison Offered Francis Upton 5% Of The Company's Stock
In 1879, as his lightbulb research intensified, Thomas Edison offered physicist Francis Upton, who also assisted him in developing electric generators and power distribution systems, five percent of Edison Electric Light Company stock in exchange for his $600 annual salary. After agonizing over the decision, Upton chose to take the stock, despite the objections of his conservative father. By the end of the year, thanks to growing interest in Edison stock, Upton's stake was worth $10,000, more than a million dollars in today's currency. "I cannot help laughing," Upton wrote to his father, "when I think how timid you were at home."