HEROES: Man of Light

More than 60 years ago a curiosity-consumed railroad newsboy, puttering with chemicals in a baggage car, set the car on fire. At the next station, Smith's Creek, he was thrown off the train by a fuming conductor. Last week the incident was re-enacted with variations. Again a dinky, funnel-stacked, wood-burner chuffed into Smith's Creek station, laboriously pulling its coaches. Out of one coach was helped a shag-browed, stooped old man. He eyed the station signboard, recalled his onetime precipitous arrival at the same platform, smiled ruefully. He was Inventor Thomas Alva...

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