In fact, it took him more than 1,000 attempts to make the first incandescent bulb but, along the way, he learned quite a deal.
As he himself said, "I did not fail a thousand times but instead succeeded in finding a thousand ways it would not work." Thus Edison demonstrated both in thought and action how instructive mistakes can be.
The reader needs to know this and it is your job as the writer to paint the appropriate picture for them.
To do this, it is a good idea to provide the reader with five or six relevant facts about the life (in general) or event (in particular) you believe most clearly illustrates your point. The importance of this step cannot be understated (although it clearly can be underlined); this is, after all, the whole reason you are providing the example in the first place.
For the first body paragraph you should use your strongest argument or most significant example unless some other more obvious beginning point (as in the case of chronological explanations) is required.
The first sentence of this paragraph should be the topic sentence of the paragraph that directly relates to the examples listed in the mini-outline of introductory paragraph.
The famed American inventor rose to prominence in the late 19th century because of his successes, yes, but even he felt that these successes were the result of his many failures.
He did not succeed in his work on one of his most famous inventions, the lightbulb, on his first try nor even on his hundred and first try.
You see, if your essay has the same structure as every other one, any reader should be able to quickly and easily find the information most relevant to them.
The principle purpose of the introduction is to present your position (this is also known as the "thesis" or "argument") on the issue at hand but effective introductory paragraphs are so much more than that.