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Everything You Think You Know About Thomas Edison Might Be Wrong

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Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison

Was anything we learned in school true? Next it will be revealed that Benjamin Franklin never flew a kite with a key attached to the string in a storm.

via Business Insider

Thomas Edison did not try 10,000 times before inventing the light bulb, nor did he labor in a dusty workshop by himself.

That’s according to David Burkus, author of “The Myths of Creativity,” who says America’s favorite innovation story may have been the result of a tremendous publicity push.

In his book, Burkus debunks the popular tale of Edison and what he calls the “lone creator myth.” His claim? That we love the story of the solo-genius, the starving artist, the one brilliant man against the world — even if it’s not always true.

In the case of Edison, Burkus argues that the famous creator didn’t invent the light bulb so much as perfect it, with the muscle of a massive publicity machine behind him.

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