Famed inventor Thomas Edison changed the face of modern life in 1879 when he devised the groundbreaking new process of taking ideas pioneered by other scientists and marketing them as his own. "Where would we all be today had the 'Wizard of Menlo Park' not discovered the basic formula for copying and repackaging the breakthroughs of others?" biographer Paul Israel said of the man who created the first marketable light bulb by borrowing freely from the patented work of inventors such as Joseph Wilson Swan and Henry Woodward. "Many tried before him, but only Edison had the vision, cunning, and sheer audacity to pull it off. Whenever anyone today piggybacks on the tireless ingenuity of another in a wanton act of self-promotion, they have Edison to thank."
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