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Many inventions have taken several centuries to develop into their modern forms and are rarely the product of a single inventor's efforts. A light bulb flashing over the head of a lone scientist is the universal symbol of invention, but Edison's electric light bulb, which was the product of a whole team of engineers working with ideas cribbed from other inventors, is the rule rather than the exception. Every breakthrough is a collective effort that combines and tweaks already existing ideas and technology in novel ways.

History illustrates a very important truth, inventions are seldom the work of any one mind. Every great invention is really either an aggregation of minor inventions, or the final step of a progression. It is not a creation, but a growth, the same invention is frequently brought out in several countries, and by several individuals, simultaneously.

Frequently an important invention is made before the world is ready to receive it, and the unhappy inventor is taught, by his failure, that it is as unfortunate to be in advance of his age as to be behind it. Inventions only become successful when they are not only needed, but when mankind is so far advanced in intelligence as to appreciate and to express the necessity for them, and to at once make use of them.

Each invention may be just one small step on the road to the ultimate goal.

Evolution of Computing

Evolution of Electricity


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