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99.998% Perspiration

Someone once remarked upon the huge number of failures which Thomas Edison had racked up in his quest for a practical storage battery: fifty thousand failed experiments before finally achieving any results. "Results?" the inventor replied. "Why, I have gotten a lot of results. I know fifty thousand things that won't work!"

["Genius," Edison once famously remarked, "is one percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration." Such was his reputation for brilliance, however, that the announcement, in 1878, of his plans to develop a practical electric light bulb caused stocks in illuminating gas companies to plummet in New York and London.]

[Edison's last words? "Oh my, it's very beautiful over there."]

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