Thomas A. Edison, the great inventor, was talking one day with the governor of North Carolina, and the governor complimented him on his inventive genius. "I am not a great inventor," said Edison.
"But you have over a thousand patents to your credit, haven’t you?" asked the governor.
"Yes, but about the only invention I can really claim as absolutely original is the phonograph," was the reply.
"Why, I’m afraid I don’t understand what you mean," said the governor.
"Well," explained Edison, "I guess I’m an awfully good sponge. I absorb ideas from every source I can, and put them to practical use. Then I improve them until they become of some value. The ideas which I use are mostly the ideas of other people who don’t develop them themselves."
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