Thomas Edison told journalists they would each receive a brief, private demonstration of the new light bulb’s capacities. They could marvel at what he had achieved before he swiftly ushered them away, ensuring they’d be out of the room long before the bulb burned out.

How Thomas Edison Tricked the Press Into Believing He'd Invented the Light Bulb

A year before he developed a working bulb, the "Wizard of Menlo Park" created the illusion that his prototype burned for more than a few minutes at a time

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