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Edison as Meta-Inventor
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With Joe Biden announcing in Kenosha today that “A Black man invented the light bulb, not a white guy named Edison,” (seriously, Joe said that), it’s worth remarking upon Edison’s central role in the history of invention. If I took more time I could find a more authoritative-sounding source than TV Tropes, but this gets the point across:

More important than the things he invented though was the technique he developed for it. After a fashion (James Burke did), you could say that Edison invented inventing. He came up with the modern R&D cycle, which consists of (as Burke put it): Identify a market, get backing before you start, publicize it ahead of time so the public is willing to pay for it, and plough back the profits into making more inventions. He also developed the world’s first real R&D team—his numerous and largely unsung assistants, working hard on inventions for which Edison would get all the credit (eventually, he had the sense to start crediting things to his corporation, about which see below); before this, invention was usually one guy or a few, and it wasn’t their only job.

One of the points of the once-famous story of Edison inventing the lightbulb was that the Edison laboratory had the scale and scope of workforce to make a massive global effort to find the optimal material for the filament. From Amusing Planet:

Edison continued to experiment with different organic materials which he carbonized in his laboratory. He contacted biologists and had them send different plant fibers from the tropics. He sent his workers to different places around the globe looking for the perfect material. Edison estimated that he “tested no fewer than 6,000 vegetable growths, and ransacked the world for the most suitable filament material.” One of Edison’s workers, William H. Moore, sent him samples from a bamboo grove growing near the Iwashimizu Hachiman Shrine in Kyoto in 1880.

As Tesla pointed out, Edison’s weakness as an inventor was that he wasn’t a theoretician, so he often had to use brute force techniques like having his men round up 6,000 different kinds of plant (Edisonian science). But the point is that Edison had a huge team of talented men working on projects, which is not something that was common before him in the history of research and development.

Edison famously said:

None of my inventions came by accident. I see a worthwhile need to be met and I make trial after trial until it comes. What it boils down to is one per cent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.

99% percent of the perspiring was done by Edison’s salaried employees, but that was Edison’s real breakthrough in the history of technology.

 
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  1. >s Tesla pointed out, Edison’s weakness as an inventor was that he wasn’t a theoretician, so he often had to use brute force techniques <

    That's what you do when material science is non existent.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @newrouter

    The material science majors at Rice always won the arguments when majors in other sciences tried to put down their field.

    , @Bardon Kaldian
    @newrouter

    No, Edison was simply scientifically illiterate.

    Replies: @newrouter

  2. It seems that different countries have their own Edisons. When I was in England I was told that Swan invented the light bulb not Edison.

    • Replies: @Gordo
    @wren

    Joseph Swan does seem to have invented the light bulb but as one can see he was not a black Swan:


    https://www.sciencephoto.com/media/1023431/view/joseph-swan

    , @Jack D
    @wren

    Biden is right in the sense that the childhood story that we are taught ("Edison invented the lightbulb") is not the complete story (not that "Latimer invented the lightbulb" is any more true).

    The phonograph was something that sprung forth overnight from Edison's brain. The lightbulb is a much more complicated story. Soon after practical means of generating electric current were invented (long before Edison), it became clear that you could heat certain materials to white hot heat with electricity and thus produce light. However, any light that was produced was short lived because the material would soon burn away. Then people (both Swan and Edison) hit upon the idea that if you could place the glowing material in a vacuum there would be no oxygen to consume the filament. Even producing the necessary high vacuum was no small feat, but that left the problem of what material to use as the filament. Carbon seemed like a good candidate (you need a material with high but not infinite resistance) but what form of carbon? And even once you had located a long lasting form, how do you produce the thing in large quantities, sell it for a price that is competitive with other forms of illumination, create a system to bring electricity to each house and bill for it, etc. Just getting the thing to glow a little was the first of a thousand steps and Edison (and only Edison) was the man who could put together the whole package and turn it into something found in every home. Even in England, Swan ended up selling out to the Edison group. Swan's bulb worked (he was able to light up the Savoy Theatre) but its low resistance design required really thick wires and was not suitable for rolling out to every home like the Edison version.

    Replies: @dearieme

  3. Oops. I did not see the last post on Joseph Swan.

  4. The Edison v. Tesla debate that’s raged for a while seems rooted in the idea of crass business v. pure theory.

    Edison did his inventions for money, and he did them well, and he acted like all the other robber-barons of the era: undercut your opponents at every turn, build a huge organization to control the market, patent or steal ideas, monopolize industries to the point of competitive inability to function, and destroy reputations. His attacks on AC current and Westinghouse being a great example.

    Edison might be best called the Robber-Baron Inventor.

    Tesla, meanwhile, seems to be the theory-obsessed futurist who could deliver uncontemplated leaps in theory and practice that made people insanely jealous and yet in awe of him. A Mozart of Science, whom Edison took full advantage of.

    But Tesla died alone, a virgin, talking to pigeons in a hotel room while mumbling about a death ray. Edison died having even the lowliest street urchin know his name, and having most people having their lives changed by his businesses inventions.

  5. Thomas Edison should’ve gone to school in France.

    https://twitter.com/SteveLaws19/status/1300542643227840519

    • Replies: @Gianni in Guernsey
    @JohnnyWalker123

    Some bruit force technique on view . Frances future is safe.

    , @S. Anonyia
    @JohnnyWalker123

    Why are French teachers so weak? I taught some pretty rough teens in my 20s (also I am female) and nothing like that ever happened in my room. Not saying teachers should ever have to deal with this to begin with, or that I didn’t have to constantly stay on top of the kids to stop petty arguments from developing (it’s mentally exhausting)...but geez. What a wimp of a teacher.

    I think teaching should be treated as kind of career-building/national service type 2-5 year stint for young people right out of college, for both rural and urban schools (suburban schools can keep doing what they are doing, though they could perhaps also use the temp teachers for math, science, and sped). I used to hate Teach for America but once I left the field I realized their model of teaching as a resume builder is best.

    Replies: @Diversity Heretic

  6. But the point is that Edison had a huge team of talented men working on projects, which is not something that was common before him in the history of research and development.

    A talented bunch of guys. For example, Frederick Roberts Upton. When Edison realized that he needed a man with a solid grounding in mathematics, he went out and got one:

    Francis Robbins Upton (1852 in Peabody, Massachusetts – March 10, 1921 in Orange, New Jersey) was an American physicist and mathematician. Upton worked alongside Thomas Edison in the development of incandescent light bulbs, electric generators, and electric power distribution. He was the first president of the Edison Pioneers.

    Francis Upton also attended Berlin University and Princeton University. Francis was the first ever to officially receive his doctoral degree from Princeton University. Upton was then hired by Thomas Edison. One of Edison’s biographers described the hired man thus:

    Two years Edison’s senior, Boston-born graduate of Bowdoin College and Princeton, expert in calculus, tempered by a year of postgraduate study at the University of Berlin with Hermann von Helmholtz.[1]

    Upton was hired by Edison in 1878 on the recommendation of Grosvenor Lowrey.

    Upton possessed a mild, modest disposition combined with a keen intelligence. His versatile knowledge of physics made him a most valuable assistant to Edison in that period.[2]:512
    Edison was largely self-educated. He was brimming over with ideas but needed someone with advanced mathematical skills who could do calculations and research the scientific literature to help solve intractable problems. As Francis Jehl was also working with Edison, he needed another handle besides Francis for Upton:

    Affectionately nicknamed “Culture” by his boss because of his introspective, learned mien, piano-playing talent, and impeccable educational credentials.[1]

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francis_Robbins_Upton

    Some other Edison associates of note:

    Edward Goodrich Acheson

    Edward Goodrich Acheson (March 9, 1856 – July 6, 1931) was an American chemist.[1] Born in Washington, Pennsylvania, he was the inventor of the Acheson process, which is still used to make Silicon carbide (carborundum)[2][3] and later a manufacturer of carborundum and graphite.

    He devoted his evenings to scientific pursuits—primarily electrical experiments. In 1880 he had the temerity to attempt to sell a battery of his own invention to Thomas Edison and wound up being hired. Edison put him to work on September 12, 1880 at his Menlo Park, New Jersey laboratory under John Kruesi. Acheson experimented on making a conducting carbon that Edison could use in his electric light bulbs.[6][7]

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Goodrich_Acheson

    William Joseph Hammer

    William Joseph Hammer (February 26, 1858 – March 24, 1934) was an American pioneer electrical engineer and aviator and he was president of the Edison Pioneers starting in 1908. He was a winner of the Elliott Cresson Medal.[1]

    He was born in Cressona, Pennsylvania on February 26, 1858 to William Hammer (1827–1895) and Martha Augusta Beck (1827–1861).[1][2]

    He became a laboratory assistant to Thomas Edison in December 1879, and assisted in the development of the incandescent light bulb.[3] He became one of the world’s earliest experts in electric power distribution. He also built the world’s first advertising sign using incandescent electric lights.[4] He was chief engineer when the English Edison Electric Light company built a central station in London to power 3,000 incandescent lamps on the Holborn Viaduct. This was the first large scale demonstration of a central station powering incandescent lighting, preceding the Pearl Street Station in New York City.[5] Hammer invented the electric advertising sign, by constructing a ten foot long, four foot high sign with 12 bulbs for each letter of the name “Edison,” which had a rotating drum switch to light the letters one by one and then all at once. It was exhibited at The Crystal Palace in London in February 1882.[6]

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Joseph_Hammer

    George F. Morrison

    George Francis Morrison (1867–1943), was an American business executive, industrialist, Edison Pioneer, and a Director and Vice President of General Electric Company. He was one of Thomas Edison’s closest associates and a pioneer in the production of the incandescent lamp, having held a number of patents including that of filament manufacture. Towards the latter part of his decades-long career, Morrison traveled the world introducing the lamp and promoting its use.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_F._Morrison

    Schuyler Wheeler

    Schuyler Skaats Wheeler (May 17, 1860 – April 20, 1923) was an American electrical engineer and manufacturer who invented the electric fan, the electric elevator, and the electric fire engine. He helped develop and implement a code of ethics for electrical engineers.

    Wheeler was educated at Columbia Grammar & Preparatory School. Leaving college in 1881, upon the death of his father, he became assistant electrician of the Yablochkov Electric Lighting Company. Wheeler then joined the United States Electric Lighting Company in 1883 when Yablochkov went out of business with his electric company. He joined the engineering staff of Thomas A. Edison and was part of the project when the Pearl Street Station debuted the first incandescent light bulbs.[3][4] He acted as general manager of the underground distribution system at Newburgh, New York. He was afterwards in charge to lay the Edison underground systems in other cities.[4]

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schuyler_Wheeler

    Frank J. Sprague

    Frank Julian Sprague (July 25, 1857 in Milford, Connecticut – October 25, 1934) was an American naval officer and inventor who contributed to the development of the electric motor, electric railways, and electric elevators. His contributions were especially important in promoting urban development by increasing the size cities could reasonably attain (through better transportation) and by allowing greater concentration of business in commercial sections (through use of electric elevators in skyscrapers).[1] He became known as the “Father of Electric Traction”.He demonstrated an aptitude for science and mathematics, Sprague secured an appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy in 1874. He pursued his electrical studies relentlessly after graduation in 1878 and 2 years at sea.[2]

    In 1883, Edward H. Johnson, a business associate of Thomas Edison, persuaded Sprague to resign his naval commission to work for Edison.[3]:81 Sprague, who began at a salary of $2,500, was neither happy with his salary nor his assignments. Sprague wanted to focus on motors, while motors bored Edison, who was consumed in making his incandescent lighting work. Edison sent Sprague to run the construction departments where Edison had built central power stations for his lighting systems in Sunbury, Pennsylvania, and Brockton, Massachusetts.[3]:85

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_J._Sprague

    William Kennedy Dickson

    William Kennedy-Laurie Dickson (3 August 1860 – 28 September 1935) was a Scottish inventor who devised an early motion picture camera under the employment of Thomas Edison.[1][2]

    At age 19 in 1879, William Dickson wrote a letter to American inventor and entrepreneur Thomas Edison seeking employment. He was turned down. That same year Dickson, his mother, and two sisters moved from Britain to Virginia.[3] In 1883 he was finally hired to work at Edison’s laboratory in Menlo Park, New Jersey. In 1888, Edison conceived of a device that would do “for the Eye what the phonograph does for the Ear”. In October, Edison filed a preliminary claim, known as a caveat, with the United States Patent and Trademark Office; outlining his plans for the device. In March 1889, a second caveat was filed, in which the proposed motion picture device was given a name, the Kinetoscope. Dickson, then the Edison company’s official photographer, was assigned to turn the concept into a reality.

    Initial attempts were focussed on recording micro-photographs on a cylinder. In late 1889, inspired by a recent encounter with Étienne-Jules Marey, Edison came up with a fourth caveat and ordered the team to change direction to work with rolls of film. William Dickson collaborated with the Eastman company to develop a practical celluloid film for this application. Initially using 19mm film, fed horizontally, shooting circular images, Dickson eventually settled on 35 mm film with a 1.33:1 picture ratio, a standard format which is still in use to this day in cinema.[4]

    William Dickson and his team, at the Edison lab, simultaneously worked on the development of the Kinetoscope viewing machine. The first working prototype, using the 19mm film, was unveiled in May 1891 to a meeting of the National Federation of Women’s Clubs, hosted by his wife. The 35mm camera was essentially finalised by the fall of 1892. The completed version of the 35mm Kinetoscope was unveiled at the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences on 9th May 1893.[5] It was a peep show machine showing a continuous loop of film, lit by a small lamp, viewed individually through the window of a cabinet housing its components.

    William Dickson and his team created the illusion of movement by continuously moving the strip of perforated film, bearing sequential images, whilst illuminating it by brief flashes of light through the slit in a rotating shutter. They also devised the Kinetograph, a motion picture camera with rapid intermittent, or stop-and-go, film movement, to photograph films for in-house experiments and eventually, commercial Kinetoscope presentations, at speeds of up to 46 frames per second.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Kennedy_Dickson

    • Replies: @Grahamsno(G64)
    @syonredux

    WOW thanks Edison was also a master mentor the American way, work for me and let's make money.

    , @Colin Wright
    @syonredux

    Note that the figures you list were all apparently white and male.

    ...and you imply we should celebrate this monster.

  7. Anon[288] • Disclaimer says:

    Yes, I was always under the impression that the real history was that Edison perfected the light bulb by finding the best filament for it, not that he technically invented the light bulb itself.

    Having said that, I’ve never heard that a black man invented the light bulb. Did George Washington Carver light one of his giant peanuts on fire or something once?

    • Replies: @Jack D
    @Anon

    Google Lewis Latimer, who stands in the #2 position right next to Edison in Google's pantheon of American investors along with all the other colored greats such as Madame C.J. Walker the inventor of hair straightener.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lewis_Howard_Latimer

    Latimer was in fact a talented black man who rose from humble beginnings to a very respectable (if not truly leading) role with the Edison company. If he had been white, no one would know his name - there were hundreds of white guys with comparable accomplishments whose names are now forgotten.

    To me what is most remarkable about Latimer is that he was (BECAUSE he was one of those rare blacks who is truly talented and hard working) full accepted by Edison and treated as a colleague in a matter of fact way. He got the job done so he was kept and promoted within the Edison organization - they really didn't care what color he was. This in the supposed racist 19th century where he should have been lynched or offered a job as a janitor or something. The barrier to black accomplishment in America has always been their lack of (intellectual) talent and not "racism". In (non-intellectual) fields where blacks did have other sorts of talent (boxing, entertaining, cooking, etc.) they were accepted in much larger numbers. If there had been thousands of Latimers, they would have been accepted too, but such talented blacks simply did not (and do not) exist.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

  8. “His [Edison’s] greatest invention was that of the industrial research laboratory, turning out inventions as a business.”

    -Norbert Wiener

    https://todayinsci.com/W/Wiener_Norbert/WienerNorbert-Quotations.htm

    Here’s a good article:

    How could a maverick with virtually no formal education pull off such an uncanny string of important inventions? Rather than settle for the view popular in his day-promoted largely by Edison himself-that his success derived from some combination of technological genius and single-minded perseverance, the few historians who do have access to Edison’s papers are focusing primarily on the innovative strategies he employed as one of the earliest-and still one of the boldest-practitioners of modern large-scale R&D.

    Building an “Invention Factory”

    Some 40 minutes from Manhattan along Interstate 280, the middle-class community of West Orange, N.J., looks much the same as it did in Edison’s day. Tired brick storefronts line a depressed but still viable downtown. A few blocks away, nestled unobtrusively in a drab, semi-industrial neighborhood, Edison’s West Orange facility, built in 1887, fills two fenced-off blocks with a cluster of vaguely fortresslike brick buildings. The very creation of an independent laboratory here in a prosaic New Jersey suburb is nearly as noteworthy as the work conducted inside. Bearing no visible connection to a university or corporate headquarters, the laboratory stands alone both visually and figuratively. Rutgers historian Paul Israel, one of the editors working on the Thomas Edison Papers Project and the author of a forthcoming biography of Edison-the first based on extensive access to the archives-explains some of the vision behind the freestanding laboratory. “Edison was one of the first,” he says, “to understand that the invention process could be organized.”

    In a posthumous work on invention published in 1993, the eminent computer scientist Norbert Wiener attests that Edison’s most lasting innovation “was the invention of the industrial scientific laboratory in which a moderately large trained crew of technicians was directed by a central mind towards the making of inventions as an everyday business.”

    Many of the techniques Edison would use to run his R&D operation were honed in nearby Menlo Park, where he initially built a laboratory and adjacent boarding house for his workers. There Edison and a dozen colleagues worked in teams to tackle as many as 40 separate projects at a time, including the lightbulb. In 1876, with typical bravado, Edison promised that the enterprise would yield a “minor invention every ten days and a big thing every six months or so.” Remarkably, Edison averaged close to this success rate throughout most of the ensuing four decades.

    To build what he immodestly referred to as the “best equipped and largest Laboratory extant,” Edison realized he needed “facilities incomparably superior to any other for rapid and cheap development of an invention … into commercial shape.” The effort, he noted, would require the facility to carry “a stock of almost every conceivable material,” so that he would be able to “build anything from a lady’s watch to a locomotive.” Israel says the lab reveals that “Edison understood quite early on that naturally occurring materials held open vast possibilities for exploration, exploitation, and development.”

    Nowhere is Edison’s passion for diverse resources as clearly evident as in the storeroom, one of the first stops on Gerbauckas’s tour. Standing before banks of small wooden drawers that line several walls, Gerbauckas explains that each holds different samples; to her side larger stocks of metal sheets, rods, and pipes are neatly arranged. She recounts the inventor’s famous quip that the storehouse contained “everything from an elephant’s hide to the eyeballs of a United States Senator.”

    An 1887 newspaper report confirms that the West Orange stock room contained “eight thousand kinds of chemicals, every kind of screw made, every size of needle, every kind of cord or wire, hair of humans, horses, hogs, cows, rabbits, goats, minx, camels, … silk in every texture, cocoons, various kinds of hoofs, sharks’ teeth, deer horns, tortoise shell, … cork, resin, varnish and oil, ostrich feathers, a peacock’s tail, jet, amber, rubber, all ores, [and] metals.”

    As W. Bernard Carlson, a historian of technology at the University of Virginia, explains it, Edison approached the process of invention more like a craft worker than a theoretical scientist. “For Edison the craftsman, invention was a tactile and visual activity,” he says, and “scientific instruments were extensions of his senses.” He contrasts the “collection of craft shops” at the West Orange facility, which employed glassblowers and machinists, with the more theoretical approach to conceiving new products that became common during ensuing decades. Of course, Edison also hired mathematicians and scientists throughout his career. But he relentlessly chided his college-educated colleagues that their university experience had corrupted them by teaching them to see only “that which they were taught to look for,” thus prompting them to overlook many of nature’s great secrets.

    Gregory Field, a historian at the University of Michigan at Dearborn who spent five years scrutinizing the early notebooks as part of the Edison Papers Project, says Edison’s key contribution to modern research efforts is his maverick insistence on “always tying the R’ to the D’.” Edison persistently held that “invention involves not just research but research, development, and marketing,” Field maintains-a view that would ultimately help usher in a new relationship between scientists and the entrepreneurial use of their work. According to Edison, in fact, “Dollars and science were so much mixed up” in his career that it was sometimes hard to separate his inventive activities from the continual stream of commercial ventures in which he involved himself.

    Edison almost defiantly emphasized his role as an “industrial scientist” to contrast himself with academic scientists such as Pasteur. Not surprisingly given his success, he inspired others to pursue a similar approach. For instance, historians have traced Alexander Graham Bell’s establishment of a small general research laboratory-the precursor of what would ultimately grow into the enormous Bell Laboratory complex (now Lucent Technologies)-to Edison’s example.

    Israel reports that he has uncovered new evidence of Edison’s enormous talent for appropriating techniques that may have failed in one instance and using them to great effect in another. For example, Edison’s unsuccessful work to develop an undersea telegraph cable ultimately led to a breakthrough on a telephone transmitter. In repeated attempts to maintain a constant level of electrical resistance in a prototype of a lengthy transatlantic cable, Edison simply couldn’t solve the problem. Many months later, in his work on the telephone, Edison used the principle of variable resistance to help design a telephone transmitter that adapted to the changing soundwaves of a caller’s voice-a technique that would serve as the industry standard for the better part of a century.

    https://www.technologyreview.com/1997/02/01/237382/unlocking-the-legacies-of-the-edison-archives/

    • Replies: @Mr McKenna
    @syonredux

    For Christ's sake, Syon. There's a button for that, as we keep reminding you.



    I almost always enjoy your posts, when I have the time to read them.
    But that's just abusively long.

    , @Reg Cæsar
    @syonredux


    W. Bernard Carlson, a historian of technology at the University of Virginia
     
    Understanding the Inventions That Changed the World
    Professor W. Bernard Carlson, Ph.D.
    University of Virginia



    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=df3XqmShhgE
    , @Intelligent Dasein
    @syonredux

    More, please.

    Tag, not copypasta.

    , @Captain Tripps
    @syonredux

    Another famous 19th century Upton. Died prematurely, though (age 41):

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emory_Upton

  9. Anon[288] • Disclaimer says:

    Another interesting story about Edison is that he was basically responsible for the movie industry decamping for Hollywood.

    Edison formed a monopoly trust of companies that owned his patents for film cameras, projectors, etc. basically everything required to make movies and show them in theaters. He had a hired army of armed goons who would go around aggressively enforcing his patents by destroying equipment and beating up people who used film equipment and projectors in theaters. So the film industry basically fled west to Hollywood to avoid Edison and his goons.

    “Cecil B. DeMille Kept a Wolf and Guns To Defend Against Edison’s Thugs”

    https://gizmodo.com/cecil-b-demille-kept-a-wolf-and-guns-to-defend-against-1682578284

    Thomas Edison dominated the early movie business. Edison’s Motion Picture Patents Company (commonly called the Edison Trust) had a monopoly on some of the fundamental technologies that allowed people to make films. They also dominated the distribution business in the United States. So independent filmmakers of the early 1910s sought refuge in hard to reach places.

    Southern California soon emerged as one of these go-to destinations (along with Cuba and Florida) to shoot movies, since it was a five-day train ride from New York to Los Angeles. And Cecil B. DeMille was one filmmaker who moved west to work in peace, shielded by geography to use Edison movie equipment without paying royalties. This, of course, didn’t make the Trust too happy—and Edison’s thugs would often be dispatched to go after DeMille and his films.

    DeMille, naturally, sought to protect himself as the book Lost Hollywood by David Wallace explains:

    DeMille, for example, received numerous anonymous threats to his life and was shot at twice in his first months in Hollywood. The director was certain it was the Trust trying to kill him, but the perpetrators were never caught. On more than one occasion, he slept in his first studio armed with a shotgun to guard his film. Like many other early filmmakers, he carried a .45 revolver conspicuously in a holster on his belt. Eventually he owned eighty-six guns, often using them as props for his movies.

    • Thanks: utu
    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
    @Anon

    Southern California is also much sunnier than New Jersey, thus a better place to film outdoors. It was a good move overall.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

  10. Edison did not invent anything. To say he did is just propaganda. He was just a thief and this article shows how dishonest America is with its history.

    https://nowarnonato.blogspot.com/2020/07/en-larry-romanoff-few-historical-frauds.html?m=1

  11. @syonredux
    "His [Edison’s] greatest invention was that of the industrial research laboratory, turning out inventions as a business."

    -Norbert Wiener

    https://todayinsci.com/W/Wiener_Norbert/WienerNorbert-Quotations.htm


    Here's a good article:

    How could a maverick with virtually no formal education pull off such an uncanny string of important inventions? Rather than settle for the view popular in his day-promoted largely by Edison himself-that his success derived from some combination of technological genius and single-minded perseverance, the few historians who do have access to Edison’s papers are focusing primarily on the innovative strategies he employed as one of the earliest-and still one of the boldest-practitioners of modern large-scale R&D.
     

    Building an “Invention Factory”

    Some 40 minutes from Manhattan along Interstate 280, the middle-class community of West Orange, N.J., looks much the same as it did in Edison’s day. Tired brick storefronts line a depressed but still viable downtown. A few blocks away, nestled unobtrusively in a drab, semi-industrial neighborhood, Edison’s West Orange facility, built in 1887, fills two fenced-off blocks with a cluster of vaguely fortresslike brick buildings. The very creation of an independent laboratory here in a prosaic New Jersey suburb is nearly as noteworthy as the work conducted inside. Bearing no visible connection to a university or corporate headquarters, the laboratory stands alone both visually and figuratively. Rutgers historian Paul Israel, one of the editors working on the Thomas Edison Papers Project and the author of a forthcoming biography of Edison-the first based on extensive access to the archives-explains some of the vision behind the freestanding laboratory. “Edison was one of the first,” he says, “to understand that the invention process could be organized.”

     


    In a posthumous work on invention published in 1993, the eminent computer scientist Norbert Wiener attests that Edison’s most lasting innovation “was the invention of the industrial scientific laboratory in which a moderately large trained crew of technicians was directed by a central mind towards the making of inventions as an everyday business.”

     


    Many of the techniques Edison would use to run his R&D operation were honed in nearby Menlo Park, where he initially built a laboratory and adjacent boarding house for his workers. There Edison and a dozen colleagues worked in teams to tackle as many as 40 separate projects at a time, including the lightbulb. In 1876, with typical bravado, Edison promised that the enterprise would yield a “minor invention every ten days and a big thing every six months or so.” Remarkably, Edison averaged close to this success rate throughout most of the ensuing four decades.

     


    To build what he immodestly referred to as the “best equipped and largest Laboratory extant,” Edison realized he needed “facilities incomparably superior to any other for rapid and cheap development of an invention … into commercial shape.” The effort, he noted, would require the facility to carry “a stock of almost every conceivable material,” so that he would be able to “build anything from a lady’s watch to a locomotive.” Israel says the lab reveals that “Edison understood quite early on that naturally occurring materials held open vast possibilities for exploration, exploitation, and development.”

     


    Nowhere is Edison’s passion for diverse resources as clearly evident as in the storeroom, one of the first stops on Gerbauckas’s tour. Standing before banks of small wooden drawers that line several walls, Gerbauckas explains that each holds different samples; to her side larger stocks of metal sheets, rods, and pipes are neatly arranged. She recounts the inventor’s famous quip that the storehouse contained “everything from an elephant’s hide to the eyeballs of a United States Senator.”

     


    An 1887 newspaper report confirms that the West Orange stock room contained “eight thousand kinds of chemicals, every kind of screw made, every size of needle, every kind of cord or wire, hair of humans, horses, hogs, cows, rabbits, goats, minx, camels, … silk in every texture, cocoons, various kinds of hoofs, sharks’ teeth, deer horns, tortoise shell, … cork, resin, varnish and oil, ostrich feathers, a peacock’s tail, jet, amber, rubber, all ores, [and] metals.”

     


    As W. Bernard Carlson, a historian of technology at the University of Virginia, explains it, Edison approached the process of invention more like a craft worker than a theoretical scientist. “For Edison the craftsman, invention was a tactile and visual activity,” he says, and “scientific instruments were extensions of his senses.” He contrasts the “collection of craft shops” at the West Orange facility, which employed glassblowers and machinists, with the more theoretical approach to conceiving new products that became common during ensuing decades. Of course, Edison also hired mathematicians and scientists throughout his career. But he relentlessly chided his college-educated colleagues that their university experience had corrupted them by teaching them to see only “that which they were taught to look for,” thus prompting them to overlook many of nature’s great secrets.

     


    Gregory Field, a historian at the University of Michigan at Dearborn who spent five years scrutinizing the early notebooks as part of the Edison Papers Project, says Edison’s key contribution to modern research efforts is his maverick insistence on “always tying the R’ to the D’.” Edison persistently held that “invention involves not just research but research, development, and marketing,” Field maintains-a view that would ultimately help usher in a new relationship between scientists and the entrepreneurial use of their work. According to Edison, in fact, “Dollars and science were so much mixed up” in his career that it was sometimes hard to separate his inventive activities from the continual stream of commercial ventures in which he involved himself.
     

    Edison almost defiantly emphasized his role as an “industrial scientist” to contrast himself with academic scientists such as Pasteur. Not surprisingly given his success, he inspired others to pursue a similar approach. For instance, historians have traced Alexander Graham Bell’s establishment of a small general research laboratory-the precursor of what would ultimately grow into the enormous Bell Laboratory complex (now Lucent Technologies)-to Edison’s example.
     

    Israel reports that he has uncovered new evidence of Edison’s enormous talent for appropriating techniques that may have failed in one instance and using them to great effect in another. For example, Edison’s unsuccessful work to develop an undersea telegraph cable ultimately led to a breakthrough on a telephone transmitter. In repeated attempts to maintain a constant level of electrical resistance in a prototype of a lengthy transatlantic cable, Edison simply couldn’t solve the problem. Many months later, in his work on the telephone, Edison used the principle of variable resistance to help design a telephone transmitter that adapted to the changing soundwaves of a caller’s voice-a technique that would serve as the industry standard for the better part of a century.

     

    https://www.technologyreview.com/1997/02/01/237382/unlocking-the-legacies-of-the-edison-archives/

    Replies: @Mr McKenna, @Reg Cæsar, @Intelligent Dasein, @Captain Tripps

    For Christ’s sake, Syon. There’s a button for that, as we keep reminding you.

    [MORE]

    I almost always enjoy your posts, when I have the time to read them.
    But that’s just abusively long.

  12. Edison as Meta-Inventor

    If a modern Edison set up a lab which made prototype after prototype after prototype, would he be a meta-beta-inventor?

  13. @syonredux
    "His [Edison’s] greatest invention was that of the industrial research laboratory, turning out inventions as a business."

    -Norbert Wiener

    https://todayinsci.com/W/Wiener_Norbert/WienerNorbert-Quotations.htm


    Here's a good article:

    How could a maverick with virtually no formal education pull off such an uncanny string of important inventions? Rather than settle for the view popular in his day-promoted largely by Edison himself-that his success derived from some combination of technological genius and single-minded perseverance, the few historians who do have access to Edison’s papers are focusing primarily on the innovative strategies he employed as one of the earliest-and still one of the boldest-practitioners of modern large-scale R&D.
     

    Building an “Invention Factory”

    Some 40 minutes from Manhattan along Interstate 280, the middle-class community of West Orange, N.J., looks much the same as it did in Edison’s day. Tired brick storefronts line a depressed but still viable downtown. A few blocks away, nestled unobtrusively in a drab, semi-industrial neighborhood, Edison’s West Orange facility, built in 1887, fills two fenced-off blocks with a cluster of vaguely fortresslike brick buildings. The very creation of an independent laboratory here in a prosaic New Jersey suburb is nearly as noteworthy as the work conducted inside. Bearing no visible connection to a university or corporate headquarters, the laboratory stands alone both visually and figuratively. Rutgers historian Paul Israel, one of the editors working on the Thomas Edison Papers Project and the author of a forthcoming biography of Edison-the first based on extensive access to the archives-explains some of the vision behind the freestanding laboratory. “Edison was one of the first,” he says, “to understand that the invention process could be organized.”

     


    In a posthumous work on invention published in 1993, the eminent computer scientist Norbert Wiener attests that Edison’s most lasting innovation “was the invention of the industrial scientific laboratory in which a moderately large trained crew of technicians was directed by a central mind towards the making of inventions as an everyday business.”

     


    Many of the techniques Edison would use to run his R&D operation were honed in nearby Menlo Park, where he initially built a laboratory and adjacent boarding house for his workers. There Edison and a dozen colleagues worked in teams to tackle as many as 40 separate projects at a time, including the lightbulb. In 1876, with typical bravado, Edison promised that the enterprise would yield a “minor invention every ten days and a big thing every six months or so.” Remarkably, Edison averaged close to this success rate throughout most of the ensuing four decades.

     


    To build what he immodestly referred to as the “best equipped and largest Laboratory extant,” Edison realized he needed “facilities incomparably superior to any other for rapid and cheap development of an invention … into commercial shape.” The effort, he noted, would require the facility to carry “a stock of almost every conceivable material,” so that he would be able to “build anything from a lady’s watch to a locomotive.” Israel says the lab reveals that “Edison understood quite early on that naturally occurring materials held open vast possibilities for exploration, exploitation, and development.”

     


    Nowhere is Edison’s passion for diverse resources as clearly evident as in the storeroom, one of the first stops on Gerbauckas’s tour. Standing before banks of small wooden drawers that line several walls, Gerbauckas explains that each holds different samples; to her side larger stocks of metal sheets, rods, and pipes are neatly arranged. She recounts the inventor’s famous quip that the storehouse contained “everything from an elephant’s hide to the eyeballs of a United States Senator.”

     


    An 1887 newspaper report confirms that the West Orange stock room contained “eight thousand kinds of chemicals, every kind of screw made, every size of needle, every kind of cord or wire, hair of humans, horses, hogs, cows, rabbits, goats, minx, camels, … silk in every texture, cocoons, various kinds of hoofs, sharks’ teeth, deer horns, tortoise shell, … cork, resin, varnish and oil, ostrich feathers, a peacock’s tail, jet, amber, rubber, all ores, [and] metals.”

     


    As W. Bernard Carlson, a historian of technology at the University of Virginia, explains it, Edison approached the process of invention more like a craft worker than a theoretical scientist. “For Edison the craftsman, invention was a tactile and visual activity,” he says, and “scientific instruments were extensions of his senses.” He contrasts the “collection of craft shops” at the West Orange facility, which employed glassblowers and machinists, with the more theoretical approach to conceiving new products that became common during ensuing decades. Of course, Edison also hired mathematicians and scientists throughout his career. But he relentlessly chided his college-educated colleagues that their university experience had corrupted them by teaching them to see only “that which they were taught to look for,” thus prompting them to overlook many of nature’s great secrets.

     


    Gregory Field, a historian at the University of Michigan at Dearborn who spent five years scrutinizing the early notebooks as part of the Edison Papers Project, says Edison’s key contribution to modern research efforts is his maverick insistence on “always tying the R’ to the D’.” Edison persistently held that “invention involves not just research but research, development, and marketing,” Field maintains-a view that would ultimately help usher in a new relationship between scientists and the entrepreneurial use of their work. According to Edison, in fact, “Dollars and science were so much mixed up” in his career that it was sometimes hard to separate his inventive activities from the continual stream of commercial ventures in which he involved himself.
     

    Edison almost defiantly emphasized his role as an “industrial scientist” to contrast himself with academic scientists such as Pasteur. Not surprisingly given his success, he inspired others to pursue a similar approach. For instance, historians have traced Alexander Graham Bell’s establishment of a small general research laboratory-the precursor of what would ultimately grow into the enormous Bell Laboratory complex (now Lucent Technologies)-to Edison’s example.
     

    Israel reports that he has uncovered new evidence of Edison’s enormous talent for appropriating techniques that may have failed in one instance and using them to great effect in another. For example, Edison’s unsuccessful work to develop an undersea telegraph cable ultimately led to a breakthrough on a telephone transmitter. In repeated attempts to maintain a constant level of electrical resistance in a prototype of a lengthy transatlantic cable, Edison simply couldn’t solve the problem. Many months later, in his work on the telephone, Edison used the principle of variable resistance to help design a telephone transmitter that adapted to the changing soundwaves of a caller’s voice-a technique that would serve as the industry standard for the better part of a century.

     

    https://www.technologyreview.com/1997/02/01/237382/unlocking-the-legacies-of-the-edison-archives/

    Replies: @Mr McKenna, @Reg Cæsar, @Intelligent Dasein, @Captain Tripps

    W. Bernard Carlson, a historian of technology at the University of Virginia

    Understanding the Inventions That Changed the World
    Professor W. Bernard Carlson, Ph.D.
    University of Virginia

  14. @syonredux
    "His [Edison’s] greatest invention was that of the industrial research laboratory, turning out inventions as a business."

    -Norbert Wiener

    https://todayinsci.com/W/Wiener_Norbert/WienerNorbert-Quotations.htm


    Here's a good article:

    How could a maverick with virtually no formal education pull off such an uncanny string of important inventions? Rather than settle for the view popular in his day-promoted largely by Edison himself-that his success derived from some combination of technological genius and single-minded perseverance, the few historians who do have access to Edison’s papers are focusing primarily on the innovative strategies he employed as one of the earliest-and still one of the boldest-practitioners of modern large-scale R&D.
     

    Building an “Invention Factory”

    Some 40 minutes from Manhattan along Interstate 280, the middle-class community of West Orange, N.J., looks much the same as it did in Edison’s day. Tired brick storefronts line a depressed but still viable downtown. A few blocks away, nestled unobtrusively in a drab, semi-industrial neighborhood, Edison’s West Orange facility, built in 1887, fills two fenced-off blocks with a cluster of vaguely fortresslike brick buildings. The very creation of an independent laboratory here in a prosaic New Jersey suburb is nearly as noteworthy as the work conducted inside. Bearing no visible connection to a university or corporate headquarters, the laboratory stands alone both visually and figuratively. Rutgers historian Paul Israel, one of the editors working on the Thomas Edison Papers Project and the author of a forthcoming biography of Edison-the first based on extensive access to the archives-explains some of the vision behind the freestanding laboratory. “Edison was one of the first,” he says, “to understand that the invention process could be organized.”

     


    In a posthumous work on invention published in 1993, the eminent computer scientist Norbert Wiener attests that Edison’s most lasting innovation “was the invention of the industrial scientific laboratory in which a moderately large trained crew of technicians was directed by a central mind towards the making of inventions as an everyday business.”

     


    Many of the techniques Edison would use to run his R&D operation were honed in nearby Menlo Park, where he initially built a laboratory and adjacent boarding house for his workers. There Edison and a dozen colleagues worked in teams to tackle as many as 40 separate projects at a time, including the lightbulb. In 1876, with typical bravado, Edison promised that the enterprise would yield a “minor invention every ten days and a big thing every six months or so.” Remarkably, Edison averaged close to this success rate throughout most of the ensuing four decades.

     


    To build what he immodestly referred to as the “best equipped and largest Laboratory extant,” Edison realized he needed “facilities incomparably superior to any other for rapid and cheap development of an invention … into commercial shape.” The effort, he noted, would require the facility to carry “a stock of almost every conceivable material,” so that he would be able to “build anything from a lady’s watch to a locomotive.” Israel says the lab reveals that “Edison understood quite early on that naturally occurring materials held open vast possibilities for exploration, exploitation, and development.”

     


    Nowhere is Edison’s passion for diverse resources as clearly evident as in the storeroom, one of the first stops on Gerbauckas’s tour. Standing before banks of small wooden drawers that line several walls, Gerbauckas explains that each holds different samples; to her side larger stocks of metal sheets, rods, and pipes are neatly arranged. She recounts the inventor’s famous quip that the storehouse contained “everything from an elephant’s hide to the eyeballs of a United States Senator.”

     


    An 1887 newspaper report confirms that the West Orange stock room contained “eight thousand kinds of chemicals, every kind of screw made, every size of needle, every kind of cord or wire, hair of humans, horses, hogs, cows, rabbits, goats, minx, camels, … silk in every texture, cocoons, various kinds of hoofs, sharks’ teeth, deer horns, tortoise shell, … cork, resin, varnish and oil, ostrich feathers, a peacock’s tail, jet, amber, rubber, all ores, [and] metals.”

     


    As W. Bernard Carlson, a historian of technology at the University of Virginia, explains it, Edison approached the process of invention more like a craft worker than a theoretical scientist. “For Edison the craftsman, invention was a tactile and visual activity,” he says, and “scientific instruments were extensions of his senses.” He contrasts the “collection of craft shops” at the West Orange facility, which employed glassblowers and machinists, with the more theoretical approach to conceiving new products that became common during ensuing decades. Of course, Edison also hired mathematicians and scientists throughout his career. But he relentlessly chided his college-educated colleagues that their university experience had corrupted them by teaching them to see only “that which they were taught to look for,” thus prompting them to overlook many of nature’s great secrets.

     


    Gregory Field, a historian at the University of Michigan at Dearborn who spent five years scrutinizing the early notebooks as part of the Edison Papers Project, says Edison’s key contribution to modern research efforts is his maverick insistence on “always tying the R’ to the D’.” Edison persistently held that “invention involves not just research but research, development, and marketing,” Field maintains-a view that would ultimately help usher in a new relationship between scientists and the entrepreneurial use of their work. According to Edison, in fact, “Dollars and science were so much mixed up” in his career that it was sometimes hard to separate his inventive activities from the continual stream of commercial ventures in which he involved himself.
     

    Edison almost defiantly emphasized his role as an “industrial scientist” to contrast himself with academic scientists such as Pasteur. Not surprisingly given his success, he inspired others to pursue a similar approach. For instance, historians have traced Alexander Graham Bell’s establishment of a small general research laboratory-the precursor of what would ultimately grow into the enormous Bell Laboratory complex (now Lucent Technologies)-to Edison’s example.
     

    Israel reports that he has uncovered new evidence of Edison’s enormous talent for appropriating techniques that may have failed in one instance and using them to great effect in another. For example, Edison’s unsuccessful work to develop an undersea telegraph cable ultimately led to a breakthrough on a telephone transmitter. In repeated attempts to maintain a constant level of electrical resistance in a prototype of a lengthy transatlantic cable, Edison simply couldn’t solve the problem. Many months later, in his work on the telephone, Edison used the principle of variable resistance to help design a telephone transmitter that adapted to the changing soundwaves of a caller’s voice-a technique that would serve as the industry standard for the better part of a century.

     

    https://www.technologyreview.com/1997/02/01/237382/unlocking-the-legacies-of-the-edison-archives/

    Replies: @Mr McKenna, @Reg Cæsar, @Intelligent Dasein, @Captain Tripps

    More, please.

    Tag, not copypasta.

  15. @JohnnyWalker123
    Thomas Edison should've gone to school in France.

    https://twitter.com/SteveLaws19/status/1300542643227840519

    Replies: @Gianni in Guernsey, @S. Anonyia

    Some bruit force technique on view . Frances future is safe.

  16. @JohnnyWalker123
    Thomas Edison should've gone to school in France.

    https://twitter.com/SteveLaws19/status/1300542643227840519

    Replies: @Gianni in Guernsey, @S. Anonyia

    Why are French teachers so weak? I taught some pretty rough teens in my 20s (also I am female) and nothing like that ever happened in my room. Not saying teachers should ever have to deal with this to begin with, or that I didn’t have to constantly stay on top of the kids to stop petty arguments from developing (it’s mentally exhausting)…but geez. What a wimp of a teacher.

    I think teaching should be treated as kind of career-building/national service type 2-5 year stint for young people right out of college, for both rural and urban schools (suburban schools can keep doing what they are doing, though they could perhaps also use the temp teachers for math, science, and sped). I used to hate Teach for America but once I left the field I realized their model of teaching as a resume builder is best.

    • Replies: @Diversity Heretic
    @S. Anonyia

    I live in France. You simply cannot use force against feral Arabs and Africans. Even the police are afraid of them. They are the darlings of the French ruling class, who do not have to endure their dysfunction.

    Replies: @Lurker

  17. Edison-inspired industrial research and development was alive and well in America circa 1980, when I worked as a lab technician at R&D for a Dow Jones Industrial. My father worked at headquarters and got me an interview with the company’s head of HR, which led to the job where I wore a white lab coat and performed tests. It was a cool job, the result of sheer nepotism, and I used the money to pay for my first year of college.

    I met the scientist there who developed the method of purifying silica to a high enough level in large enough quantities to make the Space Shuttle tiles. Previously, such material had only been achieved in small quantities in the lab. He had a tile on his desk, which I picked up while we were talking one day. It was extremely light and looked and felt like a dense block of styrofoam. The Shuttle made its first flight that year, and we all stopped work and watched it land after it successfully reentered Earth’s atmosphere thanks to that man’s pure silica.

    [MORE]

    My job consisted mostly of destroying sample products, measuring the results and often calculating standard deviations of the numbers I got. Using special equipment, I poked holes, ripped things apart and burned them, carefully measuring along the way. My boss, a research engineer who had previously designed automatic transmissions for General Motors, wrote my numbers on a wall chart in his office. He was one of the many, salaried researchers there who worked full time perfecting the company’s products and formulae. Our center included prototype manufacturing facilities to make every new iteration. It was a modern light-bulb lab.

    This was an industrial products company. The work in a place like that is the reason your roof doesn’t leak, your heating and air conditioning ducts don’t fall apart, and your home insulation works.

    Duct tape fans will be happy to hear that among other things, my boss was developing standards for the industry. One of my tasks was to program an environmental chamber the size of a walk-in closet, place my taped duct samples in there, and let the thing cycle and simulate extremes of weather – hot, cold, humid, dry – for days and weeks while the tapes either stayed stuck of peeled off. We had lots of other neat equipment and products too, even a wind tunnel..

    • Replies: @Not Raul
    @Buzz Mohawk

    3M has a great history; but would you buy stock in the company now?

    Replies: @Buzz Mohawk

  18. So, basically Edison’s slaves invented the light-bulb. 😉

  19. Supposedly, Edison was the first employer to support “power naps”.

  20. @Buzz Mohawk
    Edison-inspired industrial research and development was alive and well in America circa 1980, when I worked as a lab technician at R&D for a Dow Jones Industrial. My father worked at headquarters and got me an interview with the company's head of HR, which led to the job where I wore a white lab coat and performed tests. It was a cool job, the result of sheer nepotism, and I used the money to pay for my first year of college.

    I met the scientist there who developed the method of purifying silica to a high enough level in large enough quantities to make the Space Shuttle tiles. Previously, such material had only been achieved in small quantities in the lab. He had a tile on his desk, which I picked up while we were talking one day. It was extremely light and looked and felt like a dense block of styrofoam. The Shuttle made its first flight that year, and we all stopped work and watched it land after it successfully reentered Earth's atmosphere thanks to that man's pure silica.

    My job consisted mostly of destroying sample products, measuring the results and often calculating standard deviations of the numbers I got. Using special equipment, I poked holes, ripped things apart and burned them, carefully measuring along the way. My boss, a research engineer who had previously designed automatic transmissions for General Motors, wrote my numbers on a wall chart in his office. He was one of the many, salaried researchers there who worked full time perfecting the company's products and formulae. Our center included prototype manufacturing facilities to make every new iteration. It was a modern light-bulb lab.

    This was an industrial products company. The work in a place like that is the reason your roof doesn't leak, your heating and air conditioning ducts don't fall apart, and your home insulation works.

    Duct tape fans will be happy to hear that among other things, my boss was developing standards for the industry. One of my tasks was to program an environmental chamber the size of a walk-in closet, place my taped duct samples in there, and let the thing cycle and simulate extremes of weather - hot, cold, humid, dry - for days and weeks while the tapes either stayed stuck of peeled off. We had lots of other neat equipment and products too, even a wind tunnel..

    Replies: @Not Raul

    3M has a great history; but would you buy stock in the company now?

    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
    @Not Raul

    This is a different world now, and I have sold all of my stock.

    Replies: @Anonymous, @Steve Sailer

  21. @syonredux

    But the point is that Edison had a huge team of talented men working on projects, which is not something that was common before him in the history of research and development.
     
    A talented bunch of guys. For example, Frederick Roberts Upton. When Edison realized that he needed a man with a solid grounding in mathematics, he went out and got one:

    Francis Robbins Upton (1852 in Peabody, Massachusetts – March 10, 1921 in Orange, New Jersey) was an American physicist and mathematician. Upton worked alongside Thomas Edison in the development of incandescent light bulbs, electric generators, and electric power distribution. He was the first president of the Edison Pioneers.
     

    Francis Upton also attended Berlin University and Princeton University. Francis was the first ever to officially receive his doctoral degree from Princeton University. Upton was then hired by Thomas Edison. One of Edison's biographers described the hired man thus:

    Two years Edison’s senior, Boston-born graduate of Bowdoin College and Princeton, expert in calculus, tempered by a year of postgraduate study at the University of Berlin with Hermann von Helmholtz.[1]
     

    Upton was hired by Edison in 1878 on the recommendation of Grosvenor Lowrey.

    Upton possessed a mild, modest disposition combined with a keen intelligence. His versatile knowledge of physics made him a most valuable assistant to Edison in that period.[2]:512
    Edison was largely self-educated. He was brimming over with ideas but needed someone with advanced mathematical skills who could do calculations and research the scientific literature to help solve intractable problems. As Francis Jehl was also working with Edison, he needed another handle besides Francis for Upton:

    Affectionately nicknamed "Culture" by his boss because of his introspective, learned mien, piano-playing talent, and impeccable educational credentials.[
    1]
     
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francis_Robbins_Upton



    Some other Edison associates of note:



    Edward Goodrich Acheson

    Edward Goodrich Acheson (March 9, 1856 – July 6, 1931) was an American chemist.[1] Born in Washington, Pennsylvania, he was the inventor of the Acheson process, which is still used to make Silicon carbide (carborundum)[2][3] and later a manufacturer of carborundum and graphite.

     


    He devoted his evenings to scientific pursuits—primarily electrical experiments. In 1880 he had the temerity to attempt to sell a battery of his own invention to Thomas Edison and wound up being hired. Edison put him to work on September 12, 1880 at his Menlo Park, New Jersey laboratory under John Kruesi. Acheson experimented on making a conducting carbon that Edison could use in his electric light bulbs.[6][7]

     

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Goodrich_Acheson


    William Joseph Hammer

    William Joseph Hammer (February 26, 1858 – March 24, 1934) was an American pioneer electrical engineer and aviator and he was president of the Edison Pioneers starting in 1908. He was a winner of the Elliott Cresson Medal.[1]
     

    He was born in Cressona, Pennsylvania on February 26, 1858 to William Hammer (1827–1895) and Martha Augusta Beck (1827–1861).[1][2]

    He became a laboratory assistant to Thomas Edison in December 1879, and assisted in the development of the incandescent light bulb.[3] He became one of the world's earliest experts in electric power distribution. He also built the world's first advertising sign using incandescent electric lights.[4] He was chief engineer when the English Edison Electric Light company built a central station in London to power 3,000 incandescent lamps on the Holborn Viaduct. This was the first large scale demonstration of a central station powering incandescent lighting, preceding the Pearl Street Station in New York City.[5] Hammer invented the electric advertising sign, by constructing a ten foot long, four foot high sign with 12 bulbs for each letter of the name "Edison," which had a rotating drum switch to light the letters one by one and then all at once. It was exhibited at The Crystal Palace in London in February 1882.[6]
     
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Joseph_Hammer


    George F. Morrison

    George Francis Morrison (1867–1943), was an American business executive, industrialist, Edison Pioneer, and a Director and Vice President of General Electric Company. He was one of Thomas Edison's closest associates and a pioneer in the production of the incandescent lamp, having held a number of patents including that of filament manufacture. Towards the latter part of his decades-long career, Morrison traveled the world introducing the lamp and promoting its use.
     
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_F._Morrison


    Schuyler Wheeler

    Schuyler Skaats Wheeler (May 17, 1860 – April 20, 1923) was an American electrical engineer and manufacturer who invented the electric fan, the electric elevator, and the electric fire engine. He helped develop and implement a code of ethics for electrical engineers.
     


    Wheeler was educated at Columbia Grammar & Preparatory School. Leaving college in 1881, upon the death of his father, he became assistant electrician of the Yablochkov Electric Lighting Company. Wheeler then joined the United States Electric Lighting Company in 1883 when Yablochkov went out of business with his electric company. He joined the engineering staff of Thomas A. Edison and was part of the project when the Pearl Street Station debuted the first incandescent light bulbs.[3][4] He acted as general manager of the underground distribution system at Newburgh, New York. He was afterwards in charge to lay the Edison underground systems in other cities.[4]

     

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schuyler_Wheeler


    Frank J. Sprague

    Frank Julian Sprague (July 25, 1857 in Milford, Connecticut – October 25, 1934) was an American naval officer and inventor who contributed to the development of the electric motor, electric railways, and electric elevators. His contributions were especially important in promoting urban development by increasing the size cities could reasonably attain (through better transportation) and by allowing greater concentration of business in commercial sections (through use of electric elevators in skyscrapers).[1] He became known as the "Father of Electric Traction".He demonstrated an aptitude for science and mathematics, Sprague secured an appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy in 1874. He pursued his electrical studies relentlessly after graduation in 1878 and 2 years at sea.[2]
     

    In 1883, Edward H. Johnson, a business associate of Thomas Edison, persuaded Sprague to resign his naval commission to work for Edison.[3]:81 Sprague, who began at a salary of $2,500, was neither happy with his salary nor his assignments. Sprague wanted to focus on motors, while motors bored Edison, who was consumed in making his incandescent lighting work. Edison sent Sprague to run the construction departments where Edison had built central power stations for his lighting systems in Sunbury, Pennsylvania, and Brockton, Massachusetts.[3]:85
     
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_J._Sprague


    William Kennedy Dickson

    William Kennedy-Laurie Dickson (3 August 1860 – 28 September 1935) was a Scottish inventor who devised an early motion picture camera under the employment of Thomas Edison.[1][2]
     

    At age 19 in 1879, William Dickson wrote a letter to American inventor and entrepreneur Thomas Edison seeking employment. He was turned down. That same year Dickson, his mother, and two sisters moved from Britain to Virginia.[3] In 1883 he was finally hired to work at Edison's laboratory in Menlo Park, New Jersey. In 1888, Edison conceived of a device that would do "for the Eye what the phonograph does for the Ear". In October, Edison filed a preliminary claim, known as a caveat, with the United States Patent and Trademark Office; outlining his plans for the device. In March 1889, a second caveat was filed, in which the proposed motion picture device was given a name, the Kinetoscope. Dickson, then the Edison company's official photographer, was assigned to turn the concept into a reality.

    Initial attempts were focussed on recording micro-photographs on a cylinder. In late 1889, inspired by a recent encounter with Étienne-Jules Marey, Edison came up with a fourth caveat and ordered the team to change direction to work with rolls of film. William Dickson collaborated with the Eastman company to develop a practical celluloid film for this application. Initially using 19mm film, fed horizontally, shooting circular images, Dickson eventually settled on 35 mm film with a 1.33:1 picture ratio, a standard format which is still in use to this day in cinema.[4]

    William Dickson and his team, at the Edison lab, simultaneously worked on the development of the Kinetoscope viewing machine. The first working prototype, using the 19mm film, was unveiled in May 1891 to a meeting of the National Federation of Women's Clubs, hosted by his wife. The 35mm camera was essentially finalised by the fall of 1892. The completed version of the 35mm Kinetoscope was unveiled at the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences on 9th May 1893.[5] It was a peep show machine showing a continuous loop of film, lit by a small lamp, viewed individually through the window of a cabinet housing its components.

    William Dickson and his team created the illusion of movement by continuously moving the strip of perforated film, bearing sequential images, whilst illuminating it by brief flashes of light through the slit in a rotating shutter. They also devised the Kinetograph, a motion picture camera with rapid intermittent, or stop-and-go, film movement, to photograph films for in-house experiments and eventually, commercial Kinetoscope presentations, at speeds of up to 46 frames per second.

     

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Kennedy_Dickson

    Replies: @Grahamsno(G64), @Colin Wright

    WOW thanks Edison was also a master mentor the American way, work for me and let’s make money.

  22. The modern idea is that researchers should pursue pure science and then industry will somehow figure out a way to apply the new discoveries in useful ways.

    But in reality, I think the history of scientific advances have more often flowed in the opposite direction — that is, industrialists figure out what works, and that piques the interest of theoreticians to figure out why it works.

    For example. Pasteur got his ideas about germ theory from seeing how brewers made beer. Darwin got the beginnings of his ideas on natural selection from the selection processes of animal husbandry, etc.

    I don’t know off-hand, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Edison figured out the light bulb through trial and error, and only later did some physicist or chemist work out the theory of incandescence.

    • Replies: @Francis Miville
    @Hypnotoad666

    The electric lightbulb was invented in France by a team of engineers of the Ecole Polytechnique and presented to the public in 1823 : but all what that team was concerned about was to prove that a white-hot heated body, by electricity or other means, in absence of oxygen, would not get consumed but shine for an indefinite period. That was enough to make the people marvel, even though they opted for a very brownish intensity of incandescence so as to spare the public's eyes. Absolutely nobody got the idea that such a device had its place in homes or palaces. If you had suggested them to use it to that purpose, it would have sounded as ludicrous as replacing glass bottles of wine with tin cans. Electricity was already known for its lighting power but arc lamps seemed the perfect solution to use for very specific applications where dazzling light was needed, like lighthouses and other signals. Otherwise light coming out from something else than a flame was just too ugly and out of place : industrial appliances were liked by capitalists but capitalists would heat their own homes only with sweet-smelling wood, not the more modern heating engines they had devised to heat industrial buildings and other places only the poor would frequent. So perpetual incandescende of white-hot filaments in absence of oxygen had been a world-known thing by all engineers through the better part of the 19th century, something as school textbook classic as production of water through hydrogen and oxygen combustion. Edison happened to be the first to make a business out of that invention. The problem was not making one bulb but to produce them for cheap.

    , @ScarletNumber
    @Hypnotoad666


    Pasteur got his ideas about germ theory from seeing how brewers made beer.
     
    In a similar vein, statistical testing comes from William Gosset, who worked for Guinness. Guinness didn't allow its employees to publish, so he used the pseudonym "Student". You may remember Student's T-test from Stat I.
  23. @Not Raul
    @Buzz Mohawk

    3M has a great history; but would you buy stock in the company now?

    Replies: @Buzz Mohawk

    This is a different world now, and I have sold all of my stock.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    @Buzz Mohawk


    This is a different world now, and I have sold all of my stock.

     

    Why did you sell your stock? Thanks

    Replies: @Buzz Mohawk

    , @Steve Sailer
    @Buzz Mohawk

    Did you sell before Thursday's 3.5% plunge?

    Replies: @Buzz Mohawk

  24. “A Black man invented the light bulb, not a white guy named Edison,”

    Is this true?

    • Replies: @Colin Wright
    @Anonymous

    '“A Black man invented the light bulb, not a white guy named Edison,”

    Is this true?'

    Of course it isn't. These days, certain claims can just be dismissed out of hand.

  25. @Buzz Mohawk
    @Not Raul

    This is a different world now, and I have sold all of my stock.

    Replies: @Anonymous, @Steve Sailer

    This is a different world now, and I have sold all of my stock.

    Why did you sell your stock? Thanks

    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
    @Anonymous

    Stocks are very, very overpriced now. They are way out of whack compared to earnings or any other measure. Furthermore, I see no reason to be confident in an economy that hardly produces anything real and also has been shut down and is propped up by trillions of new debt-based dollars.

  26. @newrouter
    >s Tesla pointed out, Edison’s weakness as an inventor was that he wasn’t a theoretician, so he often had to use brute force techniques <

    That's what you do when material science is non existent.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @Bardon Kaldian

    The material science majors at Rice always won the arguments when majors in other sciences tried to put down their field.

  27. @Anonymous
    @Buzz Mohawk


    This is a different world now, and I have sold all of my stock.

     

    Why did you sell your stock? Thanks

    Replies: @Buzz Mohawk

    Stocks are very, very overpriced now. They are way out of whack compared to earnings or any other measure. Furthermore, I see no reason to be confident in an economy that hardly produces anything real and also has been shut down and is propped up by trillions of new debt-based dollars.

    • Agree: Not Raul
  28. @wren
    It seems that different countries have their own Edisons. When I was in England I was told that Swan invented the light bulb not Edison.

    Replies: @Gordo, @Jack D

    Joseph Swan does seem to have invented the light bulb but as one can see he was not a black Swan:

    https://www.sciencephoto.com/media/1023431/view/joseph-swan

  29. @Anon
    Another interesting story about Edison is that he was basically responsible for the movie industry decamping for Hollywood.

    Edison formed a monopoly trust of companies that owned his patents for film cameras, projectors, etc. basically everything required to make movies and show them in theaters. He had a hired army of armed goons who would go around aggressively enforcing his patents by destroying equipment and beating up people who used film equipment and projectors in theaters. So the film industry basically fled west to Hollywood to avoid Edison and his goons.

    "Cecil B. DeMille Kept a Wolf and Guns To Defend Against Edison's Thugs"

    https://gizmodo.com/cecil-b-demille-kept-a-wolf-and-guns-to-defend-against-1682578284

    Thomas Edison dominated the early movie business. Edison's Motion Picture Patents Company (commonly called the Edison Trust) had a monopoly on some of the fundamental technologies that allowed people to make films. They also dominated the distribution business in the United States. So independent filmmakers of the early 1910s sought refuge in hard to reach places.

    Southern California soon emerged as one of these go-to destinations (along with Cuba and Florida) to shoot movies, since it was a five-day train ride from New York to Los Angeles. And Cecil B. DeMille was one filmmaker who moved west to work in peace, shielded by geography to use Edison movie equipment without paying royalties. This, of course, didn't make the Trust too happy—and Edison's thugs would often be dispatched to go after DeMille and his films.

    DeMille, naturally, sought to protect himself as the book Lost Hollywood by David Wallace explains:

    DeMille, for example, received numerous anonymous threats to his life and was shot at twice in his first months in Hollywood. The director was certain it was the Trust trying to kill him, but the perpetrators were never caught. On more than one occasion, he slept in his first studio armed with a shotgun to guard his film. Like many other early filmmakers, he carried a .45 revolver conspicuously in a holster on his belt. Eventually he owned eighty-six guns, often using them as props for his movies.
     

    Replies: @Buzz Mohawk

    Southern California is also much sunnier than New Jersey, thus a better place to film outdoors. It was a good move overall.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @Buzz Mohawk

    For about 1913-1914, the movie industry was centered on the north side of Chicago. Charlie Chaplin used to live on Clarendon a couple of blocks from where I lived.

  30. @S. Anonyia
    @JohnnyWalker123

    Why are French teachers so weak? I taught some pretty rough teens in my 20s (also I am female) and nothing like that ever happened in my room. Not saying teachers should ever have to deal with this to begin with, or that I didn’t have to constantly stay on top of the kids to stop petty arguments from developing (it’s mentally exhausting)...but geez. What a wimp of a teacher.

    I think teaching should be treated as kind of career-building/national service type 2-5 year stint for young people right out of college, for both rural and urban schools (suburban schools can keep doing what they are doing, though they could perhaps also use the temp teachers for math, science, and sped). I used to hate Teach for America but once I left the field I realized their model of teaching as a resume builder is best.

    Replies: @Diversity Heretic

    I live in France. You simply cannot use force against feral Arabs and Africans. Even the police are afraid of them. They are the darlings of the French ruling class, who do not have to endure their dysfunction.

    • Replies: @Lurker
    @Diversity Heretic


    You simply cannot use force against feral Arabs and Africans
     
    You mean one is not allowed to use force?

    Even the police are afraid of them

    See above.
  31. @Buzz Mohawk
    @Anon

    Southern California is also much sunnier than New Jersey, thus a better place to film outdoors. It was a good move overall.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

    For about 1913-1914, the movie industry was centered on the north side of Chicago. Charlie Chaplin used to live on Clarendon a couple of blocks from where I lived.

  32. I wonder how Edison compares with the inventive genius of James Watt, the great improver of the steam engine?

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @Diversity Heretic

    Watt was a theoretician as well as a tinkerer. He did tons of equations to figure out how to improve the steam engine. That was proof that all that Science stuff mattered in the real world.

    Replies: @Bardon Kaldian

    , @syonredux
    @Diversity Heretic


    I wonder how Edison compares with the inventive genius of James Watt, the great improver of the steam engine?
     
    Murray, in his Human Accomplishment, has Watt and Edison tied for first place in the technology category. He also notes that the two men exemplify two different strands of accomplishment, as Watt is known mostly for his work on one big thing (the steam engine) whereas Edison is known for his work on a wide variety of things (phonograph, quadruplex telegraph, etc).
  33. I’m surprised you didn’t look closer to home …

    https://www.unz.com/lromanoff/a-few-historical-frauds/

    • Replies: @syonredux
    @The Alarmist

    That article was one of the most hilariously stupid things that I've read on Unz. Of course, it was surpassed by the lunatic idiocy of that guy who was trying to prove that 90% + of the history of the Roman Empire was a Medieval forgery.....

    https://www.unz.com/author/first-millennium-revisionist/

  34. @Buzz Mohawk
    @Not Raul

    This is a different world now, and I have sold all of my stock.

    Replies: @Anonymous, @Steve Sailer

    Did you sell before Thursday’s 3.5% plunge?

    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
    @Steve Sailer

    Months ago. The $2 trillion stimulus package was the last straw. I had already sold more than half by last year anyway and have been suggesting others do the same for some time.

  35. @syonredux

    But the point is that Edison had a huge team of talented men working on projects, which is not something that was common before him in the history of research and development.
     
    A talented bunch of guys. For example, Frederick Roberts Upton. When Edison realized that he needed a man with a solid grounding in mathematics, he went out and got one:

    Francis Robbins Upton (1852 in Peabody, Massachusetts – March 10, 1921 in Orange, New Jersey) was an American physicist and mathematician. Upton worked alongside Thomas Edison in the development of incandescent light bulbs, electric generators, and electric power distribution. He was the first president of the Edison Pioneers.
     

    Francis Upton also attended Berlin University and Princeton University. Francis was the first ever to officially receive his doctoral degree from Princeton University. Upton was then hired by Thomas Edison. One of Edison's biographers described the hired man thus:

    Two years Edison’s senior, Boston-born graduate of Bowdoin College and Princeton, expert in calculus, tempered by a year of postgraduate study at the University of Berlin with Hermann von Helmholtz.[1]
     

    Upton was hired by Edison in 1878 on the recommendation of Grosvenor Lowrey.

    Upton possessed a mild, modest disposition combined with a keen intelligence. His versatile knowledge of physics made him a most valuable assistant to Edison in that period.[2]:512
    Edison was largely self-educated. He was brimming over with ideas but needed someone with advanced mathematical skills who could do calculations and research the scientific literature to help solve intractable problems. As Francis Jehl was also working with Edison, he needed another handle besides Francis for Upton:

    Affectionately nicknamed "Culture" by his boss because of his introspective, learned mien, piano-playing talent, and impeccable educational credentials.[
    1]
     
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francis_Robbins_Upton



    Some other Edison associates of note:



    Edward Goodrich Acheson

    Edward Goodrich Acheson (March 9, 1856 – July 6, 1931) was an American chemist.[1] Born in Washington, Pennsylvania, he was the inventor of the Acheson process, which is still used to make Silicon carbide (carborundum)[2][3] and later a manufacturer of carborundum and graphite.

     


    He devoted his evenings to scientific pursuits—primarily electrical experiments. In 1880 he had the temerity to attempt to sell a battery of his own invention to Thomas Edison and wound up being hired. Edison put him to work on September 12, 1880 at his Menlo Park, New Jersey laboratory under John Kruesi. Acheson experimented on making a conducting carbon that Edison could use in his electric light bulbs.[6][7]

     

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Goodrich_Acheson


    William Joseph Hammer

    William Joseph Hammer (February 26, 1858 – March 24, 1934) was an American pioneer electrical engineer and aviator and he was president of the Edison Pioneers starting in 1908. He was a winner of the Elliott Cresson Medal.[1]
     

    He was born in Cressona, Pennsylvania on February 26, 1858 to William Hammer (1827–1895) and Martha Augusta Beck (1827–1861).[1][2]

    He became a laboratory assistant to Thomas Edison in December 1879, and assisted in the development of the incandescent light bulb.[3] He became one of the world's earliest experts in electric power distribution. He also built the world's first advertising sign using incandescent electric lights.[4] He was chief engineer when the English Edison Electric Light company built a central station in London to power 3,000 incandescent lamps on the Holborn Viaduct. This was the first large scale demonstration of a central station powering incandescent lighting, preceding the Pearl Street Station in New York City.[5] Hammer invented the electric advertising sign, by constructing a ten foot long, four foot high sign with 12 bulbs for each letter of the name "Edison," which had a rotating drum switch to light the letters one by one and then all at once. It was exhibited at The Crystal Palace in London in February 1882.[6]
     
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Joseph_Hammer


    George F. Morrison

    George Francis Morrison (1867–1943), was an American business executive, industrialist, Edison Pioneer, and a Director and Vice President of General Electric Company. He was one of Thomas Edison's closest associates and a pioneer in the production of the incandescent lamp, having held a number of patents including that of filament manufacture. Towards the latter part of his decades-long career, Morrison traveled the world introducing the lamp and promoting its use.
     
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_F._Morrison


    Schuyler Wheeler

    Schuyler Skaats Wheeler (May 17, 1860 – April 20, 1923) was an American electrical engineer and manufacturer who invented the electric fan, the electric elevator, and the electric fire engine. He helped develop and implement a code of ethics for electrical engineers.
     


    Wheeler was educated at Columbia Grammar & Preparatory School. Leaving college in 1881, upon the death of his father, he became assistant electrician of the Yablochkov Electric Lighting Company. Wheeler then joined the United States Electric Lighting Company in 1883 when Yablochkov went out of business with his electric company. He joined the engineering staff of Thomas A. Edison and was part of the project when the Pearl Street Station debuted the first incandescent light bulbs.[3][4] He acted as general manager of the underground distribution system at Newburgh, New York. He was afterwards in charge to lay the Edison underground systems in other cities.[4]

     

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schuyler_Wheeler


    Frank J. Sprague

    Frank Julian Sprague (July 25, 1857 in Milford, Connecticut – October 25, 1934) was an American naval officer and inventor who contributed to the development of the electric motor, electric railways, and electric elevators. His contributions were especially important in promoting urban development by increasing the size cities could reasonably attain (through better transportation) and by allowing greater concentration of business in commercial sections (through use of electric elevators in skyscrapers).[1] He became known as the "Father of Electric Traction".He demonstrated an aptitude for science and mathematics, Sprague secured an appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy in 1874. He pursued his electrical studies relentlessly after graduation in 1878 and 2 years at sea.[2]
     

    In 1883, Edward H. Johnson, a business associate of Thomas Edison, persuaded Sprague to resign his naval commission to work for Edison.[3]:81 Sprague, who began at a salary of $2,500, was neither happy with his salary nor his assignments. Sprague wanted to focus on motors, while motors bored Edison, who was consumed in making his incandescent lighting work. Edison sent Sprague to run the construction departments where Edison had built central power stations for his lighting systems in Sunbury, Pennsylvania, and Brockton, Massachusetts.[3]:85
     
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_J._Sprague


    William Kennedy Dickson

    William Kennedy-Laurie Dickson (3 August 1860 – 28 September 1935) was a Scottish inventor who devised an early motion picture camera under the employment of Thomas Edison.[1][2]
     

    At age 19 in 1879, William Dickson wrote a letter to American inventor and entrepreneur Thomas Edison seeking employment. He was turned down. That same year Dickson, his mother, and two sisters moved from Britain to Virginia.[3] In 1883 he was finally hired to work at Edison's laboratory in Menlo Park, New Jersey. In 1888, Edison conceived of a device that would do "for the Eye what the phonograph does for the Ear". In October, Edison filed a preliminary claim, known as a caveat, with the United States Patent and Trademark Office; outlining his plans for the device. In March 1889, a second caveat was filed, in which the proposed motion picture device was given a name, the Kinetoscope. Dickson, then the Edison company's official photographer, was assigned to turn the concept into a reality.

    Initial attempts were focussed on recording micro-photographs on a cylinder. In late 1889, inspired by a recent encounter with Étienne-Jules Marey, Edison came up with a fourth caveat and ordered the team to change direction to work with rolls of film. William Dickson collaborated with the Eastman company to develop a practical celluloid film for this application. Initially using 19mm film, fed horizontally, shooting circular images, Dickson eventually settled on 35 mm film with a 1.33:1 picture ratio, a standard format which is still in use to this day in cinema.[4]

    William Dickson and his team, at the Edison lab, simultaneously worked on the development of the Kinetoscope viewing machine. The first working prototype, using the 19mm film, was unveiled in May 1891 to a meeting of the National Federation of Women's Clubs, hosted by his wife. The 35mm camera was essentially finalised by the fall of 1892. The completed version of the 35mm Kinetoscope was unveiled at the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences on 9th May 1893.[5] It was a peep show machine showing a continuous loop of film, lit by a small lamp, viewed individually through the window of a cabinet housing its components.

    William Dickson and his team created the illusion of movement by continuously moving the strip of perforated film, bearing sequential images, whilst illuminating it by brief flashes of light through the slit in a rotating shutter. They also devised the Kinetograph, a motion picture camera with rapid intermittent, or stop-and-go, film movement, to photograph films for in-house experiments and eventually, commercial Kinetoscope presentations, at speeds of up to 46 frames per second.

     

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Kennedy_Dickson

    Replies: @Grahamsno(G64), @Colin Wright

    Note that the figures you list were all apparently white and male.

    …and you imply we should celebrate this monster.

  36. @Anonymous

    “A Black man invented the light bulb, not a white guy named Edison,”
     
    Is this true?

    Replies: @Colin Wright

    ‘“A Black man invented the light bulb, not a white guy named Edison,”

    Is this true?’

    Of course it isn’t. These days, certain claims can just be dismissed out of hand.

  37. @Steve Sailer
    @Buzz Mohawk

    Did you sell before Thursday's 3.5% plunge?

    Replies: @Buzz Mohawk

    Months ago. The $2 trillion stimulus package was the last straw. I had already sold more than half by last year anyway and have been suggesting others do the same for some time.

  38. Maybe old Joe has been reading Reader’s Digest, where it starts off true and ends in progressive dogma:

    Lewis Latimer

    “Thomas Edison might get all (or most) of the credit for inventing the lightbulb, but he certainly didn’t do it alone. In addition to the other scientists that developed early versions of the lightbulb that Edison built off of, Edison had a collaborator in Black inventor Lewis Latimer. He was born in 1848 in Chelsea, Massachusetts, and, after serving in the Navy as a teen, began working at a patent law office in Boston. He was skilled at drafting patents and, in 1876, helped draft the patent for Alexander Graham Bell’s early telephone. He worked with Thomas Edison as well, and, in 1881, he himself filed a patent for a carbon filament for the incandescent lightbulb. He also designed a train car bathroom and an early air-conditioning system. Find out the truth about these history lessons your teacher lied to you about.”

    https://www.rd.com/list/black-inventors/

    Oh, for the days when Susan Sontag could write:

    ”Imagine, if you will, someone who read only the Reader’s Digest between 1950 and 1970, and someone in the same period who read only The Nation or The New Statesman. Which reader would have been better informed about the realities of Communism? The answer, I think, should give us pause. Can it be that our enemies were right?”

  39. @newrouter
    >s Tesla pointed out, Edison’s weakness as an inventor was that he wasn’t a theoretician, so he often had to use brute force techniques <

    That's what you do when material science is non existent.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @Bardon Kaldian

    No, Edison was simply scientifically illiterate.

    • Replies: @newrouter
    @Bardon Kaldian

    Like Lord Kelvin believing in the "ether"?

  40. I understand Steve’s thesis & don’t agree with it. Modern inventions stem from big science labs & not from curious intelligent entrepreneurs of the Edison type. As I’ve said in another comment, true precursor of modern type invention is German chemist Justus von Liebig, who organized the first big science laboratory in the world.

    Most post WW2 (perhaps WW1, with a few exceptions) inventions are product of R & D of well funded big laboratories of prestigious universities, institutes, state projects etc. What is Edisonian is an entrepreneurial flavor, and it differs from country to country. In the US, there are still inventions of the Edison type , perhaps- but not in Russia, China or Japan. But, most inventions come from scientific academic & not entreprenurial culture (electron microscope, most medicines etc.)

  41. The Current War is a pretty good movie about Edison and George Westinghouse.

  42. @syonredux
    "His [Edison’s] greatest invention was that of the industrial research laboratory, turning out inventions as a business."

    -Norbert Wiener

    https://todayinsci.com/W/Wiener_Norbert/WienerNorbert-Quotations.htm


    Here's a good article:

    How could a maverick with virtually no formal education pull off such an uncanny string of important inventions? Rather than settle for the view popular in his day-promoted largely by Edison himself-that his success derived from some combination of technological genius and single-minded perseverance, the few historians who do have access to Edison’s papers are focusing primarily on the innovative strategies he employed as one of the earliest-and still one of the boldest-practitioners of modern large-scale R&D.
     

    Building an “Invention Factory”

    Some 40 minutes from Manhattan along Interstate 280, the middle-class community of West Orange, N.J., looks much the same as it did in Edison’s day. Tired brick storefronts line a depressed but still viable downtown. A few blocks away, nestled unobtrusively in a drab, semi-industrial neighborhood, Edison’s West Orange facility, built in 1887, fills two fenced-off blocks with a cluster of vaguely fortresslike brick buildings. The very creation of an independent laboratory here in a prosaic New Jersey suburb is nearly as noteworthy as the work conducted inside. Bearing no visible connection to a university or corporate headquarters, the laboratory stands alone both visually and figuratively. Rutgers historian Paul Israel, one of the editors working on the Thomas Edison Papers Project and the author of a forthcoming biography of Edison-the first based on extensive access to the archives-explains some of the vision behind the freestanding laboratory. “Edison was one of the first,” he says, “to understand that the invention process could be organized.”

     


    In a posthumous work on invention published in 1993, the eminent computer scientist Norbert Wiener attests that Edison’s most lasting innovation “was the invention of the industrial scientific laboratory in which a moderately large trained crew of technicians was directed by a central mind towards the making of inventions as an everyday business.”

     


    Many of the techniques Edison would use to run his R&D operation were honed in nearby Menlo Park, where he initially built a laboratory and adjacent boarding house for his workers. There Edison and a dozen colleagues worked in teams to tackle as many as 40 separate projects at a time, including the lightbulb. In 1876, with typical bravado, Edison promised that the enterprise would yield a “minor invention every ten days and a big thing every six months or so.” Remarkably, Edison averaged close to this success rate throughout most of the ensuing four decades.

     


    To build what he immodestly referred to as the “best equipped and largest Laboratory extant,” Edison realized he needed “facilities incomparably superior to any other for rapid and cheap development of an invention … into commercial shape.” The effort, he noted, would require the facility to carry “a stock of almost every conceivable material,” so that he would be able to “build anything from a lady’s watch to a locomotive.” Israel says the lab reveals that “Edison understood quite early on that naturally occurring materials held open vast possibilities for exploration, exploitation, and development.”

     


    Nowhere is Edison’s passion for diverse resources as clearly evident as in the storeroom, one of the first stops on Gerbauckas’s tour. Standing before banks of small wooden drawers that line several walls, Gerbauckas explains that each holds different samples; to her side larger stocks of metal sheets, rods, and pipes are neatly arranged. She recounts the inventor’s famous quip that the storehouse contained “everything from an elephant’s hide to the eyeballs of a United States Senator.”

     


    An 1887 newspaper report confirms that the West Orange stock room contained “eight thousand kinds of chemicals, every kind of screw made, every size of needle, every kind of cord or wire, hair of humans, horses, hogs, cows, rabbits, goats, minx, camels, … silk in every texture, cocoons, various kinds of hoofs, sharks’ teeth, deer horns, tortoise shell, … cork, resin, varnish and oil, ostrich feathers, a peacock’s tail, jet, amber, rubber, all ores, [and] metals.”

     


    As W. Bernard Carlson, a historian of technology at the University of Virginia, explains it, Edison approached the process of invention more like a craft worker than a theoretical scientist. “For Edison the craftsman, invention was a tactile and visual activity,” he says, and “scientific instruments were extensions of his senses.” He contrasts the “collection of craft shops” at the West Orange facility, which employed glassblowers and machinists, with the more theoretical approach to conceiving new products that became common during ensuing decades. Of course, Edison also hired mathematicians and scientists throughout his career. But he relentlessly chided his college-educated colleagues that their university experience had corrupted them by teaching them to see only “that which they were taught to look for,” thus prompting them to overlook many of nature’s great secrets.

     


    Gregory Field, a historian at the University of Michigan at Dearborn who spent five years scrutinizing the early notebooks as part of the Edison Papers Project, says Edison’s key contribution to modern research efforts is his maverick insistence on “always tying the R’ to the D’.” Edison persistently held that “invention involves not just research but research, development, and marketing,” Field maintains-a view that would ultimately help usher in a new relationship between scientists and the entrepreneurial use of their work. According to Edison, in fact, “Dollars and science were so much mixed up” in his career that it was sometimes hard to separate his inventive activities from the continual stream of commercial ventures in which he involved himself.
     

    Edison almost defiantly emphasized his role as an “industrial scientist” to contrast himself with academic scientists such as Pasteur. Not surprisingly given his success, he inspired others to pursue a similar approach. For instance, historians have traced Alexander Graham Bell’s establishment of a small general research laboratory-the precursor of what would ultimately grow into the enormous Bell Laboratory complex (now Lucent Technologies)-to Edison’s example.
     

    Israel reports that he has uncovered new evidence of Edison’s enormous talent for appropriating techniques that may have failed in one instance and using them to great effect in another. For example, Edison’s unsuccessful work to develop an undersea telegraph cable ultimately led to a breakthrough on a telephone transmitter. In repeated attempts to maintain a constant level of electrical resistance in a prototype of a lengthy transatlantic cable, Edison simply couldn’t solve the problem. Many months later, in his work on the telephone, Edison used the principle of variable resistance to help design a telephone transmitter that adapted to the changing soundwaves of a caller’s voice-a technique that would serve as the industry standard for the better part of a century.

     

    https://www.technologyreview.com/1997/02/01/237382/unlocking-the-legacies-of-the-edison-archives/

    Replies: @Mr McKenna, @Reg Cæsar, @Intelligent Dasein, @Captain Tripps

    Another famous 19th century Upton. Died prematurely, though (age 41):

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emory_Upton

  43. Nyet nyet nyet nyet nyet!

    Is Russian invention, comrade!

    Светофор, арахисовое масло, лампочка.

  44. I saw where one of Edison’s lightbulbs has been burning continuously, in a museum I think. It has a a carbonised bamboo filament.

  45. @Diversity Heretic
    @S. Anonyia

    I live in France. You simply cannot use force against feral Arabs and Africans. Even the police are afraid of them. They are the darlings of the French ruling class, who do not have to endure their dysfunction.

    Replies: @Lurker

    You simply cannot use force against feral Arabs and Africans

    You mean one is not allowed to use force?

    Even the police are afraid of them

    See above.

  46. @wren
    It seems that different countries have their own Edisons. When I was in England I was told that Swan invented the light bulb not Edison.

    Replies: @Gordo, @Jack D

    Biden is right in the sense that the childhood story that we are taught (“Edison invented the lightbulb”) is not the complete story (not that “Latimer invented the lightbulb” is any more true).

    The phonograph was something that sprung forth overnight from Edison’s brain. The lightbulb is a much more complicated story. Soon after practical means of generating electric current were invented (long before Edison), it became clear that you could heat certain materials to white hot heat with electricity and thus produce light. However, any light that was produced was short lived because the material would soon burn away. Then people (both Swan and Edison) hit upon the idea that if you could place the glowing material in a vacuum there would be no oxygen to consume the filament. Even producing the necessary high vacuum was no small feat, but that left the problem of what material to use as the filament. Carbon seemed like a good candidate (you need a material with high but not infinite resistance) but what form of carbon? And even once you had located a long lasting form, how do you produce the thing in large quantities, sell it for a price that is competitive with other forms of illumination, create a system to bring electricity to each house and bill for it, etc. Just getting the thing to glow a little was the first of a thousand steps and Edison (and only Edison) was the man who could put together the whole package and turn it into something found in every home. Even in England, Swan ended up selling out to the Edison group. Swan’s bulb worked (he was able to light up the Savoy Theatre) but its low resistance design required really thick wires and was not suitable for rolling out to every home like the Edison version.

    • Thanks: wren
    • Replies: @dearieme
    @Jack D

    Swan ended up selling out to the Edison group.

    After Edison lost a patents case in the courts he bought out Swan. This might have been an astute financial move but it's not what most people mean by an "invention".

    Replies: @Jack D

  47. @Anon
    Yes, I was always under the impression that the real history was that Edison perfected the light bulb by finding the best filament for it, not that he technically invented the light bulb itself.

    Having said that, I've never heard that a black man invented the light bulb. Did George Washington Carver light one of his giant peanuts on fire or something once?

    Replies: @Jack D

    Google Lewis Latimer, who stands in the #2 position right next to Edison in Google’s pantheon of American investors along with all the other colored greats such as Madame C.J. Walker the inventor of hair straightener.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lewis_Howard_Latimer

    Latimer was in fact a talented black man who rose from humble beginnings to a very respectable (if not truly leading) role with the Edison company. If he had been white, no one would know his name – there were hundreds of white guys with comparable accomplishments whose names are now forgotten.

    To me what is most remarkable about Latimer is that he was (BECAUSE he was one of those rare blacks who is truly talented and hard working) full accepted by Edison and treated as a colleague in a matter of fact way. He got the job done so he was kept and promoted within the Edison organization – they really didn’t care what color he was. This in the supposed racist 19th century where he should have been lynched or offered a job as a janitor or something. The barrier to black accomplishment in America has always been their lack of (intellectual) talent and not “racism”. In (non-intellectual) fields where blacks did have other sorts of talent (boxing, entertaining, cooking, etc.) they were accepted in much larger numbers. If there had been thousands of Latimers, they would have been accepted too, but such talented blacks simply did not (and do not) exist.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @Jack D

    America's post civil war tech belt ran from New England thru Upstate New York into Ohio. That was also where a lot of freed blacks settled in small communities before the war, often folks who had a little money from their white dads down South.

    Replies: @Jack D

  48. @The Alarmist
    I’m surprised you didn’t look closer to home ...

    https://www.unz.com/lromanoff/a-few-historical-frauds/

    Replies: @syonredux

    That article was one of the most hilariously stupid things that I’ve read on Unz. Of course, it was surpassed by the lunatic idiocy of that guy who was trying to prove that 90% + of the history of the Roman Empire was a Medieval forgery…..

    https://www.unz.com/author/first-millennium-revisionist/

    • Thanks: The Alarmist
  49. Carbon filament light bulb still going after a century of operation.

  50. @Diversity Heretic
    I wonder how Edison compares with the inventive genius of James Watt, the great improver of the steam engine?

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @syonredux

    Watt was a theoretician as well as a tinkerer. He did tons of equations to figure out how to improve the steam engine. That was proof that all that Science stuff mattered in the real world.

    • Replies: @Bardon Kaldian
    @Steve Sailer

    Experts say- they'both, re technical physics & applications, small fishes in comparison with Sadi Carnot.

    Replies: @syonredux

  51. @Jack D
    @wren

    Biden is right in the sense that the childhood story that we are taught ("Edison invented the lightbulb") is not the complete story (not that "Latimer invented the lightbulb" is any more true).

    The phonograph was something that sprung forth overnight from Edison's brain. The lightbulb is a much more complicated story. Soon after practical means of generating electric current were invented (long before Edison), it became clear that you could heat certain materials to white hot heat with electricity and thus produce light. However, any light that was produced was short lived because the material would soon burn away. Then people (both Swan and Edison) hit upon the idea that if you could place the glowing material in a vacuum there would be no oxygen to consume the filament. Even producing the necessary high vacuum was no small feat, but that left the problem of what material to use as the filament. Carbon seemed like a good candidate (you need a material with high but not infinite resistance) but what form of carbon? And even once you had located a long lasting form, how do you produce the thing in large quantities, sell it for a price that is competitive with other forms of illumination, create a system to bring electricity to each house and bill for it, etc. Just getting the thing to glow a little was the first of a thousand steps and Edison (and only Edison) was the man who could put together the whole package and turn it into something found in every home. Even in England, Swan ended up selling out to the Edison group. Swan's bulb worked (he was able to light up the Savoy Theatre) but its low resistance design required really thick wires and was not suitable for rolling out to every home like the Edison version.

    Replies: @dearieme

    Swan ended up selling out to the Edison group.

    After Edison lost a patents case in the courts he bought out Swan. This might have been an astute financial move but it’s not what most people mean by an “invention”.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    @dearieme

    Edison was a businessman first and foremost (as well as a great self-promoter) and so it was not at all beneath his dignity to fight a patent fight and then to buy out the competitor if he lost. Especially in the no-holds-barred 19th century version of capitalism, this was all part of the game. Edison died a rich man. Tesla, perhaps the true "genius" died alone and broke in a hotel room on which a large balance was owed.

  52. @Diversity Heretic
    I wonder how Edison compares with the inventive genius of James Watt, the great improver of the steam engine?

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @syonredux

    I wonder how Edison compares with the inventive genius of James Watt, the great improver of the steam engine?

    Murray, in his Human Accomplishment, has Watt and Edison tied for first place in the technology category. He also notes that the two men exemplify two different strands of accomplishment, as Watt is known mostly for his work on one big thing (the steam engine) whereas Edison is known for his work on a wide variety of things (phonograph, quadruplex telegraph, etc).

  53. @Jack D
    @Anon

    Google Lewis Latimer, who stands in the #2 position right next to Edison in Google's pantheon of American investors along with all the other colored greats such as Madame C.J. Walker the inventor of hair straightener.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lewis_Howard_Latimer

    Latimer was in fact a talented black man who rose from humble beginnings to a very respectable (if not truly leading) role with the Edison company. If he had been white, no one would know his name - there were hundreds of white guys with comparable accomplishments whose names are now forgotten.

    To me what is most remarkable about Latimer is that he was (BECAUSE he was one of those rare blacks who is truly talented and hard working) full accepted by Edison and treated as a colleague in a matter of fact way. He got the job done so he was kept and promoted within the Edison organization - they really didn't care what color he was. This in the supposed racist 19th century where he should have been lynched or offered a job as a janitor or something. The barrier to black accomplishment in America has always been their lack of (intellectual) talent and not "racism". In (non-intellectual) fields where blacks did have other sorts of talent (boxing, entertaining, cooking, etc.) they were accepted in much larger numbers. If there had been thousands of Latimers, they would have been accepted too, but such talented blacks simply did not (and do not) exist.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

    America’s post civil war tech belt ran from New England thru Upstate New York into Ohio. That was also where a lot of freed blacks settled in small communities before the war, often folks who had a little money from their white dads down South.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    @Steve Sailer

    Latimer does not look like he had a white dad but otherwise I agree. New England has always been an educational capital and as long as talented tenth blacks there were found in small numbers they were able to assimilate very well. Most of the dysfunction we associate with blacks in the north is largely a result of the Great Migration from the Deep South where the blacks were most primitive. If the great cotton boom had not happened, we would have a lot more Latimers and a lot fewer Floyds I suspect.

  54. @Steve Sailer
    @Diversity Heretic

    Watt was a theoretician as well as a tinkerer. He did tons of equations to figure out how to improve the steam engine. That was proof that all that Science stuff mattered in the real world.

    Replies: @Bardon Kaldian

    Experts say- they’both, re technical physics & applications, small fishes in comparison with Sadi Carnot.

    • Replies: @syonredux
    @Bardon Kaldian

    I'm afraid that that’s a tad apples-to-oranges.A better comparison would match Sadi Carnot with Josiah Willard Gibbs and James Clerk Maxwell.

    Replies: @Bardon Kaldian

  55. @dearieme
    @Jack D

    Swan ended up selling out to the Edison group.

    After Edison lost a patents case in the courts he bought out Swan. This might have been an astute financial move but it's not what most people mean by an "invention".

    Replies: @Jack D

    Edison was a businessman first and foremost (as well as a great self-promoter) and so it was not at all beneath his dignity to fight a patent fight and then to buy out the competitor if he lost. Especially in the no-holds-barred 19th century version of capitalism, this was all part of the game. Edison died a rich man. Tesla, perhaps the true “genius” died alone and broke in a hotel room on which a large balance was owed.

  56. @Steve Sailer
    @Jack D

    America's post civil war tech belt ran from New England thru Upstate New York into Ohio. That was also where a lot of freed blacks settled in small communities before the war, often folks who had a little money from their white dads down South.

    Replies: @Jack D

    Latimer does not look like he had a white dad but otherwise I agree. New England has always been an educational capital and as long as talented tenth blacks there were found in small numbers they were able to assimilate very well. Most of the dysfunction we associate with blacks in the north is largely a result of the Great Migration from the Deep South where the blacks were most primitive. If the great cotton boom had not happened, we would have a lot more Latimers and a lot fewer Floyds I suspect.

  57. @Bardon Kaldian
    @newrouter

    No, Edison was simply scientifically illiterate.

    Replies: @newrouter

    Like Lord Kelvin believing in the “ether”?

  58. @Hypnotoad666
    The modern idea is that researchers should pursue pure science and then industry will somehow figure out a way to apply the new discoveries in useful ways.

    But in reality, I think the history of scientific advances have more often flowed in the opposite direction -- that is, industrialists figure out what works, and that piques the interest of theoreticians to figure out why it works.

    For example. Pasteur got his ideas about germ theory from seeing how brewers made beer. Darwin got the beginnings of his ideas on natural selection from the selection processes of animal husbandry, etc.

    I don't know off-hand, but I wouldn't be surprised if Edison figured out the light bulb through trial and error, and only later did some physicist or chemist work out the theory of incandescence.

    Replies: @Francis Miville, @ScarletNumber

    The electric lightbulb was invented in France by a team of engineers of the Ecole Polytechnique and presented to the public in 1823 : but all what that team was concerned about was to prove that a white-hot heated body, by electricity or other means, in absence of oxygen, would not get consumed but shine for an indefinite period. That was enough to make the people marvel, even though they opted for a very brownish intensity of incandescence so as to spare the public’s eyes. Absolutely nobody got the idea that such a device had its place in homes or palaces. If you had suggested them to use it to that purpose, it would have sounded as ludicrous as replacing glass bottles of wine with tin cans. Electricity was already known for its lighting power but arc lamps seemed the perfect solution to use for very specific applications where dazzling light was needed, like lighthouses and other signals. Otherwise light coming out from something else than a flame was just too ugly and out of place : industrial appliances were liked by capitalists but capitalists would heat their own homes only with sweet-smelling wood, not the more modern heating engines they had devised to heat industrial buildings and other places only the poor would frequent. So perpetual incandescende of white-hot filaments in absence of oxygen had been a world-known thing by all engineers through the better part of the 19th century, something as school textbook classic as production of water through hydrogen and oxygen combustion. Edison happened to be the first to make a business out of that invention. The problem was not making one bulb but to produce them for cheap.

  59. @Hypnotoad666
    The modern idea is that researchers should pursue pure science and then industry will somehow figure out a way to apply the new discoveries in useful ways.

    But in reality, I think the history of scientific advances have more often flowed in the opposite direction -- that is, industrialists figure out what works, and that piques the interest of theoreticians to figure out why it works.

    For example. Pasteur got his ideas about germ theory from seeing how brewers made beer. Darwin got the beginnings of his ideas on natural selection from the selection processes of animal husbandry, etc.

    I don't know off-hand, but I wouldn't be surprised if Edison figured out the light bulb through trial and error, and only later did some physicist or chemist work out the theory of incandescence.

    Replies: @Francis Miville, @ScarletNumber

    Pasteur got his ideas about germ theory from seeing how brewers made beer.

    In a similar vein, statistical testing comes from William Gosset, who worked for Guinness. Guinness didn’t allow its employees to publish, so he used the pseudonym “Student”. You may remember Student’s T-test from Stat I.

  60. That’s a tad apples-to-oranges.A better comparison would match Sadi Carnot with Josiah Willard Gibbs and James Clerk Maxwell.

  61. @Bardon Kaldian
    @Steve Sailer

    Experts say- they'both, re technical physics & applications, small fishes in comparison with Sadi Carnot.

    Replies: @syonredux

    I’m afraid that that’s a tad apples-to-oranges.A better comparison would match Sadi Carnot with Josiah Willard Gibbs and James Clerk Maxwell.

    • Replies: @Bardon Kaldian
    @syonredux

    Gibbs & Maxwell were theoreticians; Sadi Carnot's work simply completed the already working engineering thermodynamics. Maxwell & Gibbs were not "applied" as such; Sadi Carnot, if anything, was an applied scientist.

    Replies: @syonredux

  62. @syonredux
    @Bardon Kaldian

    I'm afraid that that’s a tad apples-to-oranges.A better comparison would match Sadi Carnot with Josiah Willard Gibbs and James Clerk Maxwell.

    Replies: @Bardon Kaldian

    Gibbs & Maxwell were theoreticians; Sadi Carnot’s work simply completed the already working engineering thermodynamics. Maxwell & Gibbs were not “applied” as such; Sadi Carnot, if anything, was an applied scientist.

    • Replies: @syonredux
    @Bardon Kaldian

    Dunno. Sadi Carnot is usually counted as one of the founders of thermodynamics:





    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermodynamics#History

    And he's most famous for a book:


    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reflections_on_the_Motive_Power_of_Fire

    He has more in common with theoreticians like Gibbs and Maxwell than he has with Watt and Edison, two men who actually invented/improved machines.

  63. @Bardon Kaldian
    @syonredux

    Gibbs & Maxwell were theoreticians; Sadi Carnot's work simply completed the already working engineering thermodynamics. Maxwell & Gibbs were not "applied" as such; Sadi Carnot, if anything, was an applied scientist.

    Replies: @syonredux

    Dunno. Sadi Carnot is usually counted as one of the founders of thermodynamics:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermodynamics#History

    And he’s most famous for a book:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reflections_on_the_Motive_Power_of_Fire

    He has more in common with theoreticians like Gibbs and Maxwell than he has with Watt and Edison, two men who actually invented/improved machines.

  64. Sailer just repeats the typical MSM myth we’ve been inundated with all our lives. I bet Sailer believes George Washington chopped down the cherry tree because he could not tell a lie.

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