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Terminal Bore
73024.  Tue Jun 06, 2006 12:28 pm Reply with quote

Here's something quite interesting.

Tomorrow (7th June 2006) marks the 114th anniversary of the application T.A. Edison's (US) patent number 476,528. "System of Electric Lighting"...The light bulb.

Curiously, an Englishman called Joseph Swan had already perfected it by January 1879 (Edison's patent of October that year didn't work).

The two nearly came to blows over who had the right to claim the invention but being geniuses (the plural is not genii) they joined forces and made a packet.

Prof Wind Up Merchant
73252.  Wed Jun 07, 2006 3:13 pm Reply with quote

Speaking of Patents, Alexander Graham Bell filed a patent of the telephone a few hours before Elisha Gray. Strictly speaking Bell did not invent it but patented the idea from Antonio Meucci.

Read this

Inventor of the Telephone

Alexander Graham Bell (Ontario Canada) invented the first microphone (which we now call a telephone) in 1876.

Bell was born in Scotland and, although his parents had moved to Canada by the 1870s, he himself had immigrated to America and was living and working in Boston when he invented the telephone.

Italian inventor Marconi sent to Nell all the information of his research, now both are listed as "the inventors" not the inventor. Today Bell would be paying Marconi royalties for stealing his invention. Marconi's family was trying to do that to Bell's family. Nothing else was said in public, and the media never was interested.

Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone, but Thomas Edison improved it.

Some say Antonio Meucci invented the phone, he was too poor to buy the patent that went with the creation and has recently been credited to it over years of battles in the courtroom.

Resolution No. 269 of the U.S. House of Representatives, passed June 11, 2002, 107TH Congress, 1ST session, H. RES. 269:

Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives to honor the life and achievements of 19th Century Italian-American inventor Antonio Meucci, and his work in the invention of the telephone. Whereas Antonio Meucci, the great Italian inventor, had a career that was both extraordinary and tragic; Whereas, upon immigrating to New York, Meucci continued to work with ceaseless vigor on a project he had begun in Havana, Cuba, an invention he later called the "teletrofono", involving electronic communications; Whereas Meucci set up a rudimentary communication link in his Staten Island home that connected the basement with the first floor, and later, when his wife began to suffer from crippling arthritis, he created a permanent link between his lab and his wife's second floor bedroom; Whereas, having exhausted most of his life's savings in pursuing his work, Meucci was unable to commercialize his invention, though he demonstrated his invention in 1860 and had a description of it published in New York's Italian language newspaper; Whereas Meucci never learned English well enough to navigate the complex American business community; Whereas Meucci was unable to raise sufficient funds to pay his way through the patent application process, and thus had to settle for a caveat, a one year renewable notice of an impending patent, which was first filed on December 28, 1871; Whereas Meucci later learned that the Western Union affiliate laboratory reportedly lost his working models, and Meucci, who at this point was living on public assistance, was unable to renew the caveat after 1874; Whereas in March 1876, Alexander Graham Bell, who conducted experiments in the same laboratory where Meucci's materials had been stored, was granted a patent and was thereafter credited with inventing the telephone; Whereas on January 13, 1887, the Government of the United States moved to annul the patent issued to Bell on the grounds of fraud and misrepresentation, a case that the Supreme Court found viable and remanded for trial; Whereas Meucci died in October 1889, the Bell patent expired in January 1893, and the case was discontinued as moot without ever reaching the underlying issue of the true inventor of the telephone entitled to the patent; and Whereas if Meucci had been able to pay the $10 fee to maintain the caveat after 1874, no patent could have been issued to Bell: Now, therefore, be it Resolved, That it is the sense of the House of Representatives that the life and achievements of Antonio Meucci should be recognized, and his work in the invention of the telephone should be acknowledged.

It was L.M Ericsson that made the first phone network.

Apparently Thomas Edison improved the idea.

QI Individual
73255.  Wed Jun 07, 2006 3:52 pm Reply with quote

Seems like one for the General Ignorance round.

BTW. The Source would be nice.

Terminal Bore
73261.  Wed Jun 07, 2006 4:32 pm Reply with quote

QUOTE "It was L.M Ericsson that made the first phone network".

And O2 which ruined it

Last edited by Terminal Bore on Wed Jun 07, 2006 4:41 pm; edited 1 time in total

Terminal Bore
73263.  Wed Jun 07, 2006 4:40 pm Reply with quote

Edison's patent for the day of 8th June

In 1915, Thomas A. Edison received a patent on a "Sound-Recording Apparatus" (U.S. No. 1,142,507) one of many patents he held in this field. This patent presented improvements on this design as given in two earlier filings in the same year. The apparatus described is a flexible circular diaphragm bearing against a stylus at its centre that is held on a spring lever secured to a rigid support. It was so designed to provide sensitivity for recording sounds, whether weak or strong, and to record them more truly. The diaphragm is mounted on a sensitive support across an opening in the sound box. Its form is with a flexible annular portion and a stiff central region, to cause movement similar to a piston. Suggested materials included acetyl cellulose or paper.

Notable Birth 8th June
Francis Crick, who received the 1962 Nobel Prize for Medicine for determination of the molecular structure of deoxyribonucleic acid

Notable Death 8th June
Christian Huygens, first patent for a pendulum clock (1656) and discoverer of Saturn's moon Titan

73272.  Wed Jun 07, 2006 5:12 pm Reply with quote

Edison was undoubtedly a genius, but - like many of that breed - rather eccentric.

He spent years railing against the use of Alternating Current, claiming it was far too dangerous to be allowed. To prove this assertion, he invented the electric chair (and sold it to the State of New York, despite being an opponent of capital punishment).

He also electrocuted an elephant - which a circus had decided to put to death - again to demonstrate the dangerous things that could be done with AC.

He hated Tesla with a passion. The two men had worked together, but Tesla left the job after Edison apparently reneged on a financial deal. When Tesla then invented the AC system which Westinghouse took up, Edison's one man campaign began.

Then again, Edison died rich while Tesla died destitute in a New York hotel, owing substantial back room rent. Most of his effects had to be sold to pay his debts, while the CIA seized many of his papers because Tesla had supposedly being trying to invent a "death ray".

Oh, and Edison was deaf. This fact is not as well known as it should be.

73277.  Wed Jun 07, 2006 5:25 pm Reply with quote

QI Individual wrote:
Seems like one for the General Ignorance round.

In the first series, I believe. Also, look out for the QI Book of General Ignorance, due out soon.

73335.  Thu Jun 08, 2006 6:26 am Reply with quote

Alexander Graham Bell also invented another device which is still in use today.
He produced this device while working for a well-known manufacturer.
It is known as a Bell *****.
Oddly enough, the form of the device echoes the name of its inventor, though it is neither a telephone nor a bell.
kudos will be awarded to the first correct guess at *****.

73341.  Thu Jun 08, 2006 6:35 am Reply with quote

A.G. Bell invented the metal detector.

73343.  Thu Jun 08, 2006 6:39 am Reply with quote

Bell Curve?




73346.  Thu Jun 08, 2006 6:59 am Reply with quote

Bell bottoms?

73350.  Thu Jun 08, 2006 7:29 am Reply with quote

There's a bell flask (jar) I think but the form of it would suggest it pre-dates Bell. Mind you, so did the telephone.

73357.  Thu Jun 08, 2006 7:47 am Reply with quote

Edison is not the most prolific inventor ever, nor is (ahem) the flower industry's own Douglas Weder.

The winner is Shunpei Yamazaki a computer and video screen expert, with 1,432 patents. Yamazaki has averaged about a patent a week for 25 years

73364.  Thu Jun 08, 2006 8:23 am Reply with quote

Bell flasks or jars. Sylvia Plath knew all about them.

Bell bottoms - ah, the 1970s. We modern females call them "boot cut trousers", but I guess they are much the same thing.

Was it the fruit machine (aka one armed bandit)? There must be some reason why the oranges, cherries and so on are accompanied by a bell.

QI Individual
73369.  Thu Jun 08, 2006 8:55 am Reply with quote

Do you mean this one?


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