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Thomas Edison

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Blacksmith Tom
929244.  Wed Aug 01, 2012 11:42 pm Reply with quote

While Thomas Edison did make a movie where he electrocuted an elephant to black ball Westinghouse, he did this after he ran Nikola Tesla out of town by making movies where he stole neighborhood dogs and cats and electrocuted them as well. He also invented the electric chair, all to keep Tesla and Westinghouse from making money with their electricity. Edison, was a greedy man that wasn't very nice when it came to business. Westinghouse hired Tesla after Edison fired him, Westinghouse proceeded to steal Tesla's patents on a lot of his ideas, they paid him pennies for patents that made them millions. Tesla died broke, alone in a skidrow apartment in Colorado.

929347.  Thu Aug 02, 2012 9:44 am Reply with quote

Thanks Tom, and welcome to QI :-)

929363.  Thu Aug 02, 2012 10:20 am Reply with quote

Welcome BlacksmithTom!
Another inventor who got a very rough deal from Westinghouse and other corporations was Edwin Howard Armstrong (18 December 1890 31 January 1954)
Armstrong was the inventor of modern frequency modulation (FM) radio, who commited suicide after lengthy and unsuccessful litigation against corporate interests, in front of judges who did not understand the technicalities.
There is a very interesting sentence in the Wikipedia article:
Armstrong was of the opinion that anyone who had actual contact with the development of radio understood that the radio art was the product of experiment and work based on physical reasoning, rather than on the mathematicians' calculations and formulae (known today as part of "mathematical physics").

Would our physics brothers care to comment?

929370.  Thu Aug 02, 2012 10:28 am Reply with quote

Hi, Blacksmith Tom; welcome to QI.

931774.  Sun Aug 12, 2012 8:50 am Reply with quote

I think that it was so sad to have entire episode contribute to electricity and fail to mention Tesla, who was to smart for it's time. We still have a big problem to understand half of inventions left by Tesla and luckily i have some of his work papers and i dare to say that he is probably one of most remarkable man that wold have ever see...
He had a bad luck to be born as a Serb and not an American, so every thing he did he must do it on hard way. Supreme court of america give him back his patents posthumes but it was a bit late don't you think :S
Sorry if I misspell something, English is my third language

931792.  Sun Aug 12, 2012 9:32 am Reply with quote

hi and welcome, the show itself may be lacking in mentioning Nikola Tesla but if you do a search of the forums for Tesla I think you will find he is not unknown to the denizens of this site.

931816.  Sun Aug 12, 2012 10:48 am Reply with quote

I know that, i was just saying that it would be bad to have episode about gravity and don't mention Newton, am I right or not?

931824.  Sun Aug 12, 2012 10:58 am Reply with quote

Certainly, Edison isn't exactly lauded in the show IIRC, I think the main point was about him electrocuting elephants to demonstrate how dangerous AC was.


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