Tag Archives | alexander graham bell

Everything You Think You Know About Thomas Edison Might Be Wrong

edison-tesla_13

Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison

Was anything we learned in school true? Next it will be revealed that Benjamin Franklin never flew a kite with a key attached to the string in a storm.

via Business Insider

Thomas Edison did not try 10,000 times before inventing the light bulb, nor did he labor in a dusty workshop by himself.

That’s according to David Burkus, author of “The Myths of Creativity,” who says America’s favorite innovation story may have been the result of a tremendous publicity push.

In his book, Burkus debunks the popular tale of Edison and what he calls the “lone creator myth.” His claim? That we love the story of the solo-genius, the starving artist, the one brilliant man against the world — even if it’s not always true.

In the case of Edison, Burkus argues that the famous creator didn’t invent the light bulb so much as perfect it, with the muscle of a massive publicity machine behind him.

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The Weird And Wonderful Sketchbooks Of Alexander Graham Bell

horsekiteThe Atlantic has scans from the notebooks of telephone inventor Alexander Graham Bell, who had an abundance of ideas for serious and non-serious devices. It’s a delight to peruse his sketches, of both nature and such inventions as helicopters, futuristic eyeglasses, playground equipment, the “radiotome”, and (at right) the horse-pulled kite:

It was on March 10, 1876 that Alexander Graham Bell made the first successful telephone call. “‘Mr. Watson–come here–I want to see you,” he said to his assistant, who was in the next room. Bell recorded those early telephone experiments in his lab notebooks from the time, as he did with countless other experiments and ideas.

The books are a priceless treasure of an incredibly fertile mind working through one of the most exciting periods of technological innovation in the history of the world. The sketches, though, are more than just dry recordings of physical principles. Bell’s drawings are expressive in ways that few technical sketches are.

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