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MANAGEMENT: Inventions

"Profitability is the Key to Value. If You've Got it, Flaunt It. If You Don't Have It, Get It (business strategy). If You Can't Get It, Get Out (capital strategy)."

--- Bill Fruhan, Professor of Finance, Harvard Business School, author of: Financial Strategy: Studies in the Creation, Transfer, and Destruction of Shareholder Value.

New Product Markets

July 31, 1790 - Samuel Hopkins (Vermont) received first U.S. patent for a process for making potash (used as an ingredient in soap and fertilizer) and pearl ashes; granted for a term of 14 years and signed by George Washington. Hopkins did not get Patent #1 as thousands of patents were issued before the Patent Office began to number them. Congress had passed the Patent Act on April 10, 1790. Only two other patents were granted that year - one for a new candle-making process and the other the flour-milling machinery of Oliver Evans.

July 13, 1836 - John Ruggles, of Thomaston, Maine, received patent Number 1 from U.S. Patent Office for "Traction Wheels" ("improvement or improvements on locomotive-engines used on railroads and common roads by which inclined planes and hills may be ascended and heavy loads drawn up the same with more facility and economy than heretofore"); new system for numbering patents (before Ruggles, 9,957 non-numbered patents issued); Ruggles was Chairman of Committee on Patents of the U.S. Senate, instrumental in patent law reform.

December 15, 1836 - The Patent Office was completely destroyed by fire; estimated loss of 7,000 models, 9,000 drawings, 230 books; all written records lost.

August 29,1842 -The design patent, a new form of patent, was authorized by Act of Congress. The first U.S. design patent was issued for typefaces and borders to George Bruce of New York City on November 9, 1842.

October 28, 1868 - Thomas Edison applied for his first patent, electric vote recorder.

July 8, 1870 - Congress enacted Federal Trademark Act 1870, first federal act permitting registration of trademarks (without requirement of use in commerce); based on patent and copyright clause of U. S. Constitution (no requirement that trademark be used in commerce which Congress could regulate); October 25, 1870 - first U.S. trademark registration granted to Averill Chemical Paint Company for a logo (eagle perched on rock, "holding in his mouth a paint-pot, or cannister, with a brush, and a ribbon or streamer on which are the words Economical, Durable, Beautiful"); 1879 - struck down for exceeding powers granted by patent and copyright clause of U. S. Constitution (Supreme Court ruled in Trademark Cases of 1879 that commerce clause in Constitution was sole constitutional source of Congress's power to regulate trademarks; ruled 1870 trademark law unconstitutional because it failed to limit scope of trademark regulation to those used in interstate commerce); March 3, 1881 - Congress enacted Trademark Protection Act of 1881; targeted trademarks used in interstate commerce (and in commerce with Indian tribes) based on interstate commerce clause in U.S. Constitution (no provision for interstate commerce); February 20, 1905 - Trade-Mark Act of 1905 superceded Trademark Act of 1881; trademarks registered by U. S. Patent and Trademark Office; July 5, 1946 - Lanham Act (Trademark Act of 1946) passed; first substantial revision of federal trademark legislation; required "use in commerce" for federal trademark registration, expressly limited to those marks used in commerce that Constitution grants Congress power to regulate; 1996 - Dilution Act of 1996 further protected business interests; 1999 - Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act signed into law, governed trademark infringement through domain names on internet.

December 23, 1870 - Thomas A. Edison received a patent for an "Improvement in Magneto Electric Machines"; object of his improvement was to increase the effectiveness and cheapen the construction of the revolving armature. 

August 8, 1876 - Thomas A. Edison received a patent for his mimeograph.

February 19, 1878 - Thomas Edison received a patent for his phonograph.

January 27, 1880 - Thomas Edison received a patent for his electric incandescent lamp.

November 15, 1883 - Edison received a patent for his two-element vacuum tube, the forerunner of the vacuum tube rectifier.

February 12, 1884 - Thomas A. Edison received several U.S. patents: "An Electric Generator or Motor," "Insulation of Railroad tracks Used for Electrical Circuits," "Incandescent Electric Lamp," and an "Electrical Meter."

August, 31, 1887 - Thomas A. Edison received a patent for his ''Kinetoscope,'' a device that produced moving pictures.

February 12, 1889 - Thomas A. Edison received two U.S. patents: "Method of Winding Field Magnets," and a "Phonograph."

September 30, 1890 - Thomas A. Edison received a patent for telegraphy, for a phonograph; for a phonograph-recorder; for a "Method of Making Phonograph Blanks"; for a "Propelling Device for Electrical Cars"; for a phonogram blank.

August 24, 1891 - Thomas Edison filed a patent for motion picture camera.

February 16, 1892 - Thomas A. Edison received two U.S. patents, for a "Converter System for Electric Railways" and a "Commutator Brush for Electric Motors and Dynamos". 

February 1, 1893 - Thomas A. Edison completed work on world's first motion picture studio, in West Orange, NJ.

February 12, 1895 - Thomas A. Edison received several U.S. patents: "Filament for Incandescent Lamps," "Induction Converter" and an "Incandescent Electric Lamp."

January 22, 1907 - Thomas A. Edison received a patent for an "Apparatus for Grinding and Separating Fine Materials".

August 20, 1912 - Thomas A. Edison received a patent for a "Phonographic Apparatus," and for a "Storage Battery."

January 10, 1922 - Thomas A. Edison received a patent for a Storage-Battery Electrode and the Production of Same.

(Bell), Roger Burlingame (1964). Out of Silence into Sound; The Life of Alexander Graham Bell. (New York, NY: Macmillan, 146 p.). Bell, Alexander Graham, 1847-1922.

(Bell), Robert V. Bruce (1990). Bell: Alexander Graham Bell and the Conquest of Solitude. (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 564 p. [orig. pub. 1973]). Bell, Alexander Graham, 1847-1922; Inventors--United States--Biography.

(Bell), James Mackay (1998). Alexander Graham Bell: A Life. (New York, NY: Wiley, p.). Bell, Alexander Graham, 1847-1922; Inventors--United States--Biography. 

(Bell), Charlotte Gray (2006). Reluctant Genius: Alexander Graham Bell and the Passion for Invention. (New York, NY: Arcade Pub., 480 p.). Bell, Alexander Graham, 1847-1922; Inventors--United States--Biography. Creation of device, projects pursued once his future secured. 

(Edison), William A. Simonds (1934). Edison; His Life, His Work, His Genius. (Indianapolis, IN: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, 364 p.). Edison, Thomas A. (Thomas Alva), 1847-1931.

(Edison), Eds. Reese V. Jenkins ... [et al.] (1989). The Papers of Thomas A. Edison: The Making of an Inventor : February 1847-June 1873. (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 4 vols.). Edison, Thomas A. (Thomas Alva), 1847-1931; Edison, Thomas A. (Thomas Alva), 1847-1931 --Archives; Inventors--United States--Biography.

Thomas Alva Edison (more than 1,000 patents) ( Edison's October 18, 1931 Obituary: http://www.nytimes. com/learning/ general/ onthisday/bday/ 0211.html

(Electric Light), Francis Arthur Jones (1931). The Life Story of Thomas Alva Edison. (New York, NY: Grosset & Dunlap, 405 p.). Edison, Thomas A. (Thomas Alva), 1847-1931.

(Electric Light), Matthew Josephson (1959). Edison: A Biography. (New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, 511 p.). Edison, Thomas A. (Thomas Alva), 1847-1931.

(Electric Light), Ronald W. Clark (1977). Edison: The Man Who Made the Future. (London, UK: Macdonald and Jane's, 256 p.). Edison, Thomas A. (Thomas Alva), 1847-1931; Electric engineers -- United States -- Biography; Inventors -- United States -- Biography.

(Electric Light), Robert Conot (1979). A Streak of Luck. (New York, NY: Seaview Books, 565 p.). Edison, Thomas A. (Thomas Alva), 1847-1931; Inventors -- United States -- Biography; Electric engineers -- United States -- Biography.

(Electric Light), Wyn Wachhorst (1981). Thomas Alva Edison, an American Myth. (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 328 p.). Edison, Thomas A. (Thomas Alva), 1847-1931; Inventors -- United States -- Biography.

(Electric Light), Robert Friedel & Paul Israel with Bernard S. Finn (1986). Edison's Electric Light: Biography of an Invention. (New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 263 p.). Edison, Thomas A. (Thomas Alva), 1847-1931; Incandescent lamps.

(Electric Light), Andre Millard (1990). Edison and the Business of Innovation. (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 387 p.). Edison, Thomas A. (Thomas Alva), 1847-1931; Inventors--United States--Biography; Businesspeople--United States--Biography. Series: Johns Hopkins studies in the history of technology.

(Electric Light), Neil Baldwin (1995). Edison, Inventing the Century. (New York, NY: Hyperion, 531 p.). Edison, Thomas A. (Thomas Alva), 1847-1931; Inventors -- United States -- Biography; Electric engineering -- United States -- History.

(Electric Light), Paul Israel (1998). Edison A Life of Invention. (New York, NY: Wiley, 552 p.). Edison, Thomas A. (Thomas Alva) 1847-1931; Inventors--United States--Biography.

(Electric Light), Robert Friedel and Paul Israel (2010). Edison's Electric Light: The Art of Invention. (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 248 p.[rev., updated). Professor of the History and Technology of Science (University of Maryland); Director and General Editor of the Thomas A. Edison Papers at Rutgers. Edison, Thomas A. (Thomas Alva), 1847-1931; Incandescent lamps --History; Inventors --United States --Biography. September 1878 - Thomas Alva Edison prematurely proclaimed breakthrough invention of a workable electric light; 1882 - successfully completed Pearl Street station (New York City);  not first to develop incandescent light bulb, but most successful of all competing inventions; how this came to be; full range of experiments: testing of host of materials, development crucial tools (world's best vacuum pump, construction of first large-scale electrical generators and power distribution systems); keyed to printed,  electronic versions of Edison Papers.

(TV), David E. Fisher and Marshall Jon Fisher (1996). Tube: The Invention of Television. (Washington, DC: Counterpoint, 427 p.). Television--Receivers and reception--History.

(TV), R. W. Burns (1998). Television: An International History of the Formative Years. (London, UK: Institution of Electrical Engineers, 661 p.). Television--History; Television--Receivers and reception--History; Television broadcasting--History.

(TV), Evan I. Schwartz (2002). The Last Lone Inventor: Tale of Genius, Deceit, and the Birth of Television. (New York, NY: HarperCollins, 322 p.). Farnsworth, Philo Taylor, 1906-1971; Television--Biography; Inventors--United States--Biography; Electric engineers--United States--Biography; Television--History.

(TV), Daniel Stashower (2002). The Boy Genius and the Mogul: The Untold Story of Television. (New York, NY: Broadway Books, 277 p.). Farnsworth, Philo Taylor, 1906-1971; Sarnoff, David, 1891-1971; Television--History. Farnsworth against Sarnoff (RCA) - ultimately loses.

Mark Bernstein (1996). Grand Eccentrics: Turning the Century: Dayton and the Inventing of America. (Wilmington, OH: Orange Frazer Press, 271 p.). Cox, James M. (James Middleton), 1870-1957; Kettering, Charles Franklin, 1876-1958; Patterson, John Henry, 1844-1922; Morgan, Arthur Ernest, 1878-1975; Wright, Wilbur, 1867-1912.; Wright, Orville, 1871-1948; Antioch College; Dayton (Ohio)--Biography; Dayton (Ohio)--History.

David E. Brown; foreword by Lester C. Thurow; introductions by James Burke (2002). Inventing Modern America: From the Microwave to the Mouse. (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 209 p.). Inventions--United States--History--20th century; Inventors--United States--Biography. 

James Burke; with a new introduction by the author (1995). Connections. (Boston, MA: Little, Brown, 304 p.). Inventions--History; Technology--History.

--- (1996). The Pinball Effect: How Renaissance Water Gardens Made the Carburetor Possible, and Other Journeys Through Knowledge. (Boston, MA: Little, Brown and Co., 310 p.). Inventions--History.

Roger Burlingame (1938). March of the Iron Men; A Social History of Union Through Invention. (New York, NY: Scribner, 500 p.). Inventions--United States; Inventors, American; United States--Civilization; United States--Economic conditions.

--- (1953). Machines That Built America. (New York, NY: Harcourt, Brace, 214 p.). Inventions--History; Inventors--United States; United States--Civilization.

Harold Evans, with Gail Buckland and David Lefer (2004). They Made America: Two Centuries of Innovators from the Steam Engine to the Search Engine. (Boston, MA: Little, Brown, 496 p.). Inventors--United States--History; Inventions--United States--History. Men, women who made America over two centuries, set America on course to attain standard of living unprecedented in history of world.

Allyn Freeman, Bob Golden (1997). Why Didn't I Think of That?: Bizarre Origins of Ingenious Inventions We Couldn't Live Without. (New York, NY: Wiley, 240 p.). Writer and business consultant, writer and composer. Inventions--History.  

Edmund Fuller (1955). Tinkers and Genius, the Story of the Yankee Inventors. (New York, NY: Hastings House, 308 p.). Inventors--United States; Inventions--History. 

Brooke Hindle (1981). Emulation and Invention. (New York, NY, New York University Press, 162 p.). Director of the National Museum of History and Technology (Smithsonian Institution).Technology --United States --History; Steamboats --United States --History; Telegraph --United States --History.

Thomas P. Hughes (1990). American Genesis: A Century of Invention and Technological Enthusiasm, 1870-1970. (New York, NY: Viking, 529 p.). Technology--United States--History.

B. Zorina Khan (2005). The Democratization of Invention: Patents and Copyrights in American Economic Development, 1790-1920. (New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 336 p.). Professor of Economics (Bowdoin College). Intellectual property--Economic aspects--United States--History; Copyright--Economic aspects--United States--History; Patents--Economic aspects--United States--History; Inventions--Economic aspects--United States--History; Democracy--United States--History. Economic history of American patent,  copyright institutions.

John H. Lienhard (2006). How Invention Begins: Echoes of Old Voices in the Rise of New Machines. (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 288 p.). Retired Professor. Inventors--United States; Inventions--History. Technology--United States--History. Nature of invention. Reconciling ends of invention with individual leaps on which they were built, vast web of individual inspirations that lie behind whole technologies; way in which thousands of people applied their combined inventive genius.

David Lindsay (2000). House of Invention The Secret Life of Everyday Products. (New York, NY: Lyons Press, 179 p.). Inventions--History; Inventors--History.

Christine MacLeod (2008). Heroes of Invention: Technology, Liberalism and British Identity, 1750-1914. (New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 458 p.). Senior Lecturer in Economic and Social History at the School of Humanities (University of Bristol). Inventors --Great Britain --History --19th century; Industrial revolution --Great Britain; Inventions --Great Britain --History --19th century; Great Britain --Economic conditions --19th century; Great Britain --Social conditions --19th century; Great Britain --Economic conditions --18th century; Great Britain --Social conditions --18th century. Why inventors rose to heroic stature and popular acclaim in Victorian Britain; no decline in industrial nation's self-esteem before 1914; inventors became figureheads of various 19th-century factions who deployed their heroic reputation to challenge aristocracy's hold on power, militaristic national identity that bolstered it.

Steven J. Paley (2010). The Art of Invention: The Creative Process of Discovery and Design. (New York, NY: Prometheus, 224 p.). Founder of Arise Technologies, Inc., holds nine US patents and numerous international patents. Engineering; Inventions. Process of invention (from paper clip to personal computer), creative mental processes that drive innovation; how ideas come from variety of sources; how intuition, harnessing of subconscious information are key ingredients for inventive process; three fundamental themes: 1) simplicity, 2) elegance, 3) robustness - how great inventions embody these crucial characteristics.

Henry Petroski (1992). The Evolution of Useful Things: How Everyday Artifacts-From Forks and Pins to Paper Clips and Zippers-Came to be as They Are. (New York, NY: Knopf, 288 p.). Professor of Civil Engineering, History (Duke Univ.). Inventions, Patents, Industrial Design. Inventors sought opportunity in things public didn't need.

Richard Ross (2005). Patently Ridiculous: Scuba-Diving Dogs, Beerbrellas, Musical Toothpaste, and Other Patented Strokes of Genius. (New York, NY: Plume, 160 p.). Professor of Art (University of California, Santa Barbara). Inventions--United States; Patents--United States.  

Holland Thompson (1921). The Age of Invention; a Chronicle of Mechanical Conquest. (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 267 p.). Inventions--History; Inventors--United States.

Abbott Payson Usher (1929). A History of Mechanical Inventions. (New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, 401 p.). Inventions--History; Machinery--History.

Stephen van Dulken (2001). Inventing the 19th Century: 100 Inventions That Shaped the Victorian Age from Aspirin to the Zeppelin. (New York, NY: New York University Press, 218 p.). Expert Curator in the Patents Information Service of The British Library. Inventions--History--19th century. Victorian age (1837-1901) history of one hundred most important, innovative, memorable inventions of 19th century.

--- (2004). American Inventions: A History of Curious, Extraordinary, and Just Plain Useful Patents. (New York, NY: New York University Press, 241 p.). Expert Curator in the Patents Information Service of The British Library. Inventions--United States--History; Patents--United States--History.  1911- 1999: number of registered U.S. patents rose from 1 million to 6 million; how patent records reflect trends in history of United States.

Stephen Van Dulken; with an introduction by Andrew Phillips (2000). Inventing the Twentieth Century: 100 Inventions That Shaped the World: From the Airplane to the Zipper. (Washington Square, NY: New York University Press, 246 p.). Expert Curator in the Patents Information Service of The British Library. Inventions--History--20th century. History of 100 of most significant inventions of century, decade by decade.

Ethlie Ann Vare, Greg Ptacek (2002). Patently Female: From AZT to TV Dinners: Stories of Women Inventors and Their Breakthrough Ideas. (New York, NY: Wiley, 220 p.). Women inventors; Women inventors--United States--Biography.

Jeffrey S. Young (1998). Forbes Greatest Technology Stories: Inspiring Tales of the Entrepreneurs and Inventors Who Revolutionized Modern Business. (New York, NY: Wiley, 368 p.). Inventions--United States--History; Inventors--United States--History; High technology--United States--History.



The Engines of Our Ingenuity

The Engines of Our Ingenuity, radio program heard nationally on Public Radio and produced by KUHF-FM Houston, tells the story of how our culture is formed by human creativity. Written and hosted by John Lienhard (M.D. Anderson Professor Emeritus of Mechanical Engineering and History at the University of Houston). This web site houses the transcripts for every episode heard since the show's inception in 1988. The program uses the record of history to reveal the way art, technology, and ideas have shaped us. Episode topics range from cable cars to Civil War submarines, from the connection between Romantic poets and Victorian science to the invention of the bar code.

Great Idea Finder                                                                                                                                                                              

Created to promote the progress of science and useful arts by providing a showcase for innovation. Our only mission is to provide inspiration to the "inventor" in all of us.

Greatest Inventions the Evolution of Man through History                                                                Http://Library.Thinkquest.Org/C002942/Home.Shtml                                                         

Inventions -- History | Inventors | Biography. This site covers a number of popular inventions through history from the 15th to the 20th century. Inventions include items from aspirin, blue jeans, and the electric battery to Legos, the refrigerator, and the zipper. Users can search by timeline, inventor, or invention.  useful. Topics are cross-linked and linked to related sites and recommended books. There is also an interactive section that allows browsers to further search the site and learn through games, puzzles, facts, and tvrivia.

Inventing Modern America, from the Microwave to the Mouse

Invention Dimension

Excerpts and supplements from Lemelson-MIT Program's 2001 book "Inventing Modern America, from the Microwave to the Mouse"; celebrates the best of American ingenuity and inventiveness; profiles inventors of everyday objects such as Kevlar (inventor Stephanie Kwolek) and the electronic telephone switchboard (inventor Erna Schneider); gives facts about some of these inventors, furnishes color .pdf pages from the book, has invention-related games such as "Which Came First?" (e.g., neon or fluorescent lights?), discusses the Lemelson-MIT Program, and gives links to other sites on innovation. One link is to its companion site Invention Dimension; has an exciting Inventor of the Week section and searchable archive along with an Inventor's Handbook dealing with intellectual property, patents, business plans, etc.

Inventions of Note: Sheet Music Collection                                                                                                                                    

"This sheet music collection consists of popular songs and piano compositions that portray technologies (old and new alike) as revealed through song texts and/or cover art." Technologies include automobile, airplane, radio, and telephone, and most items date from 1890-1920. A small number of entries include sound files (such as "Kissing Papa through the Telephone"). Browsable by title. From the Lewis Music Library, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

National Inventors Hall of Fame                                                                                                                                                                                          

A not-for-profit organization that aims to recognize inventors and invention everywhere, to promote creativity and to advance the spirit of innovation. The National Inventors Hall of Fame was established in 1973 by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and the National Council of Intellectual Property Law Associations.

Patently Absurd!: Weird Patents, Useless Inventions                                                                                                                                    

A collection of weird and strange patents from the United Kingdom patent office. There are links to Serious information about patents, including links to United Kingdom, Japanese, World Intellectual Property Organization, and European patent offices. - dl Subjects: Patents -- Himor.

Smithsonian Visual Timeline of Inventions        

Time Magazine's 50 Best Inventions,,1852747,00.html

TIME Magazine's picks for top innovations of 2008 - from genetic testing service, invisibility cloak, ingenious public bike system to world's first moving skyscraper; Best Inventions of 2007 - From iPhone (changed phones forever), futuristic cars, building made of water, to a remote-controlled dragonfly  (,28757,1677329,00.html); The Next Big Thing Is Us in 2006 (,9171,1172242,00.html); The Most Amazing Inventions 2005 (,8599,1128237,00.html); The Sky's the Limit in 2004 (,9171,995754,00.html); Beyond 2000 (,9263,7601991108,00.html).

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