Friday, February 8, 2013

Curious stories about some inventions of the Industrial Revolution

Yesterday I told you the story about the flutes James Watt forged to get the money he needed to for his experiments with the steam engine. You can read the full story here:

This is the link to the story about the true inventor of the telephone, who was not Alexander Graham Bell, but Antonio Meucci. Graham Bell is supposed to have copied Meucci´s invention and registered it in his name:

The story  of electricity is very curious as well. Everybody considers Thomas Alva Edison, the Wizard of Menlo Park, to be one of the biggest inventors ever. He accumulated 2,332 patents worldwide (1,093 in the USA), but he didn´t invent all the products people commonly attribute him. Many of them were improvements of previous inventions and other were developed by his workers in his laboratory in Menlo Park. Edison was more a business man who got the money for his projects. Here you have a complete list of all the inventions patented by Edison: 

Edison was also involved in the so called War of Currents with Nikola Tesla, a great inventor. Edison defended direct current and Tesla defended alternating current. Tesla received George Westinghouse´s financing and Edison tried to discredit alternating current by all means. He reached the point of inventing the electric chair with an old Westinghouse generator. The first executed criminal was William Kemmler, who died in an awful spectacle. Later Edison  executed a circus elephant which had killed three men to show how  dangerous alternating current could be. But despite all his efforts, finally Tesla and Westinghouse proved that alternating current was cheaper and more efficient. 

If you want to read more about the War of Currents, here you have some links: 

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