Edison, Tesla, Da Vinci................

Reply

  #1  
Old 09-02-09, 07:14 AM
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 8,629
Edison, Tesla, Da Vinci................

Any of you wonder about these guys or read up on them? I find myself thinking about the likes of guys like these, more and more. I have never done any serious research on them (yet), even though I would not mind being like them (rather than like Mike).

How did these guys find time to accomplish what they did, yet make a living?????? That is what I don't get, more than anything. How could they come up with such complex stuff, while yet doing other stuff we all have to do in life? Or are some of these guys credited too much with being the actual inventor, while rather instead being more of a perfector of what already was known? For example, it has been widely proclaimed that this guy by the name of Crapper invented the toilet. When in actuality, he perfected the modern day toilet (I guess) But even so...............

Edison had well over 1000 patents. I'd think having just one would be an achievement. It is like he was an angel sent down to earth, to get humanity moiving along faster, or something.
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 09-02-09, 06:44 PM
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Wet side of Washington state.
Posts: 18,349
I don't know much about DaVinci but I've read several biographies of both Edison and Tesla.

Edison was a practical man, he had little formal education having been expelled from the town school when he set it on fire doing a chemistry experiment. His early education came mostly from his mother and the rest from practical experience with lots of mistakes. He had an extremely inquisitive mind and wouldn't accept "because" as the answer for anything. A large number of his patents were improvements on existing ideas rather than completely new ideas. He certainly did have his periods of minimal income and during these times is when he would often come up with a completely new idea. I think if one were to thoroughly investigate they would find that many of Edison's patents were the result of work done by his numerous associates, Edison was NOT a person that worked alone in some dark basement but instead had a fully equipped laboratory and machine shop with skilled artisans toiling away on several ideas at any one time.

More often than not Edison's successes came about due to his dogged determination and simply trying a multitude of things in order to find something that worked. As I wrote, Edison was a practical man, one of his earliest inventions was a vote recorder that, if adopted, would make a paper copy of votes taken in legislative bodies. The politicians wanted nothing to do with such a device because having legislation passing only by voice vote meant that they could tell their constituents whatever they desired. After that failure Edison vowed to never invent something unless he could make money with it.

Tesla, unlike Edison, did have a formal education although whether or not he actually was awarded a university degree is subject to debate. Tesla was definitely more of a thinker than Edison and he envisioned the polyphase electric motor long before its actual invention. Unlike Edison, Tesla cared little for money and was often broke. While Edison was a shrewd businessman, rarely selling his patents outright but instead licensing others to manufacture them, Tesla was known for letting his patents go with little long-term gain. He was a trusting soul and often was "stabbed in the back" by the people he trusted. In his later years he was more of a thinker than a doer and he also became obsessive over his personal cleanliness. He died pretty much without a penny.
 
  #3  
Old 09-02-09, 06:48 PM
Tolyn Ironhand's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 11,890
I should know this but, wasn't it Tesla that got screwed out a business adventure with Westinghouse?
 
  #4  
Old 09-02-09, 07:20 PM
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Wet side of Washington state.
Posts: 18,349
I don't remember the details but it was along the lines of Tesla was supposed to get a certain dollar amount per horsepower royalty for all the Westinghouse polyphase equipment installed. It would have made Tesla a multimillionaire in just a few years but Westinghouse failed to abide by the deal.
 
  #5  
Old 09-02-09, 07:36 PM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 6,126
Regarding Tesla, there was a battle between AC vs. DC and GE vs. Westinghouse or something similar. Edison has some big friends.

It is ironic that GE ended up buying the Hungarian tungsten light bulb company (Mazda, Maza?) that Tesla either formed or worked with in Hungary. At the time, they made many more bulbs than GE.

Now tungsten bulbs are almost extinct or getting so in Europe and the U.S. is a year or two behind in the transition. This will obviously bring down the cost of the CFLs we see in the U.S. and change the light source colors.
 
  #6  
Old 09-03-09, 05:29 PM
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 8,629
Potpourri

Thanks guys. This is fascinating. If you think of any more stuff, or any like individuals, let me know.

Howard Hughs and his Spruce Goose, or whatever it was called, is also something for the anals. He was quite the character, too.

I am also fascinated by Edgar Caycee, even more than the much ballyhooed Nostradamus.

And manufacturing processes are fascinating. Ford with his assembly line........and wasn't he in at least photo ops with Edison? Don't know if they were pals though.

Ever see that cable tv show called 'How Things are Made'?

And then to see this show on tv the other day how Legos plant is entirely robotic. Entirely! Great for Legos. Poor for workers, eh? No pensions here!
 
  #7  
Old 09-04-09, 04:04 AM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 43,031
"manufacturing processes are fascinating. Ford with his assembly line"

I read a book a long time ago about Henry Ford, he must have been a genius Back then parts were shipped in wooden crates, car bodies had wood frames and a lot of wood parts. He dictated how the crates must be made if you were to supply him with parts. When the parts arrived, he had the crates carefully disassembled and used them in the construction of the cars. No waste and the suppliers unwittingly did more work for him
 
  #8  
Old 09-04-09, 06:41 AM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 6,126
Thomas Edison's cronies were Firestone and Henry Ford.

At least one of two of them built a home in Fort Meyers near Edison's amazing home there.

Henry Ford also took the scrap wood that he also used for heating and built an operation in the Detroit plant. He produced charcoal using a new process to be used by the new travelers in there new cars. The new company was first called Ford Charcoal and is now known as Kingsford Charcoal (named after Henry Ford,s relative, Kingsford).

Dick
 
  #9  
Old 09-04-09, 07:37 AM
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 8,629
I bought some cheap charcoal recently and much went unburnt. It even looked different consistency. Went back to Kingsford.

There were seem neat guys back there near the turn of the century. And they made this country crate.....I mean, great. We need to get back on track in that regard. Got to get lazy kids off chairs and away from computer screens and cell phones.....and let us adults(who have already contributed and done our share) do it.

Another fascination I have is with the joke? that aliens helped with those monoliths...the great stone structures found around the world. And in particular (besides the Pyramids) those stones of 800 tons!!!(my car is only about 1 1/2 tons!) stood upright and laser-like keyways cut into it with no chipouts. How?!!!!!! Cable tv channel said the rock is second hard to diamond(dolomite rock?), to boot. How?!!!!!...if aliens didn't do it.

Hmmmm....I just looked up dolomite and it is only 3.5-4.0 on hardness scale. Well. I thought I heard them say both dolomite and second hard to diamond. Either I did not interpret what they said right, or they are pulling the wool over on gullible viewers, making something seem magical and mysterious that perhaps isn't?
 

Last edited by ecman51; 09-04-09 at 07:50 AM. Reason: added more after research
  #10  
Old 09-04-09, 10:43 AM
mango man's Avatar
Member
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Sw FL
Posts: 2,122
I bought some cheap charcoal recently and much went unburnt. It even looked different consistency. Went back to Kingsford.
not to derail the thread but Ive switched to lump charcoal

much better than briquettes

ford and edison both have houses in Ft Meyers its been years since I was there I'll have to give it another try when things cool down

I dont think it was that hese guys where that great , right time and place , technology had evolved to the point that these things where all possible
 
  #11  
Old 09-04-09, 12:09 PM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 6,126
They were not great inventors, but were great innovators. Edison hired many people to work in his labs to turn out inventions/patents in his name. Ford looked at the technology and applied to the situation at the time (management) and the estimated needs and salaries needed by his employees/the public to buy cars.

Recent figures had Ford first followed by Hyundai
Maybe the management is why Ford Motor Company did not apply for the government bail-outs and was the leading/preferred supplier of all producers in the "Cash for Clunkers" program.

A little off the original tread, but it and modern look at the people and their policies.

Edison's house in fort Meyers that he bought in 1887 is impressive, although the trees and bamboo he brought it are questionable, but he needed bamboo to experiment with the light bulb.

I wish I knew more about Tesla beyond my science classes and opinions from Hungarian friends.

Dick
 
  #12  
Old 09-05-09, 02:19 PM
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 8,629
Originally Posted by mango man View Post
not to derail the thread but Ive switched to lump charcoal

much better than briquettes
Huh. Where do you get that?

ford and edison both have houses in Ft Meyers its been years since I was there I'll have to give it another try when things cool down
Give what a try?

I dont think it was that hese guys where that great ,.....
Who in your opinion is, then?

.......right time and place , technology had evolved to the point that these things where all possible
Hmmm. Think how many years we had the tech and all the parts necessary to make weedwackers. Yet, one guy, in all those years, was the genious who has now changed how we go about trimming grass/weeds. I have a hard time agreeing with your last quote, based on this.
 
  #13  
Old 09-05-09, 02:35 PM
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 8,629
Originally Posted by Concretemasonry View Post
They were not great inventors, but were great innovators. Edison hired many people to work in his labs to turn out inventions/patents in his name.
Now that is interesting. So that is how he did it. Got others to do it, yet his name is on the patents, eh? Now I suddenly don't feel quite so dumb.

A little off the original tread, but it and modern look at the people and their policies.
????????

Edison's house in fort Meyers that he bought in 1887 is impressive,.....
Something about Florida. The pirate connection and all. It is a special place to romanticize over.

although the trees and bamboo he brought it are questionable,....
I loved seeing bamboo on Gaspirilla Island. How neat seeing bamboo, when you know it can't be found up in Wisconsin (I don't think, anyway). Did he bring in banyon trees? Those things are nifty too: Trees that root back down out of their own branches.


I wish I knew more about Tesla beyond my science classes and opinions from Hungarian friends.

Dick
At least most of us have heard of the Tesla coil. And cable tv has shown how Tesla's AC beat out Edison's DC. I wonder if Tesla had workers too where all that credit for stuff went to Tesla rather than subordinates?

Speaking of which........do you know that Stadivarius had students continue making his instruments with the Stadivarius label inside? You need an expert, I'd say, to know if the instrument is the $500K -1M variety, or the $500 student variety.
 
  #14  
Old 09-05-09, 02:54 PM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 6,126
Edison did bring in the "weeds" (Banyon Trees) and they certainly do give shape, but I don't think the realized what would happen to the growth in over 100 years.

Stradivarius' students must have moved to China, where they now make the most student violins from wood imported from russia and the U.S.and also some of the finest violins in the world from the limited supply of fine, choice Chinese wood (if you can afford to pay for them).
 
  #15  
Old 09-05-09, 03:36 PM
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 8,629
[QUOTE=Concretemasonry;1616120]Stradivarius' students must have moved to China, where they now make the most student violins............QUOTE]

So what else is new, eh?
 
  #16  
Old 09-08-09, 08:50 AM
mjd2k's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Canadian Prairies
Posts: 352
I read a book recently that validated my thinking. It discusses several succesful and some unsuccesful people. I've never been too impressed when someone succeeds because given the circumstances, I always think others could have also.

The premise of the book is that circumstance and timing allow people to succeed. Many exceptional people dont succeed because of circumstances. Yes people need to grab opportunities but even their ability to pounce on opportunity is dictated by upbringing, timing etc. I've met labourers that were more charismatic and brighter than owners of very succesful companies (that I also have met).

Its too deep for me to think about the circumstances that made Ford, Edison etc, so succesful while others with likely equal talents have not had exceptional lives. But it will be circumstances and timing. That would be a whole other book.

I think many of us have met people with exceptional talent but also regular people that have done well.

The book is "Outliers" Malcom Gladwell.
 

Last edited by mjd2k; 09-08-09 at 09:34 AM.
  #17  
Old 09-08-09, 04:09 PM
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 8,629
Originally Posted by mjd2k View Post
I read a book recently that validated my thinking. ........The premise of the book is that circumstance and timing allow people to succeed. Many exceptional people dont succeed because of circumstances.

I keep reading these lines over and over. First you say you agree with the book whose premise is circumstances(and timing) can allow people to succeed. Yet your last sentence, I quote, waivers from this. So I am confused as to what you really thinks make people succeed.

The word "succeed", in it's own right, can mean different things to different people. I might think I have succeeded if I can fix everything myself and only have to work 20 hours a week to maintain a lifetyle that I am satisfied with, like drive around, watch tv, drink beer, eat out quite often, have a cell phone, give people gifts, etc.

Or a person may only feel he has succeeded if when he died, other people would think that he was a success at something. Or might really think that person was a success if he gave something that benfited all of humanity. And it is this later trait that the like of people like Edison Tesla, DaVinci, and other great discoverers possessed.

Or others think that if say they think of themselves perhaps as fairly intelligent, yet have nothing to show for it, may greatly admire some person who likewise came from nothing, and created an empire worth billions, like say a John Menard, who I guess was a pole building builder employee and small hardware-lumber store owner at at one time)

These people garner an admiration that is second to only the reverence bestowed upon God.
 
  #18  
Old 09-08-09, 10:29 PM
mjd2k's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Canadian Prairies
Posts: 352
If my words are confusing you, dont' waste time re-reading them. I probably just screwed up! "Success" was the wrong word. I cant even spell it. Anyway..... someone gave me the book and I thought it was interesting. Probably only because I agreed with it.
 
  #19  
Old 09-09-09, 11:43 AM
ray2047's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 32,532
What got me as I first read about Edison was he knew nothing of scientific approach to a problem. With the light bulb he just kept trying things with no logical approach. Even in his time the physical properties of many elements and materials such as resistance and melting point were known but he just tried every thing.

For centuries blacksmiths had known the relationship between temperature and the color light an object gave off when heated near its melting point. Edison seemed though totally ignorant of this fact. He actually put a metal plate in some of his experimental bulbs to cool the filament. Even a blacksmith without a sixth grade education could have told him that if you reduced the temperature it would no longer glow white.

There is an irony to the above example. Edison noted that current would flow in one direction only from the metal plate to the filament. He considered that a useless fact. Of course it wasn't useless but he never realized it. It took De Forest to recognize it's importance and build the whole field of electronics on that discovery.

What of his other inventions? When we think of music boxes today we thing of the little toy devices in jewelry boxes and such but in Edison's day they were large table top or even free standing machines that you placed cylinders in to play songs. Sound familiar.? Yes, they were made just like Edison's early phonographs. What Edison did was just improve on the way cylinders were made and how the sound was produced allowing any sound even the human voice to be recored.

Well how about movies? Again just an improvement of the magic lantern combining it with the principle of flip books. Yes I suppose you could say he was a great innovator but his inventions were more great leaps or small leaps in improving existing technology but then maybe most inventions are.
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes
'