Study Guides (380,000)
CA (150,000)
Ryerson (10,000)
History (100)

HST 701 Study Guide - Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism, Intellectual Disability, Dow Chemical Company


Department
History
Course Code
HST 701
Professor
Jennifer Hubbard

This preview shows pages 1-3. to view the full 66 pages of the document.
1
C/HST 701 SCIENTIFIC TECHNOLOGY IN THE TWENTIETH CENTURY NOTES
LECTURE NOTES: # 1 - HOW INVENTORS INVENT
U.S. MAJOR SITE OF INVENTIONS 1870-1914
- more important inventors per capita than anywhere else
- patents filed increased enormously in this time
- Thomas Edison major inventor:
- invented a system of inventing
- U.S. became a major industrial power
- period of independent inventors ended in World War I
- industrial scientists replaced them
IMPORTANT INVENTORS
- Hiram Stevens Maxim (1840-1916) - machine gun
- Alexander Graham Bell (1847-1931) - telephone
- Thomas Edison (1847-1931) - incandescent light bulb, electrical power supply, the
phonograph, motion pictures
- Elihu Thompson (1853-1937) - electrical technologies
- Nikola Tesla (1857-1943) - electrical transformers
- William Stanley (1858-1916) - electrical transformers
- Elmer Sperry (1860-1930) -ship stabilizers, flying torpedoes
- Reginald Fessenden (1866-1932) - wireless telegraphy
- Wilbur and Orville Wright (1867-1912; 1873-1948) - airplane
- Lee de Forest (1873-1961) - triode tube
- Edwin L. Armstrong (1890-1954) - A.M. and F.M. radio
AMATEUR INVENTORS (Alexander Graham Bell; the Wright Brothers)
- invented in their spare time
- free to chose any problem; income not derived from invention
- Bell was professor of elocution (speech) at Boston University
- amateur inventor, worked on multiple telegraph, as did professional inventor Elisha
Gray
- but switched to idea of transmitting speech by electricity
- invented telephone - a striking breakthrough invention
- took 6 years before importance realized by others
- became rich only after people accepted his idea
- Gray invented multiple telegraph; stuck to "safe" technology as a professional
- did not become rich
- Wright brothers built bicycles
- turned childhood fantasy of flight into practical reality
- no professional constraints - were willing to take risks
- confidence, study of early design weakness led to success
- no commercial ambitions during invention phase
- patented for fame; interest in money only grew later

Only pages 1-3 are available for preview. Some parts have been intentionally blurred.

2
PROFESSIONAL INVENTORS
- worked full time as inventors; gained income from inventions
- research areas confined by areas of expertise and search for practical applications
- important professional inventors Elmer Sperry (350 patents) and Edison (over 1000 patents),
chose larger range of problems, but remained within areas of competence
- eg. Edison's area of expertise was electricity
- understood electricity from work as telegraph operator
- later studied works of Michael Faraday - thermodynamics, conservation and
transformation of energy
- Sperry pioneered feedback control based on gyroscope stabilizers (gyrostabilizers) for
ships, gun-platforms, airplanes, torpedoes; also gyrocompass
- worked on radical new technologies to avoid confrontations with corporations based on
existing technologies
INDUSTRIAL LABORATORIES AND THE STATUS QUO
- industrial laboratories on German model appeared 1880s
- hired scientists to solve problems and improve existing systems
- found ways to lower costs and maximize profits
- avoided new technologies
- e.g. gas companies denounced new electrical lighting as "crude"
- radical new inventions wiped out existing investments, de-skilled workers, engineers and
managers
SYSTEMS TECHNOLOGY
- Edison succeeded in retailing electrical lightbulb where English independent inventor of
incandescent lighting (Joseph Swan) failed
- Edison designed entire electrical system to power light bulb
- world's first electrical power system designed to work in harmony with his
invention
- systems sustain existing technologies or are needed for success of new scientific technologies
HOW INVENTORS INVENT: SYSTEMS OF INVENTING TECHNOLOGY
- inventors depended upon others' prior experience and publications - new inventions a product
of experimentation and many failures
- needed scientific knowledge, although few were scientists
FIRST STEP: IDEA TO ANSWER SEEN PROBLEM
- e.g. gas light too weak, has too many problems, need new light source
SECOND STEP: PATENT REVIEWS
- all independent inventors read Official Gazette of the Patent Office to find new
areas to exploit and see where others had failed
THIRD STEP
- think about how to fix weaknesses of earlier inventions
- then build models or have them built by model builders, craftsmen
IMPLICATIONS

Only pages 1-3 are available for preview. Some parts have been intentionally blurred.

3
- inventors worked with teams of assistants, never alone
- invention done in "invention complexes" which included workshop, laboratory,
machine shop, library of patents and inventions
- most famous inventor was Thomas Edison (1847-1931),
who INVENTED A SYSTEM OF INVENTION
- began as a telegraph operator for Western Union age 15
- invented electronic vote counter in spare time
- invented improvements to telegraphic equipment
- at 22 quit to become full-time independent inventor
- work in New York aided by existing machine shops
- invented stock ticker, electric pen, other duplicating equipment
- then designed isolated invention complex at MENLO PARK, N.J.
- used fine equipment; a machine shop; chemical laboratory; library; best
machinists from Switzerland, England and US.
- Menlo Park was away from demands of capitalist investors to give
independence of research; yet accessible by rail between New York and
Philadelphia, so easy to talk to investors when needed
- MENLO PARK became MODEL FOR OTHER INVENTORS eg Sperry and
Tesla
- but Elmer Sperry often used expert model-building firms
- eg his idea for using gyroscope to stabilize ships
- a large and fast-spinning gyroscope motor dampens a ship's roll from
impact of waves
- to mimick roll of ship he had idea to use a pendulum swing; - model-building
firm Charles E. Dressler built it.
FOURTH STEP: PATENT NEW INVENTION
FIFTH STEP: HUNT AND TRY TO TROUBLESHOOT
- independent inventors used a combination of empirical scientific knowledge
and "hunt-and-try" techniques
- often new technology was in advance of scientific theory e.g. Erwin
Armstrong's FM broadcasting declared mathematically impossible by
mathematicians after he had begun using it
- empirical scientific experiments only option in absence of theory
- Edison looked for weaknesses in inventions, made small modifications with
extensive testing of each change
- tested different materials: eg for telephone button transmitter until lampblack
found to be best choice
- many hunt and try attempts before solution: "Eureka moment" a sudden insight
when inventor knew invention was going to work
SIXTH STEP: FIND INVESTORS
SEVENTH STEP: GOING COMMERCIAL
You're Reading a Preview

Unlock to view full version