Re: Vote Linus for Person of the Century- re: Edison
I can think of no single individual that had as great an impact on the
daily life of the entire world. Whatever we were to become in the 20th
century, we would get there in the company of Edison.
Although we may owe a lot to Edison, most of us choose to ignore what
he really was. In many ways Edison was the Bill Gates of his time.
His greatest invention was actually the modern industrial research
laboratory (IE: invention factory). Edison suffered from a huge NIH
syndrom. That's why he refused to switch to AC current. He was also
a bigot. Those two failings caused him to reject Tesla and eventually
be ousted from the Edison electric company by stockholders.
(Resulting in the General Electric Company). His discovery of
thermionic emission was useless to him because his was a dc world.
(the only first use of the Edison Effect was for rectifiers). He
nevertheless patented it around a device for measuring electric
current. His thinking was, "I can't figure out a use for this, but I
own it and if someone else figures out a use for it, they owe me!"
Edison's use of patents follows the patern of huge corporations today.
During the early days of the motion picture industry, Edison used a
Microsoft-Mafia type pattern to attempt to control the industry
forcing small firms out of bussiness.
Amateur Radio, when all else fails!
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