Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The Head Of The Patent Office Resigns

Some time back, I read where the head of the U.S. Patent Office, when we were entering the 1900’s, resigned his post. After some thought, he concluded that everything which could be invented had already been and there would be no use for him to continue there.

Silly man. Or not?

Let’s see … hummm … Edison or Berlinger invented the basic idea of recording sound onto a disc or cylinder. All we’ve done in the century-plus since then is improve on that idea. Records came out with the same concept, then vinyl albums, compact discs and such. Edison would recognize them in an instant; we just built on what he put together.

The automobile came out around that time. An engine, four wheels, some controls. These days, a car is not complete without lots of gee-gaws for our comfort and entertainment, many safety features for the times when we just aren’t careful, as well as better engines. But the Duryea brothers would quickly pick up on what we have done with their “motorcycle,” as the car was called in those days.

Boeing introduced their newest product, the 787. Imagine the Wright Brothers checking that one out! Oddly enough, the good people up in Washington State have done little but improve on Wilbur and Orville’s studies on lift and control of motorized gliders. The boys would know little about “flaps 15” for take-off and “flaps 40” for landing, but they would recognize the principle immediately; all the instruments would come as no surprise to them and they would probably be a little jealous. “Wish we had these!”


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Carten's officially lost his mind

July 10, 2007 1:02 PM  
Blogger Tom Carten said...

If you note the applications for patents, nearly all of them are titled, "Improvement on..."

July 10, 2007 2:04 PM  

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