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Re: ISSTC Components

Original poster: Mddeming-at-aol-dot-com 

Hi Steve, Dan, Malcolm, All,

      Most inventions are, in fact, evolutionary rather than revolutionary, 
and the question debated for years is one of, "Is their a point in history 
when one newborn is different enough from its parents to be considered the 
first of a new species?"
     As the playwright Ionesco pointed out in "The Chairs", the greatest 
insights into life are tragically meaningless unless they are communicated 
in an intelligible and timely way to the outside world as being significant.
     Morse was not the first person to notice that a piece of metal pulled 
to an electromagnet would make a clicking noise each time the magnet was 
energized. But he was the first to realize that this property could be 
useful for signaling and to make a useful arrangement of parts for this 
      Joseph Priestly was not the first person to discover oxygen. He was, 
however, the first to realize he was onto something new and accurately 
document it.
     Shockley, as project director, was credited with co-invention of the 
transistor, even though he was on vacation at the time of the successful 
development by his team members, Brattain and Bardeen.
     My wife's great grandfather, William McMahon, was an electrical 
engineer who worked at one of the Edison laboratories in NJ and had 
numerous "lunchtime discussions" with the Edison's son on improvements, 
variations, etc., he was making to current devices. He was chagrined, to 
say the least, when several of these items started appearing in patents 
under the Edison name alone.
     Credit in the area of invention requires three things:
1. Do something "significantly" different.
2. Realize that it is "significantly" different.
3. Get it publicized (documented) that YOU have done 
something  "significantly" different.
    I think the current discussion of who made which improvement or 
variation and when, in the world of SSTCs, and their relative significance, 
illustrates why many inventors own bassboats while their patent attorneys 
have yachts. You can be sure that the law firm of Kerr, Curtis, & Page 
(Tesla's patent attorneys) did not go broke when the Wardenclyffe project 
went belly-up and Tesla's fortunes went down the tubes.

Matt D.