The Life and Inventions of Thomas Alva Edision

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Chatto & Windus, 1894 - Inventions - 362 pages
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This is an authorized biography, written by William Kennedy Laurie Dickson and his sister Antonia Dickson with Edison's permission. W. K. L. Dickson was an experimenter at Edison's laboratory in Orange, New Jersey. He is best known for his key work on Edison's motion picture devices, the Kinetograph (camera) and Kinetoscope (peep show viewer). The text appeared first as a series of articles in Cassier's Magazine, a monthly journal for the engineering profession. The first article was published in November 1892, the final article appeared in December, 1893. Most of the text was written by Antonia Dickson with her brother furnishing technical details of Edison's activities. Edison and his staff generously supplied supporting documents. There are numerous photographs, most supplied by W. K. L. Dickson but some by J. Ricalton a contractor searching for laboratory resources abroad. Drawings were supplied by L. Bauhan and R. F. Outcalt. Outcalt, is, of course, famous for his pioneer newspaper comic strips, began his career with Edison.
Antonia Dickson's text is in a florid prose much in favor during the 19th Century so it is not an easy read, but the text covers much of the activity at Edison's laboratories during a rich period in Edison's work. Dickson was involved in two major projects, ore milling -- the effort to extract iron and other minerals from low grade ore -- and motion pictures. Edison's Kinetoscope made it's public debut between the time the final article was written for Cassier's Magazine and the publication of the book so the chapter on the Kinetograph/Kinetoscope was revised for the book version. It is one of the earliest articles on the invention of cinema.

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Page 303 - In the year 1887, the idea occurred to me that it / was possible to devise an instrument which should do " - for the eye what the phonograph does for the ear, and that by a combination of the two, all motion and sound could be recorded and reproduced simultaneously.
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Page 186 - Of fruits, and flowers, and bunches of knot-grass, And diamonded with panes of quaint device...
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Page 155 - I refreshed ourselves : he hung his horn on a peg near the kitchen fire ; I sat on the other side. Suddenly we ' heard a tereng! tereng! teng! teng ! We looked round, and now found the reason why the postilion had not been able to sound his horn ; his tunes were frozen up in the horn, and came out now by thawing, plain enough, and much to the credit of the driver, so that the honest fellow entertained us for some time with a variety of tunes, without putting his mouth to the horn — The King of...
Page 130 - Family Record"— a registry of sayings, reminiscences, etc., by members of a family in their own voices, and of the last words of dying persons. 6. Music-boxes and toys. 7. Clocks that should announce in articulate speech the time for going home, going to meals, etc. 8. The preservation of languages by exact reproduction of the manner of pronouncing. 9. Educational purposes; such as preserving the explanations made by a teacher, so that the pupil can refer to them at any moment, and spelling or...
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