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Common Purposes

What are the Common Purposes? I've dwelt on that question since first reading my alma mater's founding principle "for the purposes of instructing persons, who may choose to apply themselves, in the application of science to the common purposes of life". The question, more than any answer I may ever offer, has guided me through many personal and professional endeavors. And, if I have learned anything it is that I have derived my greatest joy when I, as part of a team, have made a lasting difference to improve the lives of others. Should the thoughts I share here and the ensuing discussion lead others to ask the same question, to seek their own answers and to experience the same joy as I, then I shall consider this effort of value.

Image: "The New Shoes" by Jane Bucci. This work is based on the touching photo snapped by Gerald Waller in 1946, in Austria. The little boy, who lived in an orphanage, had just been given new shoes by the American Red Cross.

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The Wright Brothers 'Won' but Whitehead was First: Thanks to the Press

Posted April 28, 2013 12:12 PM by MillMatt

IHS Jane's has shared on their website that the 100th anniversary edition of Jane's All the World's Aircraft will credit Gustave Whitehead as the first man to build a successful heavier-than-air aircraft. Once any clamor from enthusiasts of the Wright Brother wanes, there is an interesting (and entertaining) story here about flight, industrial history and, most of all, the press. The Wright Brothers should continue to rest in peace for their contributions; at the same time, it is wonderful that others who have made contributions are being recognized. The Wright Brothers and their documented flights at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina (USA) are simply too ingrained in the western psyche to be displaced quickly, but anything is possible and time will tell if the reputation of others, even beyond Whitehead, are elevated.

Among others, Glenn Curtiss never got his moment in the sun (and in his lifetime was shredded by the Wright brothers for patent infringement). Nonetheless, when both companies faltered after the WW I boom and the Roaring 20's started to wane, Curtiss got top billing (much to the Wrights' consternation) when the bankers merged the businesses and formed Curtiss-Wright Corp. Curtiss knew how to make engines and the Wrights knew how to make flight-worthy structures employing 'lift'; in short, it took both (and more) for flight to become a commercial reality. The rest is just public posturing and the Wrights (actually Wilbur since Orville died in 1912) won the popularity contest because of Wilbur's tenacity and lifespan.

Thomas Alva Edison won the popularity contest for the light bulb (he also had tenacity and lifespan on his side) but there is still a crowd brow-beating for Westinghouse. And, Westinghouse/Tesla certainly have many achievements that outshine Edison, but it is Edison whom we remember. (And, again, it was the bankers who really made GE a success after Edison drove the company into the ground with his insistence that direct current was the only way to power the world.)

Fulton didn't invent the steam engine and Whitney didn't invent the cotton gin any more than Ford invented the automobile. But, to their credit, they each brought something to the party that did give them a commercial leg up and at the very least a footnote in history.

If it weren't for journalism, we might never have heard of Charles Lindbergh (what is it exactly that he did to make our world a better place?) and the same could be said of all the others mentioned here. But, creating heroes touches our imaginations and is still a way to garner some good press; it probably always will be. Even Homer did it. Shakespeare, too.

Ahh, but the Baseball Hall of Fame has acknowledged that Abner Doubleday did not invent baseball as it evolved with contributions from many others over time. And, that's just the way it is in all things.

Read more:

http://www.ctpost.com/local/article/Aviation-bible-Whitehead-first-to-fly-4348050.php#ixzz2QAZu9zEc

http://timelinepedia.wikia.com/wiki/Charles_Lindbergh

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#1

Re: The Wright Brothers 'Won' but Whitehead was First: Thanks to the Press

04/28/2013 2:57 PM

Bankers = JP Morgan

It's curious that you drop names willy nilly and then suddenly become vague with Morgan....How powerful was this guy that even today people hesitate to associate his name with anything the least bit negative....JP Morgan would buy a company, and if it had any strong competition, he would buy the competition as well, allowing him to control the market...

"In 1900 Morgan invested with $150,000 in inventor Nikola Tesla's Wardenclyffe Tower, a high power transatlantic radio transmission project. By 1903 Tesla had spent the initial investment without completing the project, and with Guglielmo Marconi already making regular transatlantic transmissions with far less expensive equipment, Morgan declined to fund Tesla any further. Tesla tried to generate more interest in Wardenclyffe by revealing its ability to transmit wireless electricity, but the loss of Morgan as a backer, and the 1903 "rich man's panic" on Wall Street, dried up any further investment.[16][17][18]"

"Before 1889, Thomas Edison had business interests in many electricity-related companies: Edison Lamp Company, a lamp manufacturer in East Newark, New Jersey; Edison Machine Works, a manufacturer of dynamos and large electric motors in Schenectady, New York;Bergmann & Company, a manufacturer of electric lighting fixtures, sockets, and other electric lighting devices; and Edison Electric Light Company, the patent-holding company and the financial arm backed by J.P. Morgan and the Vanderbilt family for Edison's lighting experiments.[10] In 1889, Drexel, Morgan & Co., a company founded by J.P. Morgan and Anthony J. Drexel, financed Edison's research and helped merging those companies under one corporation to form Edison General Electric Company which was incorporated in New York on April 24, 1889. The new company also acquired Sprague Electric Railway & Motor Company in the same year.[11][12]

At about the same time, Charles Coffin, leading Thomson-Houston Electric Company, acquired a number of competitors and gained access to their key patents.

General Electric was formed by the 1892 merger of Edison General Electric Company of Schenectady, New York and Thomson-Houston Electric Company of Lynn, Massachusetts with the help of Drexel, Morgan & Co.[12] Both plants continue to operate under the GE banner to this day.[13] The company was incorporated in New York, with the Schenectady plant used as headquarters for many years thereafter. Around the same time, General Electric's Canadian counterpart, Canadian General Electric, was formed."

"In 1890-1913, 42 major corporations were organized or their securities were underwritten, in whole or part, by J.P. Morgan and Company.[21]

Industrials

Railroads


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._P._Morgan
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Electric

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#5
In reply to #1

Re: The Wright Brothers 'Won' but Whitehead was First: Thanks to the Press

04/29/2013 5:06 AM

I can think of no person better qualified to elucidate the character of JP Morgan:

.

'.....Capital must protect itself in every way... Debts must be collected and loans and mortgages foreclosed as soon as possible.

When through a process of law the common people have lost their homes, they will be more tractable and more easily governed by the strong arm of the law applied by the central power of leading financiers.

People without homes will not quarrel with their leaders.

This is well known among our principle men now engaged in forming an imperialism of capitalism to govern the world.

By dividing the people we can get them to expend their energies in fighting over questions of no importance to us except as teachers of the common herd.....'

~~~John Pierpont Morgan

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#18
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Re: The Wright Brothers 'Won' but Whitehead was First: Thanks to the Press

05/05/2017 4:48 PM

That last bit, so very very timely in light of present public vitriol.

Thank Dog for the (re)rise of populism.

The J.P. Morgans of this world had best learn that what is good for everyman is better for them, than the wastage of everyman, and the piling up of useless bricks of gold.

I prefer Roosevelt's words June 14, 1942, near the end of the speech (a prayer):

"Yet most of all grant us brotherhood, not only for this day but for all our years- a brotherhood not of words but of acts and deeds. We are all of us children of earth—grant us that simple knowledge. If our brothers are oppressed, then we are oppressed. If they hunger, we hunger. If their freedom is taken away, our freedom is not secure. Grant us a common faith that man shall know bread and peace-that he shall know justice and righteousness, freedom and security, an equal opportunity and an equal chance to do his best, not only in our own lands, but throughout the world. And in that faith let us march, toward the clean world our hands can make. Amen." - FDR.

I believe that in this hour as well, it is truly a worthy prayer for all of the brotherhood to utter.

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#20
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Re: The Wright Brothers 'Won' but Whitehead was First: Thanks to the Press

05/05/2017 10:09 PM

I do enjoy when I am surprised by someone doing the unexpected. Look at you, with so much praise for a Democrat....a full blown liberal, no less.

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#25
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Re: The Wright Brothers 'Won' but Whitehead was First: Thanks to the Press

05/08/2017 9:04 AM

Well it was still during WWII. Some folks do not agree with how FDR handled the build up to war, but it was inevitable that war was coming. My poking and prodding the Japanese with the Oil Embargo, he did bring it on faster, which led to the Japanese planning the sneak attack at Pearl Harbor - a day that truly will live in infamy.

If we had not done the lend-lease program with Stalin's Russia, then the Soviet Union would have fallen to Hitler (oops there goes this thread).

History seems to turn on these tiny details, like a barn being pivoted on a dime by a long lever. He is making his own Stonehenge by hand.

The Barn Mover

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#26
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Re: The Wright Brothers 'Won' but Whitehead was First: Thanks to the Press

05/10/2017 1:30 PM

Good God this is an old thread.

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#27
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Re: The Wright Brothers 'Won' but Whitehead was First: Thanks to the Press

05/10/2017 3:29 PM

Every once in a while it is maybe worth nudging a dead horse to check if he was just sleeping.

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#28
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Re: The Wright Brothers 'Won' but Whitehead was First: Thanks to the Press

05/11/2017 11:38 AM

I don't think sleeping is very common among dead whores.

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#29
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Re: The Wright Brothers 'Won' but Whitehead was First: Thanks to the Press

05/11/2017 2:16 PM

"I don't think sleeping is very common among dead whores."

If I could just only draw a big fat red circle around that last word...

Hey, it's dead horses, dead horses, OK?

On the other hand, you must have forgotten the passage in the Holy Bible where the text clearly states: The passage of writing Ecclesiastes 9:4-6:

For whoever is joined with all the living, there is hope; surely a live dog is better than a dead lion. 5For the living know they will die; but the dead do not know anything, nor have they any longer a reward, for their memory is forgotten. 6Indeed their love, their hate and their zeal have already perished, and they will no longer have a share in all that is done under the sun.…

The word of the Lord, through the wise Solomon.

My point is, you are saying they are not asleep because they do not dream. I am saying they are asleep, whatever their soul dreams about, it is no relation to any memory they had.

Happy argument. Cheers!

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#30
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Re: The Wright Brothers 'Won' but Whitehead was First: Thanks to the Press

05/11/2017 3:38 PM

Horses?!? I swear, I'm never certain I know exactly what was said when listening to a Texas accent. I suppose next you are going to tell me that 80s movie with Dolly Parton running the Chicken Ranch in Texas was a story about a livery.

"...I'm saying they are asleep..."

Do you genuinely believe that...or are you taking up that position just for the sake of argument? I suspect the latter. As the former is disproved by your use of poking as a method to distinguish the sleeping. If the dead are just asleep 'poking' is not a good indicator, regardless of whether you in Texas are Poking horses or whores.

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#31
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Re: The Wright Brothers 'Won' but Whitehead was First: Thanks to the Press

05/11/2017 4:11 PM

I think the original word was nudge, a far cry from a poke. Around these parts, you poke the wrong woman, there can be a shotgun in your future, and not the bucking end of it either.

Just sayin' what I said, and the inferred part is yes, sleeping, and yes dead (to the world). Not saying they will be dead at some point in the future.

I really don't know for a fact (neither does anyone else) if they are asleep or not, as I think the ones Jesus referred to in that manner, were soon up and walking around. Yes, they were indeed dead, one for several days, as I recall, and stinky. Yes, Lazarus got up and walked out of his own crypt.

Just one of many reasons why Jesus is also known as the Great Physician.

This is one my wife and I always used to disagree on - whether one goes straight to heaven, or is just dust in the ground asleep and totally unaware. I used to like thinking about my father might be looking down upon me from up there, and then I could almost hear: "What in hell do you think you are doing down there, boy?" "Will you ever amount to a hill of beans?" At that point I am more comfy with my wife's thinking on it.

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#6
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Re: The Wright Brothers 'Won' but Whitehead was First: Thanks to the Press

04/29/2013 5:40 AM

Morconi was a thief and rougue.His patent for radio was revoked and awarded to Tesla,because Morconi had stolen the ideas from lab notes when he visited Tesla.

Westinghouse was likewise dishonest in making his fortune, having lied to Tesla to get him to void the royalty contract on A/C motors.

Tesla and Edison parted ways because Edison lied to Tesla about giving him a bonus for improving the efficiency of this DC motors.

No telling how many others he cheated and lied to.If he did it once,----.

And so it goes.Behind most great fortunes are great thieves that trampled over the true heroes and were cheated out of their fortunes.

How many coal miners lived on the edge of starvation so that the executives could play another round of golf?How many children were worked like slaves in textiles to provide satin pillows for the wealthy to sleep soundly on?Google child labor at the turn of the century if you want to stay awake at night imagining the pains of their mistreatment.Or coal mining labor disputes where workers were slaughtered for trying to organize a union.

The foundation of most great industry of the past century are resting on the bones of sacrificial workers.

"We hang the petty thieves,and elect the great ones to office." (Can't remember the source of that quote, but it is still true.)

Modern times,in most places in the world, are getting better,but still people are killed for refusing to work,like in the gold mines of Africa.And the abuses by certain oil companies in Africa,destroying the local economy and lowering the standard of living to the point that piracy seems to be a viable option to some. And child labor in China.The list goes on.

Great companies have been built without abusing anyone, such as Microsoft,and Bill and Melinda Gates are true humanitarians,giving massive amounts of money for things that will matter in a hundred years,such as vaccine research,etc.

Most things that are done today will be dust in 100 years,but some will endure.

Care to speculate which ones?

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#7
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Re: The Wright Brothers 'Won' but Whitehead was First: Thanks to the Press

04/29/2013 9:12 AM

I have to interject here, and say that Gates is not worthy of any type of hero worship. This touches on some of it, but Gates wasn't bashful about screwing people. Now that he's made multi-billions, one has to wonder if his philanthropic endeavors aren't borne out of guilt.

http://www.businessweek.com/stories/2004-10-24/the-man-who-could-have-been-bill-gates

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#24
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Re: The Wright Brothers 'Won' but Whitehead was First: Thanks to the Press

05/06/2017 10:47 AM

No one is all good,or all bad.I don't believe that Gates had anyone killed or maimed and I am pretty sure he did not employ child labor.

I am also sure that some of his advancements came from others,without credit, working in the software trenches,but they were payed to do just that.I don't believe he engaged in industrial espionage and stole ideas from other companies.

He did have an inside track when he started. His mother was a secretary at IBM when they were looking for software for their first PC.

Bill won the contract over Gary Kildall's DR DOS,which in many ways was superior at the time.

Bill is not an angel,and whatever his motives are for his altruistic actions,they are still great acts of generosity for the benefit of all mankind.

If they are acts of contrition or pure benevolence the results are the same.

His monument will be the good he has done for mankind,not a perch for pigeons in some park.

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Re: The Wright Brothers 'Won' but Whitehead was First: Thanks to the Press

04/29/2013 10:54 AM

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#19
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Re: The Wright Brothers 'Won' but Whitehead was First: Thanks to the Press

05/05/2017 4:50 PM

That is the No.1 reason the JPM's will never, ever prevail.

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#21
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Re: The Wright Brothers 'Won' but Whitehead was First: Thanks to the Press

05/06/2017 5:11 AM

great thieves - sarnoff

that trampled over the true heroes - Edwin Howard Armstrong.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edwin_Howard_Armstrong

http://www.electronicdesign.com/blog/armstrong-and-sarnoff-101-years-ago

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#23
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Re: The Wright Brothers 'Won' but Whitehead was First: Thanks to the Press

05/06/2017 6:42 AM

http://www.columbia.edu/cu/alumni/Magazine/Spring2002/Armstrong.html

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Re: The Wright Brothers 'Won' but Whitehead was First: Thanks to the Press

04/29/2013 12:15 PM

Bernard Baruch

There were several financiers during the turn of the century....many died on the Titanic...but Bernie Baruch didn't, and has always had a warm spot in my heart for several reasons. Not an inventor, but a financier, what we would call nowadays a Investment Capitalist. He worked really hard to find good ideas, and would help develop them. Hot steam used to "mine" sulphur is one of his ventures. He was also an "ecologist", a humanitarian of the "give them a job, not a handout" school, and a product of his time. My favorite story about him was when he was working for JP Morgan as a researcher, and he brought a possible investment portfolio to the great man to look over. (it was the sulphur thing) Morgan looked him in the eye and asked him "well, what do you think Mr. Baruch?" When Baruch replied "well, this looks like the best bet sir", Morgan slammed the portfolio shut and pushed it back to him and said "I don't bet", and Bernie was shown the door.

Lots of great men, and great women too! Hard to choose one over the other!

And of course, "great" is a matter of opinion.

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Re: The Wright Brothers 'Won' but Whitehead was First: Thanks to the Press

04/28/2013 10:51 PM

Richard Pearse http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Pearse never gets much mention either. Sort of lost in the South Pacific.

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Re: The Wright Brothers 'Won' but Whitehead was First: Thanks to the Press

04/29/2013 12:54 AM

And a vote for Brazilian Alberto Santos-Dumont....

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Re: The Wright Brothers 'Won' but Whitehead was First: Thanks to the Press

04/29/2013 4:14 AM
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Re: The Wright Brothers 'Won' but Whitehead was First: Thanks to the Press

04/29/2013 11:40 AM

Thomas Alva Edison won the popularity contest for the light bulb

Not in this crowd. He has been bashed here several times. I think you need to do more research on Westinghouse. What are the achievements you are talking about?

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Re: The Wright Brothers 'Won' but Whitehead was First: Thanks to the Press

04/29/2013 3:03 PM

Okay - so insert the word 'practical' in front of the Wrights' names and forget Whitehead except for the occasional bar bet.They invented a practical means to fly. Whitehead's device was a one-off, an early stalk that produced no flowers or seeds, so to speak.

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Re: The Wright Brothers 'Won' but Whitehead was First: Thanks to the Press

04/29/2013 9:52 PM

I have to chime in here. I recently purchased the Time magazine special edition on Edison (I have to see what the competition is up to!). One of the things I took away from the magazine is simply that Edison was a Canadian anchor baby! Tesla emigrated to America and followed the regular path to naturalization and citizenship. Anyway, not that it matters.

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Re: The Wright Brothers 'Won' but Whitehead was First: Thanks to the Press

04/30/2013 12:21 PM

Edison's father was from Nova Scotia, but his mother was born in New York and T A Edison himself was born in Ohio. Since his mother was born in the US and he was born in the US, I don't think the term 'anchor baby' applies. I think both of his parents would have to have been foreign-born for that term to apply.

... as you say, not that it matters.

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Re: The Wright Brothers 'Won' but Whitehead was First: Thanks to the Press

09/02/2013 5:41 PM

Having had Edison in my face for all the 40 years total I've lived in Ft. Myers, Florida, it is well known that he was first a businessman and second an inventor of highly marketable products. He was not a pure research inventor and indeed employed many other people to do the footwork.

He is known to have said in response to the initial oil boom that he would be much more inclined to put his money in solar, wind and water methods of making electricity since you would only have the original investment in the mechanical portion and the 'fuel' would be free.

He invented for the already existing needs of society, not for the hopeful future wants of it.

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#15

Re: The Wright Brothers 'Won' but Whitehead was First: Thanks to the Press

03/22/2014 2:45 AM

What about Americas' best inventor? Tell you about him on the weekend - if I get time.

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Re: The Wright Brothers 'Won' but Whitehead was First: Thanks to the Press

05/06/2017 5:39 AM

https://www.marketplace.org/2016/05/27/world/battle-airwaves-ruined-friendship

The phrase 'brilliant but troubled inventor' has steam coming out my ears.

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#16

Re: The Wright Brothers 'Won' but Whitehead was First: Thanks to the Press

03/22/2014 5:02 AM

oops double - ;-)

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#17

Re: The Wright Brothers 'Won' but Whitehead was First: Thanks to the Press

03/06/2016 1:50 AM

The Wrights discovered wing - warping which led to the aileron . It was this discovery that allowed them to control an aircraft in a way no one had up until they did , thus they were the first to go aloft in a controllable and powered aircraft .

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