Universal Salvage Corporation

Specialists in Dying Civilizations

Contested Innovations and Unknown Innovators

This contains a list of books about contested innovations and unknown innovators. And the individual wrongly credtied with an innovation.

Major innovations of contention that come to mind are:

Major unknow innovators that came to mind:


  1. The Last Lone Inventor : A Tale of Genius, Deceit, and the Birth of Television - Schwartz
  2. The Boy Genius and the Mogul: The Untold Story of Television - Stashower
  3. Philo Farnsworth and the Invention of Television - Roberts
  4. Copies in Seconds - Owen
  5. Chester Carlson and the Development of Xerography - Zannos
  6. Richard Pearse: Pioneer aviator - Rodliffe
  7. Wings over Waitohi: The story of Richard Pearse - Rodliffe
  8. Tesla : Man Out of Time - Cheney
  9. Wizard: The Life and Times of Nikola Tesla : Biography of a Genius - Seifer
  10. Josiah Willard Gibbs: The History of a Great Mind - Wheeler
  11. The Early Work of Willard Gibbs in Applied Mechanics - Gibbs
  12. Josiah Willard Gibbs - Langer
  13. Philipp Reis, inventor of the telephone - Thompson
  14. Das Telephon von Philipp Reis. Eine Apparategeschichte - Bernzen
  15. Bhilipp Reis: Formen, Phasen und Motivationen der Auseinandersetzungen mit dem Telephon... - Bernzen
  16. Joseph Henry: The Rise of an American Scientist - Mayer

The Last Lone Inventor : A Tale of Genius, Deceit, and the Birth of Television (Paperback)
by Evan I. Schwartz

From Library Journal
This is a lively and engaging account of the conception and invention of both television and the system of network broadcasting in the United States. Schwartz (Digital Darwinism, Webonomics) tells the stories of Philo T. Farnsworth, who essentially invented television before he was 30, and David Sarnoff, the founder of NBC, who essentially invented the business of broadcasting before he was 30. These two men were at tremendous odds with each other for decades, and the nature of their conflict helped determine the shape of the U.S. broadcasting industry. While many other works document the beginnings of broadcast media, they tend to be overviews, offering less of a personal story. This book complements D. Godfrey and C. Sterling's Philo T. Farnsworth: The Father of Television, which takes a drier, more academic approach to the inventor's life and work and should be of interest to academic libraries, particularly those with a technology or engineering department. Schwartz's well-researched biography is sure to appeal to anyone who has ever dreamed of coming up with "the next big thing." Recommended for public libraries and academic or special libraries with a media or technology focus. Andrea Slonosky, Long Island Univ., Brooklyn
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist
This story of the invention of television is essentially the biography of two men. Philo T. Farnsworth was a genius who envisioned the concept of television at the age of 15 while plowing the family potato field and patented the device only five years later in 1927, creating the technology that is still used today. David Sarnoff was a poor Russian-Jewish immigrant who rose to fame in the radio broadcasting industry and as head of RCA became obsessed with stealing Farnsworth's invention so that he could go down in history as the man who brought television to the world. In this age of burgeoning corporations, the lone inventor was a dying breed, as big companies began to be the only ones with the resources needed to research, develop, and market new inventions. The teams hired by corporations would give up all patent rights to the organization, however, with very little compensation. Farnsworth, determined to control his patent rights, ultimately faced a showdown with Sarnoff and powerful RCA in this suspenseful account of the unknown man who influenced the world.
David Siegfried
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

The Boy Genius and the Mogul: The Untold Story of Television (Hardcover)
by Daniel Stashower
"By the spring of 1923, the Radio Corporation of America had put the finishing touches on a magnificent broadcasting tower on the roof of a…"

American culture celebrates inventors as heroes: Alexander Graham Bell, Edison, Henry Ford. In the fascinating The Boy Genius and the Mogul, Daniel Stashower adds a new name to the pantheon: Philo T. Farnsworth, inventor of TV. "The general public has only the vaguest notion of how--or by whom--television was created," writes Stashower, who feels the story has been mistold, depriving the boy genius from rural Idaho of due credit. Stashower, a mystery novelist and biographer of Arthur Conan Doyle, uncovers the hidden history of Farnsworth's "image dissector." If RCA's David Sarnoff (the "mogul" of the title) had chosen to work with Farnsworth, the young man would have become a household name. But Farnsworth lost his chance at fame, mentally collapsed, and spent his last years bitterly disappointed. Watching the moon landing on a picture tube less than two years before his death, however, he turned to his wife and said, "This has made it all worthwhile."
--John Miller

From Publishers Weekly
The book jacket asserts that it will tell the story of television's "real" inventor, Philo T. Farnsworth, a 14-year-old Idaho farm boy. It's a clever and accurate hook, since no one inventor can take credit for the magic black box. What makes Farnsworth unique aside from an intuitive leap while mowing a hayfield in 1922 is that he outlasted everyone else in his patent battle against RCA's David Sarnoff, who famously said, "RCA doesn't pay royalties. It collects them." Sarnoff makes a good foil: both men struggled up from poverty, Sarnoff by climbing the corporate ladder and Farnsworth by convincing financial backers to fund his research.

Unfortunately for Farnsworth, "the era of the solitary inventor was quickly fading." Large, well-funded corporate laboratories were taking their place in the 1930s and reducing the inventor to a contract engineer. Stashower, a journalist and Edgar Award-winning biographer (for Teller of Tales), is also the author of three murder mysteries. He ends every chapter with a cliffhanger, which gets monotonous. However, his flair for storytelling does help move the book along through the necessary passages of technical jargon. Instilled with the glories of Edison, Ford and Gates, the public still romanticizes the genius in the attic, while recognizing that the spoils generally go to the rich and powerful.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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Philo Farnsworth and the Invention of Television(Robbie Readers) (Library Binding)
by Russell Roberts
"One day in 1921, Philo (FY-low) Taylor Farnsworth was cutting hay on a farm…"

Book Description
While cutting hay, Philo Farnsworth figures out how television could work. It took him several years to get the money to build the first television and send the first television picture using electricity.

About the Author
Russell Roberts has written and published books on a variety of subjects, including Ten Days to a Sharper Memory, Discover the Hidden New Jersey, and Stolen! A History of Base Stealing. He also wrote Pedro Menendez de Aviles and Philo T. Farnsworth: The life of Television's Forgotten Inventor for Mitchell Lane. He lives in Bordentown, New Jersey, with his family and a remarkably lazy, yet fiesty calico cat named Rusti.

Product Details

Copies in Seconds : How a Lone Inventor and an Unknown Company Created the Biggest Communication Breakthrough Since Gutenberg--Chester Carlson and the Birth of the Xerox Machine
by David Owen; Hardcover

From Publishers Weekly
As New Yorker staff writer Owen explains in this fast-paced account of one inventor's hopes and dreams, the technology of copying is a relatively modern phenomenon. He recounts the history of copying documents from the scribal work of monks to the invention of the printing press and lithography, to the process that eventually resulted in today's Xerox machine. Owen narrates the life story of the man behind the Xerox machine, Chester Carlson (1906�1968), and his lonely efforts to find a way to reproduce documents. An inventive soul from a young age, Carlson as a teenager sketched out concepts for a trick safety pin, a new type of lipstick and a disposable handkerchief made of soft paper. After he graduated from college, he went to work for Bell Laboratories and continued his inventive ways. When he finally landed on an electrostatic process that would act like both a printing press and a camera, he began to shop the concept around and the Xerox machine was born in the mid-'50s. Owen's sympathetic portrait of Carlson's life and the difficulties and rewards inherent in the inventive process provide a window into the birth of one of our most ubiquitous office machines.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist
The next time the copier jams, fill the downtime with Owen's interesting, informative history of the contraption and its inventor. He was Chester Carlson (1906-68), whose boyhood of depressing destitution was brightened by science teachers who took seriously his dream to invent something marvelous. In the late 1930s, Carlson worked by day as a patent lawyer and by night and weekends on the problem of duplicating documents, the historical lineage of which, from scriptorium to mimeograph machine, opens Owen's work. The narrative then cascades from Carlson's light-bulb moment when he read a technical article on light's electrical effect on certain metals to his and an associate's fabrication in 1938 of a rudimentary process of xerography (from the Greek for "dry writing"). Owen then recounts Carlson's course through the next gauntlet every inventor faces: convincing a business to develop his gadget, in this instance, a two-decade-long ordeal that culminated in the Xerox Corporation. While sensitively portraying Carlson's self-effacing personality, Owen entertainingly presents the surprising story behind an indispensable technology. Gilbert Taylor
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Product Details

Chester Carlson and the Development of Xerography (Unlocking the Secrets of Science) (Library Binding)
by Susan Zannos

Book Description
Chester Carlson was determined to invent an easy, inexpensive method of copying documents. In 1938, he invented the process of "electrophotography," which later became known as "xerography." He would work for more than 20 years in partnership (a royalty agreement) with both the Battelle Institute and the Haloid Company (which would later become the Xerox Company) to develop the first automatic, plain paper copier. Despite years of failure (one machine required 39 steps to make a copy; another machine caught fire each time a copy was made; the machines were so large no one could move them; and the early models were so expensive, no one could afford them), Carlson refused to give up. He kept on going long after any reasonable person would have quit. Though he was offered employment, he never worked for either the Battelle Corporation, nor Haloid Xerox. In fact, he spent most of his years in poverty. When the Xerox Model 914 was finally introduced in 1959 and became a success, Carlson became a multimillionaire. But he was never particularly interested in money and gave most of it away before he died in 1968. Catherine Carlson, Chester's wife's adopted daughter, supplied both photographs and insight into this story never told before for the young adult reader.

About the Author
Susan Zannos has been a lifelong educator, having taught at all levels, from preschool to college, in Mexico, Greece, Italy, Russia, and Lithuania, as well as in the United States. She has published a mystery Trust the Liar (Walker and Co.) and Human Types: Essence and the Enneagram was published by Samuel Weiser in 1997. She has written several books for children, including Paula Abdul and Cesar Chavez (Mitchell Lane). Susan lives in Oxnard, California.

Product Details

Richard Pearse: Pioneer aviator (Unknown Binding)
by C. Geoffrey Rodliffe

From the "Chief Engineer Web Site
First to Fly?

From NZEdge.com
Richard Pearse: First Flyer

From Scoop Independent News
Three replica engines at Pearse Centenary Pageant

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Wings over Waitohi: The story of Richard Pearse (Unknown Binding)
by C. Geoffrey Rodliffe

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Tesla : Man Out of Time (Paperback)
by Margaret Cheney
"Promptly at eight o'clock a patrician figure in his thirties was shown to his regular table in the 'Palm Room of the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel…"


Product Details

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