From: Patent Tactics, George Brock-Nannestad
Hello Mike and Steven,
I am not at present going into the general discussion of what Edison did
actually contribute; Patrick Feaster has put in one bid and based it on good
arguments. It is worthwhile to read his paper in the ARSC Journal again, not
the least in the light of the Scott documents now available. But I fear that
to change a well-argued position requires better documentation and re-
interpretation of all the facts.
I think that a discussion of this kind ought to take place in the pages of
the ARSC Journal, where the original contribution/provocation was presented.
I did not have time to deal with the Preece-Stroh discussion sufficiently
when it appeared (I strongly disagreed with the auhtors), but I did present a
structure and timeline at the 2003 Philadelphia ARSC Conference that could
aid to put it into perspective.
There is one matter, however, that I would like to bring to rest immediately,
and that is the intrepretation of the cylindrical traces; you say:
> ............................................................ Scott used a cylinder to
> have parallel tracks for visual observation which a spiral or tape would
> not allow, but Edison could have done what he intended -- if ALL he
> intended was reproduction -- with any of the three forms.
----- parallel tracks on one sheet of paper would only have made sense if the
samples you wanted to compare were cyclic and linked to the time of one
revolution. Though I have not worked my way through all the documentation
that was and is made available on FirstSounds I do not remember any
indication of this sort. Here tape would serve much better.
Anyway, reproduction of most of the graphics provided by Scott (or by Koenig
for that matter) is not really feasible unless we have a stable model for the
relationship between the movement of the tip of the bristle and at least the
diaphragm movement. Imagine that we had Berliner-type etchings made of the
tracings and tried to make a needle trace what we obtained. I would say that
this task is almost impossible; this model is not correct. I know that we do
now have sounds, and certainly some of the properties of the original sound
are now available but distorted in largely unknown fashions.
----- Another aspect is the tremendous difference between hill-and-dale and
lateral recording. It is much larger than is normally taken into account and
it would really be a leap of imagination to transfer knowledge from one to
The last words have not yet been said, I am sure.