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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 other. 

The last words have not yet been said, I am sure.

Kind regards,


George