Inventors and Patents From the City of Lexington
In Lexington, Kentucky, there is a museum dedicated to the achievements of famous inventors. You can learn more about Mary Walton, Thomas Edison, and Thomas Harris Barlow. You can also see a model of one of their creations in the Lunatic Asylum.
A woman inventor in the early 1800s, Mary Walton was often overlooked, but was credited with two useful inventions. Her work was recognized with a patent and she sold her patent rights to the New York City Metropolitan railroad. While the story is a bit obscure, she was an important contributor to Lexington’s economic prosperity, and the book is well worth a look.
Inventing a system to reduce the noise made by elevated trains was an inspired and highly useful invention, which would eventually earn her a patent and become widely used. She had the idea for the noise reduction system while living near the Sixth Avenue Line. Her idea was to fill wooden boxes with cotton and sand to absorb the noise. After several unsuccessful attempts, she was able to develop a design that would reduce the noise. Her work was later purchased by the Metropolitan Railroad and became a great success.
Mary Walton was a pioneer in pollution-fighting technology during the nineteenth century. Her pollution-fighting inventions prevented smoke from entering the air and were instrumental in improving air quality. Mary Walton was an independent thinker who was ahead of her time.
Walton’s invention diverted pollutants from elevated trains into water tanks. The water then went into city sewers. This helped clear the sky and minimized the noise created by elevated trains. In 1896, her invention was patented by the city of New York City.
Thomas Edison’s inventions were often based on his knowledge of the telegraph system. In his early years, he became fascinated with the telegraph and began experimenting on various ways to make it more efficient. In 1868, he was given a job at Western Union, where he worked on several of his inventions. In 1869, he was asked to help repair a gold-price indicator on Wall Street, where he was able to gain attention. After he was given this job, he used the money he had made to manufacture a stock ticker and a high-speed telegraph.
The museum includes the exhibit “Thomas Edison, Inventors and Patents: A Tribute to Lexington” that features a biography of the inventor and his inventions. Using a carbon transmitter, he helped to improve acoustic telegraph signals and improved telephone audibility.
Edison also developed several inventions in conjunction with university-trained scientists and mathematicians. He preferred working with people in a small and intimate environment and avoided the formalities of corporate operations and academia. In the 1890s, he built a magnetic iron-ore processing plant in northern New Jersey. This process ultimately helped to make cement. He also became the first person to project a motion picture. The first motion picture screening occurred at Koster & Bial’s Music Hall in New York City.
The museum’s exhibits depict Edison’s story from a number of perspectives, including his family support, creativity, and adversity. The museum also encourages visitors to take part in the story by applying their creativity. The exhibits include hands-on activities that engage visitors in the process of learning and invention.
Edison was also active in military research and advised the United States on its preparedness for World War I. He envisioned that technology would play a big role in the coming conflict. In 1915, he was named head of the Naval Consulting Board, which tried to bring science into the defense program. Eventually, he helped establish a navy laboratory. However, the navy did not accept his recommendations. During World War I, Edison spent a great deal of time conducting naval research, but ultimately felt that the navy was not receptive to his inventions.
Thomas Edison was interested in developing an ore-milling process. The Edison Ore-Milling Company was formed in 1887, but the company failed, as there was no market for the product. He continued working on the project even though he was already in his 80s. He filed over 500 patents and received 1,093 U.S. patents. The company grew to employ over a thousand people. The company eventually branched out to other areas, including the Midwest.
Thomas Edison was a prolific inventor and a member of the technological revolution. His inventions ranged from the incandescent electric light to the phonograph. He even invented a motion picture apparatus, and was the first to patent a motion picture projector.
Thomas Harris Barlow
The city of Lexington, Kentucky, was home to the first railroad in Western America. In 1825, Thomas Harris Barlow, a mechanical genius, opened a shop on Spring Street, between Water and Main, where he worked on a variety of projects. He also invented a self-feeding nail and tack machine, which he sold to capitalists in Massachusetts. In 1855, Mr. Barlow also invented the rifled percussion cannon. Congress appropriated $3,000 to test his invention, and his work caught the attention of the Russian minister in Washington. The cannon was later used in the Crimean war.