The Source 2.0
This publication is created to be a source of information and inspiration for teachers as they incorporate Library of Congress digitized primary sources and resources into instruction by Teaching with Primary Sources at Eastern Illinois University.
The original newsletter, Inventions and Inventors, January 2007 (pdf)
Inventions & Inventors
Welcome to the latest project by Teaching with Primary Sources at EIU, The Source 2.0. The Library of Congress and TPSEIU have added many resources over the years. Our goal is that The Source 2.0 will supplement some earlier newsletters with new and updated information in an easy to find format. The original newsletter is still available, but The Source 2.0 will provide a brief introduction to the topic and links to resources at both www.loc.gov and www.eiu.edu/eiutps. We hope that each issue of The Source 2.0 will help readers quickly locate primary sources, lesson plans, and other information relating for a designated topic. The first issue of The Source 2.0, will revisit the January 2007 issue about Inventors & Inventions. Without early inventions and the creativity of the inventors, many products we use today would not be available.
In 1876 Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone and one year later formed the Bell Telephone Company.1 The success of the telephone provided Bell with the financial means to design and build other inventions. After the telephone, he invented the photophone. This device enabled sound to be transmitted on a beam of light.1 In 1881, Bell and his associate Charles Sumner Tainter, successfully sent a photophone message over 200 yards from one building to another.1 Bell's invention of the photophone revealed the principals upon which today's laser and fiber optic communication systems are founded.1
Samuel F. B. Morse was returning from Europe in 1832, when he had the idea of using electricity to communicate over distances.2 In December 1837, Morse applied for appropriation from the federal government and conducted telegraph demonstrations in both New York and Washington.2 However, the financial panic of 1837 delayed Morse's telegraph. When financial recovery came in 1843, Morse asked Congress for $30,000 to build a telegraph line from Washington to Baltimore.2 Overhead wires connected cities up and down the Atlantic, headed westward and even connected the continents of Europe and America.2
The invention process is one of trial and error. Inventors may struggle for years before finally seeing a creation succeed. When creating the gramophone, Emile Berliner experienced many setbacks. Even after the gramophone was built, Berliner continued to patent improvements into the early twentieth century.3 Berliner's invention provided him financial success but it also offered opportunities for illegal competitors. One individual simply copied a Berliner record but placed a numeral 1 to the disc number.3
These are just a few examples of the incredible stories and primary sources available about inventors and inventions in the Library of Congress. Search American Memory and Collection Connections to find more information on inventors and their inventions.Citations
1. Alexander Graham Bell as Inventor and Scientist, The Alexander Graham Bell Family Papers at the Library of Congress, 1862-1939, American Memory, Library of Congress. Accessed 1.1.2014 http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/bellhtml/bellinvent.html
2. The Invention of the Telegraph, The Samuel F. B. Morse Papers at the Library of Congress, 1793-1919, American Memory, Library of Congress, Accessed 1.1.2014 http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/sfbmhtml/sfbmtelessay.html
3. The Gramophone, Emile Berliner and the Birth of the Recording Industry, American Memory, Library of Congress, Accessed 1.1.14
November 18, 1789: The Daguerrotype Photography
August 26, 1791: Steaming Along
July 9, 1819: Inventor of the Sewing Machine
May 24, 1844: What Hath God Wrought?
October 24, 1861: The Transcontinental Telegraph and the End of the Pony Express
March 10, 1876: Alexander Graham Bell
August 12, 1877: Mr. Edison's Phonograph
June 3, 1880: Bell's Photophone
August 31, 1897: Edison Receives Patent for Kinetographic Camera
July 23, 1904: The Ice Cream Cone