1902, Edison Tells Dumont

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"Talks of Flying. Edison Tells Dumont to get Rid of Balloon. Says That Mankind Ought to Have Solved the Problem of Aerial Navigation Long Ago."

Burlington Evening Gazette, 10 May 1902, p. 6 Philadelphia Inquirer, 11 May 1902, magazine p. 3 The Sunny South, 21 June 1902 (this appearance gives the author as Herbert Wallace, writer for The Sunny South), p. 4

No byline on the first two listed appearances; may have been published in other newspapers. Dateline, NEW YORK, May 10.

Thomas A. Edison believes that mankind ought to be ashamed of itself because the problem of aerial navigation by human beings was not solved years ago. He also makes a statement that, while Santos-Dumont has done a great thing in steering airships about through the air, it will be a long time before any contrivance for air navigation is commercially possible, because no inventor will be able to secure any reward for his labor in this line of work under the present patent laws.

Edison was said to comment that Santos-Dumont was "on the right track" but should give up his balloon and pursue heavier-than-air flight. He made a number of comments about the inadequacy of patent laws and when asked if he would work on airflight was quoted as replying:

"If someone should make a commercially successful flying machine dozens would at once copy the models and take away the fruits of the original inventor's labor. There isn't a judge in the country who would hold that there was really any invention in such an apparatus, because so much has been done and written about it that the only difference between the successful machine, which is to be, and the many failures, which have been, will be very light. I doubt whether any new principles will be discovered on which even a claim for a patent may be made.
Original title Talks of Flying. Edison Tells Dumont to get Rid of Balloon. Says That Mankind Ought to Have Solved the Problem of Aerial Navigation Long Ago
Simple title Edison Tells Dumont to get Rid of Balloon
Authors
Date 1902-05
Countries US
Languages en
Keywords Thomas Alva Edison, Alberto Santos-Dumont, heavier-than-air, LTA, balloon, patents, Samuel Pierpont Langley
Journal
Related to aircraft? 1
Page count 1
Word count