Thursday, March 29, 2007

Battery-powered vehicles, in 1899 and now

A comment following an IPBiz post of March 28 stated:

Sure there were electric motors way back and also in autos, but they didn't replace the horse, or even the internal combustion engine, because they weren't practical till only recently when battery technology permitted a longer range of travel.

In the article "Looking Backward," which appeared in IPT in June 2001 (and is available through LEXIS), LBE had written

First, one has to understand the state of technology at Selden's time. In 1899, four years after the Selden patent, 1575 electric vehicles, 1681 steam cars and 936 gasoline cars were sold. [3] Based on the similarity of components such as motors, controllers, switches, and batteries, the electric vehicle companies planned a vertical integration including cars and streetcars. Furthermore, the electric car
looked technically promising. ““La Jamais Contente”” became the first car to reach 100 km/h and the ““Lead Wedge”” was the first car to reach 100 miles per hour. And, Thomas Edison was going to solve the ““battery problem.””


Using the criterion of "success in the marketplace" favored by many business professors, electric cars were "practical" in 1899. They were outselling gasoline cars in the marketplace. Further, until the invention of the starter for gasoline cars, electric cars were the vehicle of choice for women. Electric cars were practical and were selling in the marketplace.

There is a highly relevant point of history. From the 2001 article of LBE:


In 1903, the Electric Vehicle Company joined forces with Packard and Oldsmobile to form the Association of Licensed Automotive Manufacturers (ALAM), which served as a conduit for licensing fees of ca. 1 1/4 percent on annual sales, based upon the Selden patent. Arguably, ALAM was conceived as a more pernicious entity than anything we have in the year 2001.

Henry Ford tried to join in 1903, but was rebuffed. In one version of the story, his 1903 application was denied on the basis his company was more an ‘‘assembler of parts’’ than a true ‘‘manufacturer’’. Although somewhat debated, the real issue was price fixing of the cars, rather than the technology per se. Unlike today’’s rather tame times, there was a real issue of lawsuits against buyers. ALAM ran ads
““Do Not Buy a Lawsuit with Your Automobile”” and Ford, in turn, took out ads took offering to indemnify both buyers and sellers of his cars from any lawsuits claiming Selden patent infringement.


Think about this for a moment. "The Electric Vehicle Company" had the patent purporting to control gasoline-powered cars.

Endnote 4 of the 2001 article is highly relevant to recent discussions about Edison, the light bulb, and J.P. Morgan (and served as the basis for the title of the 2001 article):

To the extent that Selden’’s idea was not to build such a vehicle but to wait around for someone else to do so and then cash in on his patent, there is relation to Edward Bellamy’’s ““Looking Backward”” (1888), which was published between the application (1879) and issuance (1895) of Selden’’s patent:

““Living in luxury, and occupied only with the pursuit of pleasures and refinements of life, I derived the means of support from the labor of others, rendering no sort of service in return.”” ““In the United States there was not, after the beginning of the last quarter of the century, any opportunity whatever for individual enterprise in any important field of industry, unless backed by great capital.””

IPBiz notes that Edison secured backing from J.P. Morgan and the Vanderbilts, and formed Edison Electric, ALL BEFORE he applied for his basic patent on the light bulb, which issued in 1880.

The Ni-Cd battery technology used in SOME vehicles today existed at the time of Edison. These batteries STILL are not practical for long range driving in a car powered ONLY by batteries. The batteries, then and now, were suitable for short range driving.


The commenter of March 28 raised a different point:

So be it with stem cells, when and if adult stem cells can act like hESC we could utilize them instead of hESC, until then it would be rather harmful to hold back research with hESC that could relieve suffering and premature death from disease.

The "claim to fame" of hESC will be attained when SCNT (or something like SCNT) can be used to make stem cell lines CUSTOMIZED to a given patient to avoid immune rejection problems. Hwang Woo Suk claimed to have done this. In the more than one year since the Hwang fraud was generally recognized, NO ONE HAS DONE WHAT Hwang claimed to have done in either the first or the second Science paper. That is a big problem for the "claim to fame." The criticized Cha proposal only proposed a genetic screening tool, not a treatment to relieve suffering.

***Further

Not only is Cha's genetic screening tool not a treatment, it is apparently based on the use of SCNT:

On March 16th, 2007, CHA RMI was awarded a $2,556,066 grant from the
California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) to conduct
research in the "Establishment Of Stem Cell Lines From Somatic Cell
Nuclear Transfer-Embryos in Humans."


Thus, to get their tool, Cha will have to perfect SCNT in humans, the technique falsely claimed by Hwang Woo-Suk, and, to date, unattained in any lab in the world.

2 Comments:

Blogger rbk567 said...

In answering my comment Mr. Ebert said:
"The "claim to fame" of hESC will be attained when SCNT (or something like SCNT) can be used to make stem cell lines CUSTOMIZED to a given patient to avoid immune rejection problems. Hwang Woo Suk claimed to have done this. In the more than one year since the Hwang fraud was generally recognized, NO ONE HAS DONE WHAT Hwang claimed to have done in either the first or the second Science paper. That is a big problem for the "claim to fame." The criticized Cha proposal only proposed a genetic screening tool, not a treatment to relieve suffering**************************I understand your point, but if that is your only point it begs for more of a complete description of common knowledge of stem cell research. One must also consider that if one suggests the use of adult stem cells they currently are not ready to grow into any type of cell. Yes there have been reports that Verfaille has shown how to do that, but have you heard her work is now under investigation, similiar to the duplicate photos of Hwang. My point and I hope Mr. Ebert's too is that we need to continue all forms of research. I also agree with many of the things that Mr. Ebert suggests, I believe pouring bucks into research is not the answer, it must be monitored, or else corruption will show its ugly face, be it adult stem cell or Hesc. Maybe, I differ in one aspect, I am not one sided in my views, as I am not looking to put Hesc down, or for that matter Adult stem cells. I favor all research, but with scrutiny. I see a small hard core group of people pointing out we don't need to study hESC because adult stem are the only cells we need to cure all disease. Perhaps if you re-look at the electric motor you will realize it really wasn't suited for the long haul until recently and still cannot replace the internal combustion engine. So why are you trying to suggest we shouldn't have gone through the natural process of using the internal combustion engine until technology has made the electric motor a serious contender. Just like stem cells, we shouldn't wait until adult stem cells can act in the same manner as hESC. And please don't be one of those that tells me nothing has ever come of hESC. Until now the field was all but locked. Lets give it a few years and see what happens. I suggest reading an article by Liza Gross, pretty informative. http://biology.plosjournals.org/perlserv/?request=get-document&doi=10.1371%2Fjournal.pbio.0050032

3:39 PM  
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9:50 PM  

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