Saturday, July 17, 2010

The US Navy and patents during World War I

In an earlier IPBiz post, the relationship of then Assistant Navy Secretary Roosevelt to the airplane patent pool was discussed:

n 1917, as a result of a recommendation of a committee formed by the Assistant Secretary of the Navy (The Honorable Franklin D. Roosevelt), an aircraft patent pool was privately formed encompassing almost all aircraft manufacturers in the
United States. The creation of the Manufacturer's Aircraft Association was
crucial to the U.S. government because the two major patent holders, the
Wright Company and the Curtiss Company, had effectively blocked the building
of any new airplanes, which were desperately needed as the United States was
entering World War I.

Roosevelt's boss at the time was one Josephus Daniels, formerly (and afterwards) a newspaper
editor in North Carolina, who would later serve as Ambassador to Mexico under FDR.

The Navy had a role in expelling Marconi from the radio business in the US.
Wikipedia obliquely refers to this:

Secretary Daniels believed in government ownership of armorplate factories, and of telephones and telegraphs. At the end of the First World War he made a serious attempt to have the Navy control all radio transmitters in the United States.

A Civil War story surrounds the Daniels family. From wikipedia: Daniels' father, whose Union sympathies were notorious, was shot and killed by a local sharpshooter when he attempted to leave with Federal forces evacuating Washington< NC during the Civil War.

Patent thickets and the Wright Brothers

**Of "cup of Joe," from wikipedia: Daniels banned alcohol from United States Navy ships in General Order 99 of 1 June 1914. This led to the folk etymology that "cup of joe" (referring to a cup of coffee) derives from Daniels' name.


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