Sunday, December 16, 2018

CBS Sunday Morning on 16 Dec 2018 does intellectual property

The Almanac feature of CBS Sunday Morning on December 16, 2018 displayed the front page of an 1884 patent to William Henry Fruen, of Minneapolis, granted for his "Automatic Liquid-Drawing Device," which dispensed mineral water. Although this was a first in the United States, there had been a previous provisional patent applied for in Britain for a vending machine for dispensing stamps, unmentioned by CBS. This had been done over 20 years before Fruen's work. See the book by Kerry Segrave, Vending Machines: An American Social History. CBS included the scene from Dr. Strangelove depicting the shooting of a Coca Cola vending machine.

The cover story was on the demise of Sears, and noted the irony that Sears, once a leader in innovative selling techniques, had failed to keep up. Thus, the original Mr. Sears was a railroad man, and recognized the ability of railroads to deliver goods to remote locations. The original Sears company was mail order (not a brick and mortar store) and sold goods through catalog. Only later, seeing the future of suburbs and automobiles for shopping, did Sears go to stores.

The second story was on popups. Therein, it was noted that the average retail lease had gone from over 20 years to about five years, curiously paralleling the shortening of the lifetime of a science career, noted in the 11 December 2018 issue of PNAS.

Of note in the Buble interview was the comment that success (at least in music) was 10% talent, 40% hard work, and 50% luck.

The moment of nature was Boise National Forest.

As a footnote, Ross Winans, of fame in the 1853 Supreme Court Case Winans v. Denmead (related to the doctrine of equivalents) was also a railroad man. He was also a Maryland legislator, one of many who were arrested at the direction of Abraham Lincoln in 1861. Winans was from Vernon, New Jersey.


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