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Inventors
Thomas Edison's Muckers
The other inventors and muckers who worked for Thomas Edison - Frank Dyer, Miller Reese Hutchison, and Arthur Kennelly

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Thomas Edison Inventions
Introduction to The Muckers
Thomas Edison Main Page
A List of Thomas Edison's Patents
Thomas Edison Biographies
Life of Thomas A. Edison
Biography of Thomas Alva Edison

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Mucker lawyer, author, and inventor: Frank Dyer (?-1941)
Frank Lewis Dyer was an attorney, business manager, and inventor who was involved in Edison's legal and corporate affairs from 1897 to 1912. Born in Washington, D.C., Frank Dyer studied law at Columbia University (now George Washington University) and practiced law in the capital before moving to New York in 1897 to open a practice with his brother, Richard. 

Frank Dyer first became involved in Edison's patent affairs in 1897. In November 1903, he became general counsel in charge of all of Edison's legal business. Dyer succeeded William Gilmore as president of the National Phonograph Company in July 1908. He also held positions in a number of other Edison companies, including general manager of the Edison Phonograph Works, president of the Bates Manufacturing Company, vice president of the Edison Manufacturing Company, and general manager of the Edison Storage Battery Company. Frank Dyer was also instrumental in organizing the Motion Picture Patents Company in 1908, which attempted to eliminate price cutting in the motion picture industry by pooling the patents of major producers. In 1910, he helped organize the General Film Company, which distributed films to motion picture theaters. Dyer was also the treasurer of the Condensite Company of America from 1910 to 1920. 

Frank Dyer played a role in the formation of Thomas A. Edison, Incorporated (TAE, Inc.) in February 1911. This firm brought together under unified management the various Thomas Edison companies. Dyer served as president of TAE, Inc., until December 1912, when he resigned to become president of the General Film Company. He left this firm in 1914 to open a patent consulting firm in New York, which he managed until his retirement in 1929. 

Frank Dyer was also an inventor and author. In 1910, he co-authored with Thomas Comerford Martin a two-volume biography, Edison: His Life and Inventions. Dyer also invented a special long-playing phonograph record, which was used to produce talking books for the blind, as well as a cotton bale press, an electric steering gear for ships, and liquid air. Frank Dyer was married three times and had two sons. He died in Ventnor, New Jersey, on June 4, 1941.

Mucker and company man: Miller Reese Hutchison (1876-?)

Miller Reese Hutchison was an inventor and businessman who was associated with Thomas Edison between 1910 and 1918. Born in Montrose, Alabama, in 1876, Hutchison was educated at the Alabama Polytechnic Institute. Upon graduation, he worked as an engineer for the U.S. Light House Service and, during the Spanish-American War, helped lay submarine cables in the Gulf of Mexico. 

After the war, Hutchison established a research laboratory in New York City where he developed a number of inventions, including the klaxon auto horn and a hearing aid. Hutchison traveled to London and Paris in 1902 to test his hearing aid and to present the device to Queen Alexandra of Great Britain. 

Hutchison began his work with Edison in 1910 as a consultant and promoter of the Edison storage battery. On November 1, 1912, Hutchison became Chief Engineer of Edison's West Orange laboratory. Hutchison also became advertising manager of the Edison Storage Battery Co. and played an important role in the promotion of the storage battery for use in U.S. Navy submarines. Hutchison acted as an intermediary between Edison and U.S. Navy Secretary Josephus Daniels, leading to Edison's appointment as President of the Naval Consulting Board, a civilian board of inventors and business who solicited and reviewed suggested inventions from the public, which might help the military. 

On January 1, 1917, Hutchison left the Edison Storage Battery Co to organize his own firm to distribute Edison batteries. He resigned as Chief Engineer of Edison's West Orange Laboratory on July 6, 1918.

Mucker "The greatest inspiration of my life..." - Arthur E. Kennelly (1864-1939)

Arthur Edwin Kennelly was a prominent contributor to the science of electrical engineering. He was born on December 17, 1864 in Colaba, Bombay, India. He worked for Thomas A. Edison on a variety of projects from 1887 to 1893. He later stated, "The privilege which I had being with this great man for six years was the greatest inspiration of my life." From 1893 to 1901, he worked as a consulting engineer with the Edison General Electric Company, the General Electric Company of New York, and Houston and Kennelly in Philadelphia, Pa. He was affiliated with Harvard from 1902 until 1930 as well as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 1913 until 1930. He died on June 18, 1939. 

images and partial information provided by the National Parks Service

©Mary Bellis

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