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.
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