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Biographies Feedback

by Ron Kurtus

Readers have sent in a total of 193 comments and questions on Biographies issues. They are listed according to date.

You can read them to further your understanding of the subject.



List of next 15 letters

Title

Topic

Country

Did incorrect obituary result in Nobel Prize? Nobel Australia
 
Has early picture that looks like Mark Twain Mark Twain Canada
 
Edison couldn't make it these days Edison USA
 
Why did Thomas Edison become a scientist? Edison Australia
 
Sketch of Roman water pump Archimedes USA
 
Was Gillette ever married? Gillette USA
 
Quote from Sir Winston Churchill on wedding Churchill USA
 
Where did Thomas Edison die? Edison Australia
 
Tesla birthday celebration Tesla USA
 
Was Ben honorable enough? Ben Franklin USA
 
Would like a book on Nobel Nobel Ghana
 
Were the inventions during or before the war? Archimedes USA
 
Has razor from WWI Gillette England
 
Edison and using Mercury in his light bulb Edison USA
 
How much money from the Gillette razors? Gillette Philippines
 

Next 15 letters

 




First 15 letters


Nobel

Did incorrect obituary result in Nobel Prize?

September 26, 2006

Question

i heard a report on the radio that when nobles brother was killed the newspapers actually made a mistake in reporting that he (Nobel) himself had been killed writing the wrong brothers name in the obituary..and that he Nobel was so distressed reading about himself and that all his life had been devoted to destruction basically,and that would be his gift to life....death (dynamite) tha the decided to do the best thing he could to make up by willing his fortune and implementing the Nobel prize!!!is this correct or fabricated..i have read up and cant find this information..i will ring the radio station tomorrow and ask as well..what do you think??? regards

Coralie - Australia (12013)

Answer

In 1866 Nobel's younger brother died in an explosion working on nitroglycerin. He then worked to make the material safer to use. In 1888, an erroneous premature obituary of Nobel by a French newspaper condemned his invention of dynamite. It is said to have made him decide to leave a better legacy to the world after his death. He didn't make out his will until 1893.

One reference is: http://www.infoplease.com/biography/var/alfrednobel.html

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Mark Twain

Has early picture that looks like Mark Twain

September 21, 2006

Question

In an early album of cartes de visites,one page has a few celebrities and dated pictures from early to mid 1860s.One looks to be Mark Twain, a little younger than the c1868 photo on u.of virginia site. Who would you recommend to give an opinion? I can Email an excellent close up copy.
Stephen Richards

Stephen - Canada (11979)

Answer

A good source to check is the Bancroft Library of the University of California in Berkeley. They have a Mark Twain Project with extensive resource on Twain.

See: http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/MTP/contact.html for contact information. They may be able to help you and would be interested in the picture.

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Edison

Edison couldn't make it these days

September 9, 2006

Question

In the U.S. today, Edison may not have succeeded.
In the buying up of companies buying up other companies who in turn buy up other companies. The individual inventor has his back up against the wall.
He can either get a job working for the conglomerates or do as Edison, go into business for himself.
Both as almost impossible in the world of business in 2006.
Major corporations have too many creative people trying for an interview to exhibit their ideas, that most, if not all, have set up barriers not to be inundated by them.
This gives too much power to the so called Brokers, who in turn want to become your senior partner in order to have your invention presented to them.
Instead of acting as your rep for a fair reps percentage, they litterely become the owner of the product.
Raising money is a completely different road to travel. Starting up today requires too much capital.
People like me are dead in the water, we are drowning.
Geirge

George - USA (11882)

Answer

I agree that it is very difficult for an inventor to get started in business these days. The biggest problem is that often an inventor has the technical skill but not the business or sales savvy. Edison was a salesman and a business man who also had an inventive mind. He was always looking for new ways to make money by improving on existing ideas or inventions. He did not invent the light bulb. He improved it and made it commercially viable.

There are venture capitalists who want to invest in an invention and then reap most of the money. There are others who want to steal others' inventions. The best route for an inventor is to find someone with sales ability and work as a team to get reasonable investors or to market their idea. Steve Jobs was the salesman, while Steve Wozniak was the technical guru that started Apple Computer. Bill Gates was the marketer and while Paul Allen was the technical expert in the beginning of Microsoft.

There are plenty of roadblocks to getting a good invention to market. Do not dwell on the roadblocks. Instead, simply beware of them and be clever enough to work around them.

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Edison

Why did Thomas Edison become a scientist?

July 15, 2006

Question

why did thomas edison become a scientist?
did thomas edison have any childeren and how much did he have if he didn't why?
does he have a wife and is she alive?
did thomas edison believe in jesus and why?
why di he chose to become a scientist?

maria - Australia (11483)

Answer

Edison was not a scientist but an inventor and businessman. His first wife died in 1884 and he later remarried. That wife is now dead.

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Archimedes

Sketch of Roman water pump

May 27, 2006

Question

Hi! My name is rimma tinoco. I 'd like to get drawing (sketch) of actual roman water pump. How can i do that? Thank you for your help.

rimma - USA (11205)

Answer

The following page has a sketch of a Roman water pump. It is not too good, but that is the only one I know of:
http://www.mariamilani.com/rome_pictures/roman_water_pump.htm

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Gillette

Was Gillette ever married?

April 15, 2006

Question

hi, I would like to know if King C. Gillette was ever married or had kids, and how accessible was it to customers(how much was it)? thanks

Kalli

Kalli - USA (10853)

Answer

Gillette was married to a woman whose maiden name was Watson. they later divorced. I'm not sure if they had children or if he remarried.

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Churchill

Quote from Sir Winston Churchill on wedding

April 10, 2006

Question

I am getting married in a couple of weeks and I found a wedding album with a quote from Sir Winston Churchill. I believe it was a letter to his wife, I can not find the quote anywhere. Can you help me?

Kelley - USA (10805)

Answer

You might find the quote in:
http://www.quotedb.com/authors/winston-churchill

Best wishes in your wedding.

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Edison

Where did Thomas Edison die?

March 29, 2006

Question

where did thomas edison die?

please write back

kate - Australia (10679)

Answer

He died in his Glenmont estate in West Orange, New Jersey.

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Tesla

Tesla birthday celebration

March 19, 2006

Question

Hello, Just to let you know. 1. Great article for kids Re: Nikola Tesla! 2. I'am a Board member of the Nikola Tesla Memorial Society WWW.teslasociety.com I have been asked to contact as many as I can on the upcoming WORLDWIDE CELEBRATIONS FOR THE 150TH. BIRTH ANNIVERSARY OF DR. TESLA MONDAY JULY 10,2006 Perhap's you might mention this on the Tesla article? Thanks Sincerely, Dr. Edson Andre' Johnson dd Founder Globale Energy Independence day(Held here in California each year on Teslas birthdate Jul.10th! To promote Altertaiv energy sources and to honor the memeory of Nikola tesla!) Sunland (A suburb of Los Angeles, Ca.) calif. 818-441-6019.

EDSON - USA (10505)

Answer

We will post your announcement of the Tesla event.

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Ben Franklin

Was Ben honorable enough?

March 18, 2006

Question

ok i have to have 25 notes done by monday telling weather Ben was honorable enough to lie in state or something like but it seems that i can't find enough info. can you help? please send me some info back even if it is just a little bit. thx


~ashley~

ashley - USA (10499)

Answer

Sorry that this is too late for you. But I don't think I could help anyways.

Whether Franklin was honorable enough to lie is state would depend on who was doing the judging. Some people thought he was very honorable, but there were also some people who didn't like Ben and would be against it. Thus, it really isn't a question that could be answered.

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Nobel

Would like a book on Nobel

March 16, 2006

Question

hi,
i read the history of Alfred Nobel and i'm really interested in him and would like to know a lot about him but is quite unfortunate to have access of his book over here.so can u please help me have access of his book.i want to be a champion as well,... please help me out.
Thank you for your usual kindness.

PHIL - Ghana (10478)

Answer

Unfortunately, we are unable to send out books. But you can read the websites we listed as Resources to get more information about Nobel.

Best wishes in your studies.

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Archimedes

Were the inventions during or before the war?

March 12, 2006

Question

Were the inventions used in the Punic War invented during or before the war? What are the dates?

Katie - USA (10417)

Answer

Some feel that Archimedes "borrowed" ideas that had been used in previous wars. Others believe the inventions were made up by later story-tellers. But I am sure that some inventions were made when the need arose during the war.

Sorry, I don't have the dates.

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Gillette

Has razor from WWI

March 4, 2006

Question

I have in my possession a silver tin approx 2inches by 2 inches with a Gillette razor that is in three parts. The razor is stamped England but the tin is stamped germany, the tin is lined with a red velvet type lining (which is now in a poor state)The razor tin was found in an old tin of bits and pieces that my father left when he died in 1971.His father was in the army and was killed in France in ww1 as i am tracing my family history I was hoping that this was a razor that belonged to my great grandfather.Do you have any record that soldiers were issued with one of Gillette's razors in the silver tin. I would be very pleased to hear from you and your comments, maybe you could put an age to this.
Sincerely

Teresa - England (10320)

Answer

I'm sorry, but I have no information on soldiers being issued Gillette razors during WWI, but it certainly seems possible. At the very least, you have an approximate date for the razor. It certainly seems like a nice keepsake.

Best wishes in the study of your family history.

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Edison

Edison and using Mercury in his light bulb

March 1, 2006

Question

3/1/2006 10:14 PM

Look at Edison's life, yes the light bulb man, what he was exposed to during his many years of trying to invent the light bulb. Mercury is in the light bulb to prevent the tungsten filament from over heating in a gas form. Think of all he tried just to find the right companion to succeed with the longest lasting bulb. Tungsten by itself burns to quickly because it overheats and breaks. My point is he lived to 81 with all he smelt and was exposed to; I believe he was exposed to the right elements to prolong his life. Do I need to spell it out? What would he have used to try and make the tungsten burn longer? Did he use the Mercury many times, or over exposure to find the right amount making it last longer?

Inventor Jeff Tilly

Jeff - USA (10288)

Answer

As far as I know Mercury was never used in an incandescent light bulb. Oxygen is removed to prevent the Tungsten from burning up quickly. Mercury is used in the fluorescent lights.

I am unaware whether Edison was exposed to much Mercury during his lifetime.

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Gillette

How much money from the Gillette razors?

February 2, 2006

Question

as of now how much is the income money of the King Gillettte's business about the disposable razor?

Jessica - Philippines (9907)

Answer

The Gillette company is a huge corporation that makes millions of US dollars each year from the razors that King Gillette invented. There are no good records of how much he made himself in his lifetime, but he was a rich man.

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