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Eroica
2003-Oct-01, 08:20 PM
Bad Astronomy, page 224:


No less a luminary than Isaac Newton first figured out that a mirror can be used instead of a lens....

According to my sources the first person to figure this out was the Italian Jesuit Niccolo Zucchi early in the 17th century. In 1663, a Scottish mathematician called James Gregory designed (but never actually constructed) a reflecting telescope. Newton only constructed his telescope in 1668.

Apologies if this has already been corrected, but I thought I would try and breathe some life into this forum.

kilopi
2003-Oct-02, 09:35 AM
This about.com article (http://inventors.about.com/library/inventors/bltelescope.htm) credits Newton, but it also says that Newton's discovery has led to telescopes that magnify millions of times! No wonder 700x telescopes are so cheap!

This online article (http://astron.berkeley.edu/~jrg/TelescopeHistory/Early_Period.html) mentions Zucchi and Gregory, but it appears that Newton's was the first useable reflector. Often, the first person to develop a working device is the one credited with the invention--just as there were many people with the idea of flying, but the Wrights get the credit.

crateris
2005-Feb-05, 06:43 PM
I am working on an idea that will turn $1 into approximately $272,001.02.

If somebody makes this practical, I hope that somebody gives me the original credit!

[-X

C.

PhantomWolf
2005-Feb-06, 09:11 AM
Often, the first person to develop a working device is the one credited with the invention--just as there were many people with the idea of flying, but the Wrights get the credit.

No, it's a case of who gets the publicity gets the credit. The Wright Brothers were american and therefre able to tap into the prpoganda machine of the US Press whereas people like Richard Pierce never stood a chance in the publicity game even though his machine worked prior too and by all accounts worked better than the Wright's one.

Alareth
2005-Feb-06, 06:22 PM
Often, the first person to develop a working device is the one credited with the invention--just as there were many people with the idea of flying, but the Wrights get the credit.

Or in the case of Alexander Grahm Bell and Elisha Gray for example, whomever gets to the patent office first.

Fram
2005-Feb-06, 08:29 PM
Often, the first person to develop a working device is the one credited with the invention--just as there were many people with the idea of flying, but the Wrights get the credit.

No, it's a case of who gets the publicity gets the credit. The Wright Brothers were american and therefre able to tap into the prpoganda machine of the US Press whereas people like Richard Pierce never stood a chance in the publicity game even though his machine worked prior too and by all accounts worked better than the Wright's one.

Not by all accounts. The Wright brothers made a flight of 39 km in a loop (circle) in 1905. Did Pierce's machine work better than that?
This page (http://www.ctie.monash.edu.au/hargrave/pearse1.html) is one of the few I could easily find about Pierce, and already the second article is sceptic (the link in there doesn't work, so I can't comment on the rest of it). You can find more articles if you look for Richard Pearse.
This article (http://www.flyingmachines.org/pears.html) also sheds a different light. Don't get me wrong, he deserves to be remembered, but your claim was a bit too strict, I think. Even the website of the library of Christchurch (http://library.christchurch.org.nz/Childrens/FamousNewZealanders/Richard.asp), in his home country, gives the credit to the Wrights. So it is not time to rewrite the history books yet.

PhantomWolf
2005-Feb-07, 07:41 AM
Not by all accounts. The Wright brothers made a flight of 39 km in a loop (circle) in 1905. Did Pierce's machine work better than that?

Perhaps you better read the articles you posted again. Pierce's flights were easily the equal of the Wright's Dec 1903 "history" making flight and had he had access to the resourses and profile that they did, I'm sure by 1905 he too could have been flying distances in the km, however discouraged by all the attention to flights overseas and not having the resources, he gave up in proir to that. As to his craft, it was better than the Wrights. It used ailerons as modern planes today do, not the wing warping that the Wright's did.

Comparing what Pierce did in 1901-1903 with what the Wrights did in 1905 after they gained access to greater publicity and resources instead of what they did in late 1903 is just being totally disingenuous.

A Thousand Pardons
2005-Feb-07, 11:59 AM
he gave up
that's probably also a big factor

PS:


Perhaps you better read the articles you posted again.just read Fram's link (http://www.flyingmachines.org/pears.html), and it says "This perhaps argues for assigning a later date to Pearse's flights than that claimed by his advocates" and "indeed Pearse wrote that he did not fly before Wilbur & Orville Wright."

Fram
2005-Feb-07, 12:26 PM
Please read this page (http://www.first-to-fly.com/History/Wright%20Story/december.htm) and the next three pages. Then tell me what resources and publicity they had that made the difference.
Pearse (not Pierce!) himself claims he wasn't the first, the New Zealanders say he wasn't the first. What you are saying is: 17 december 1903 wasn't the first flight, but october 5th 1905 was. So what? It's still the Wright brothers who did it, on their own, without the backing of rich Americans, the press, the government, or whatever.
And what's disingenuous about comparing what Pearse did in 1901-1903 with what the Wrights did in 1903-1905? It's not because he had better design ideas that he had better execution. There's a difference between being careless and being disingenuous, you know.