Freedom of struggle or free enterprise applied in the United States produces a rapid civilization in the field of science, technology, and business. The American people take advantage of the independence climate by opening a store or research laboratory. Freedom makes good creativity, according to individual interests, which then compete with each other to foster an advanced America.
The development of science and technology in America was carried out rapidly around the 19th century. Many American scientists were pursuing new technology from the results of their scientific experiments. At this time, we found cotton seed separators, spinning machines, steamers, telegraphs, “the wizard of Edison” or electric light bulbs, and thousands of different findings that made America the fastest civilization in the world. E. L. Bogart, an American economic historian, wrote: “invention became a national habit.”
The development of science and technology in America has to do with a collection of bankers who helped foster America. Famous bankers like John. D. Rockefeller, J.P. Morgan, Westinghouse, and Vanderbilt are people who cannot be excluded from the history of American development because their money funds American scientists running individual laboratories as a new technological workshop that makes America “Great America.” In this paper, J.P Morgan’s story with Thomas Alva Edison will be discussed as an example of the relationship between science-technology and a business that successfully illuminates America.
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Thomas Alva Edison’s Brief Profile: Inventor of Incandescent Light Bulbs
Thomas Alva Edison was coined on a cold winter morning on February 11, 1847, in the village of Milan, Ohio. He was the last child of Samuel Ogden Edison, Jr., a British and Dutch immigrant who migrated to America in 1838. Edison appeared in an abnormal atmosphere with large head size.
Edison, who is usually called “Al,” grew up with a health situation that was not good enough and felt like he knew the big one. He often asks “why?”, “What?” And “where?” However, the feeling of wanting to do it often causes problems. The cruelest thing that Edison had done when he was six, namely, the burning of his father’s warehouse which happened accidentally the effect of Edison’s curiosity would be what would happen if he ignited a small fire in the warehouse. Because of his “mischief,” his neighbor often watched Edison beaten by his father at home. Edison and his father did not have a good relationship, and this matter was evident from the story of Edison who said, “My father, I was stupid, and I almost decided I must be a dunce.”
Edison at school is a quiet child. He was disappointed at the words of his father who always wrote him ignorance and the teacher’s lack of sympathy for him. Edison’s disappointment peaked after about three months following the lessons at school. He ran away from school and refused to go to school again. When Edison’s mother faced the headmaster, the man wrote that Edison felt retardation.
Edison can only learn well visually, as written in his biography, “for one instant, was better learning about something he had never seen for two hours.” Therefore, his mother concluded to teach Edison himself at home.
He handed books to Edison, and when the mother realized Edison’s interest in science, she handed over four basic physical science books that could be practiced at home. Soon, the book became a “toy” that was very favored by little Edison, who at the time was still nine years old.
Behind the accident will be people who do not sympathize with him, Edison is the most stubborn person. He learned something with his method. Even though his mother inspired him, his mother could not teach him. He taught himself, and the mother let him. “My mother was the making of me. She understood me; she let me follow my bent, “recalled Edison.
Besides liking physics, Edison also loves chemistry. At the age of ten, he started the design of his telegraph set by combining chemicals and gas. So, when children his age play in the fields or pick up fish in the river, Edison entertains himself through his elementary school in an underground laboratory equipped with chemical and electrical equipment.
He drained his money to buy powder and chemicals for his experimental needs. Edison did not enjoy a childhood like children of his age. He didn’t play snowball during the winter and didn’t play soccer on the field during the summer, but he drew not a few sketches of the engine and modeled his steam engine and telegraph in his teens.
Besides working on his science experiments, Edison worked. He started his business at the age of eleven by marketing food (onions, corn, lettuce, cabbage, and peas) which he harvested himself with his friend, Michael Oates.
He also worked as a newspaper and candy vendor on the railroad tracks that traveled through Port Huron (Michigan), Detroit, at the age of thirteen. Then, at the age of sixteen, Edison was accepted to work full time as a wire or telegrapher sender. He used this activity to get around America because he was placed in as many cities.
In 1868, Edison arrived in the city of Boston, in the province of Massachusetts. This is where Edison began his career as a telegraph inventor. He received a patent for his findings in the form of an electric or electric vote recorder voice recorder on June 1, 1869, a tool used by Congress to speed up the voting process.
That same year, after moving to New York, Edison also patented a telegraph stock ticker improvisation tool called the Universal Stock Printer. From this finding, Edison discovered the US $ 40,000 from the Western Union Telegraph Company which made his stock ticker purchase. Not enough money to build a small laboratory with ease of production in Newark, New Jersey, in 1871.
In the Newark laboratory, Edison worked for about seven years. He produced inventions and production equipment to perfect the telegraph which was currently developing rapidly in America and pursued paper-wrapping candles and stencil machines. In Newark also Edison married Mary Stilwell and fostered his family until they moved to Menlo Park, a small village located twenty-five miles west of New York City.
Here, Edison fostered a new laboratory with the most sophisticated equipment at the time and initiated his experiments that worked on the world. One of them was the discovery of an electric light bulb in 1879, which Edison worked on with his staff for many years.
The invention was patented with a number 222,898 as “Electric Lamp for Giving Light by Incandescence” or an incandescent light bulb, which can be lit for about forty-four hours. Although this electric light is not a new idea, Edison improvised not a few things, like generators, electricity meters, conductors, and not a few more like Edison said, “a thousand details of the world never hears of it.”
J.P Brief Profile Morgan: Rich American Banker
John Pierpont Morgan (J.P. Morgan) sprung up in Hartford, Connecticut, on April 17, 1837. He is the son of an experienced American financier, namely Junius Spencer Morgan. It’s not like Edison who didn’t finish regular school since the age of nine, J.P. Morgan got the best proper education. He graduated from high school at Boston’s English High School and continued his studies at the University of Gottingen.
After graduating with a good grade in 1857, Morgan returned to New York and began his career in business and finance. He started his eloquent career at the age of twenty by becoming an accountant at Duncan, Sherman & Co., a typical company of George Peabody & Co. in America. Then, after the Civil War ended, he joined his father’s financial firm, Drexel, Morgan & Co. — in 1895, the company changed its name to J.P. Morgan & Co.
Morgan, who since he was a child, has been taught by his father the technique of managing family assets, growing up to be the smartest competent young man in the fields of business, finance, and banking. His ambitious character and courageous risk made him a formidable opponent for business and commercial rivals in America, like John D. Rockefeller, Westinghouse, and as many bankers who were as ambitious as him. His career rose rapidly, even after 1871 J.P Morgan with the Vanderbilts played an essential role in leadership in Western Union.
T.A. Edison and J.P. Morgan Illuminates the United States
In September 1878, Edison campaigned for his electric light research which would soon be completed. He invited all reporters to come to his laboratory in Menlo Park and wrote that he would make “illumination by Gaslight” which utilizes electric power.
Soon, the news was published in the New York Sun newspaper, the New York Herald, and the New York Tribune. Other media also came to Edison’s laboratory to interview the scientist who often created sensations on his findings that contributed to fostering America.
Behind the good news that Edison campaigned for, it turned out that Edison felt a big problem that was hindering the discovery of his electric lights, namely funds. Edison said, “All I want is to be provided with enough funds to push the light rapidly.”
Hearing this business, Grosvenor Lawrey — Edison’s friend who worked in Western Union — met with W.H. Vanderbilt, Twombly, and J.P. Morgan — the syndicate of American capitalists who was a leader of Western Union — to write that Edison needed funds to continue the electric light project. Edison realized this business was the riskiest, but that was the price that must be fulfilled for his dream of making a new model of electric lights.
J.P. Morgan, despite the success of changing the capital of his spectacularly large father’s business, but he was eager to have an industry whose products could be consumed by the wider community, like John. D. Rockefeller with an oil business that is used by almost all people in America to burn lights in their homes.
Therefore, when he heard the news, he became so enthusiastic. He approached Edison and Edison accepted it gladly because he saw that his project would develop quickly because of his connection with Morgan.
After finding capital from Morgan, Edison immediately completed the electric light project. He studied the model of electric lights that had been discovered by scientists before and made models of their electric lights, an electric light that could be used by many people at low prices.
Edison changed the platinum material which is expensive and has low durability with a filament. The electric light project passed in October 1879 and found patents in November of the same year. Edison prepares to light America.
The first Iritrik lamp demonstration was carried out ahead of New Year’s Eve 1880. Edison and his team illuminated the laboratory at Menlo Park with the finding of the electric lights. Three thousand people gathered in front of the laboratory, and when the lights turned on, viewers were amazed and dumbfounded. Edison has alluded to God because he can manipulate fire.
J.P. Morgan, who invested not a little money on this project, also participated in promoting electric lights. He installed electric lights in his magnificent home and invited relatives and business associates. “This is a wizard,” they said.
Seeing the excellent response from the community, Edison with Morgan’s direction began producing electric lights that he had perfected. He fostered the power station and noted the newspaper to ensure that the technology that uses electricity is safe to use.
Electric light business ventures are running, and within six years Edison’s capital has tripled. Electric lights successfully illuminate cities in the United States. Not only illuminating the location of living residents, but electric lights also illuminate hotels, factories, and shops in the United States. Morgan is not useless to invest in this exciting light project.
The success of electric lights does not directly interpret that the collaboration between Edison and Morgan is mutually beneficial. J.P. Morgan, who wanted the lighting industry to reduce Edison too much. This caused Edison not to be independent in developing his business to fit his wishes and made him almost lose a patent because the capitalist urged it to market half of his shares.
Morgan used Edison to make more money for himself. He did not want to be a rival in the lighting industry business, so when Nikola Tesla appeared with the technology of electric motors that used alternating electrical currents — opponents of the same flows used by Edison — Morgan asked Edison to surpass Tesla — funded by Westinghouse, a business rival Morgan.
“The world only has a location for one winner,” Morgan said. As a result, to cool Morgan, Edison noted the newspaper to drop Tesla-Westinghouse. Edison, passing his writings, threatened the community by writing that the alternating electric current was the most dangerous.
The relationship between technology and business produces positive and negative consequences. In the T.A. Edison and J.P. Morgan, capital from businessman has accelerated the growth of discoveries in the fields of science and technology. This, in turn, allowed the production of the technology in bulk, to the point that the invention gave the advantage to the scientist to reverse the money for capital providers.
J.P. Morgan watched Edison’s electric lights as a promising business area because these lights were marketed at a low price to the extent that people from all walks of life could buy them. Whereas Edison, although aware that investment from a capitalist is like J.P. Morgan can make him intervened, still accepting because he needs funds for the electric light project. However, for Edison electric lights are not valuable as selling goods, but a work that can be useful for America’s progress.
In addition to positive consequences, there are also negative consequences of collaboration between scientists and providers of capital. In this problem, the capital provider who only thinks of making as much money as possible has intervened in the findings of the scientist. Investors encourage scientists to manipulate science to bring down business opponents. This is undoubtedly detrimental to the world of science because it turns off the opening of new findings the impact of politicization in economic interests.