By Charles W., Jr. Carey, Ian C. Friedman
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Extra resources for American Inventors, Entrepreneurs, and Business Visionaries (Facts on File Library of American History)
Meanwhile, General Bakelite was gradually becoming an important supplier to American manufacturers. In 1911 the company produced less than one and one-half tons of Bakelite. However, it quickly gained acceptance as a low-cost substitute for ivory in the manufacture of billiard balls. It also became popular as a replacement for hard rubber in a number of applications, as well as a primary material in the manufacture of electrical items. Bakelite was particularly important to the growing automobile industry, which prized light but strong materials.
By the mid-1930s, the corporation controlled or owned outright more than 100 companies and held more than 5,000 patents. In 1929 Bendix realized the growing potential of commercial aviation. He changed the company’s name to Bendix Aviation Corporation and expanded the company’s line of aircraft parts. To promote the development of airplane design, in 1931 he established the Bendix Transcontinental Air Races. In 1944 he founded Helicopter Inc. and began developing a four-passenger helicopter. Bendix hoped his helicopter would become a big seller once World War II ended, but he died before completing the design.
The primary weakness of Bell’s telephone was that it relied indirectly on the speaker’s voice to generate the electric current that carried the spoken words to the receiver on the other end. This made it necessary for the speaker to shout in order to be heard. Berliner realized that current produced by a battery would eliminate the need to shout, and so he began looking for a way to superimpose spoken sound on a battery-powered electric Â�current. In 1877 these experiments resulted in the development of the microphone.
American Inventors, Entrepreneurs, and Business Visionaries (Facts on File Library of American History) by Charles W., Jr. Carey, Ian C. Friedman