And the third of these speech-improving Bells, the inventor
of the telephone, inherited the peculiar genius of his fathers, both inventive and rhetorical, to such a degree that as a boy he had constructed an artificial skull, from gutta-percha and India rubber, which, when enlivened by a blast of air from a hand-bellows, would actually pronounce several words in an almost human manner.
The right to useful inventions seems with equal reason to belong to the inventors
Inaudible, but convincing, the great inventor
expounded his discovery, and sent his obedient little model of the trains of the future up gradients, round curves, and across a sagging wire.
But there have been inventors
who were not eccentric and who starved while they sought to invent practical things; and sometimes, it is recorded, they succeeded.
I am now writing of those dark days in the past, when the railway and the electric telegraph were still visions in the minds of inventors
It may, however, be mentioned that mere inventors
of revolvers, fire-shooting carbines, and similar small arms, met with little consideration.
Second, the cipher systems are absolutely arbitrary and unscientific, applied to any writings whatever can be made to 'prove' anything that one likes, and indeed have been discredited in the hands of their own inventors
by being made to 'prove' far too much.
They steal the works of the inventors
and the treasures of the wise.
But there was also about him an indescribable air which no mechanic could have acquired in the practice of his handicraft however dishonestly exercised: the air common to men who live on the vices, the follies, or the baser fears of mankind; the air of moral nihilism common to keepers of gambling hells and disorderly houses; to private detectives and inquiry agents; to drink sellers and, I should say, to the sellers of invigorating electric belts and to the inventors
of patent medicines.
Even then I realized the possibilities of my suburb, that hotbed of revolution in which heroes, inventors
, and practical men of science, rogues and scoundrels, virtues and vices, were all packed together by poverty, stifled by necessity, drowned in drink, and consumed by ardent spirits.
Also a basket hung over the back of a chair, in which he vainly tried to hoist his too confiding sister, who, with feminine devotion, allowed her little head to be bumped till rescued, when the young inventor
indignantly remarked, "Why, Marmar, dat's my lellywaiter, and me's trying to pull her up.
He had invented a machine for the cleaning of the hemp, which, considering the education and circumstances of the inventor
, displayed quite as much mechanical genius as Whitney's cotton-gin.