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Old 04-01-2002, 02:18 PM   #12
Dojo: Sheffield Shodokan Dojo
Location: Sheffield, UK
Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 524
Originally posted by Chris Li

As to the "the elements already existed" argument, I don't agree with that one either. Glass, wire, and electricity were already in existance, but we still say that Thomas Edison invented the lightbulb. By your line of reasoning it would be impossible for anyone ever to create anything, because the elements are always in existance previously. Now, I suppose that you could argue that (some people do), but it seems to me to fly in the face of the normal usage of the word "create" or "invent".
This isn't really relevant to the discussion about Aikido, but on the subject of the light bulb, Thomas Edison isn't the best example you could choose to support your point!

A year or so before Edison patented his invention it had already been patented and commercially exploited by Sir Joseph Swan.

Swan and Edison hadn't been aware of each others' work. There was a legal battle (though I dont know who was suing whom), and in the end Edison took Swan on as a business partner. Together they founded the enormously successfull Edison-Swan company.

Neither man was the first to actually make a light bulb though, by almost a century. They were both building on work done by lots of earlier engineers. (Humphrey Davy demonstrated a light bulb of sorts in 1902, almost 80 years before Swan and Edison's patents.)

I did a little Google search and found a page about the invention of the light bulb with a final paragraph which might be relevant to a debate about whether Ueshiba M. was really the 'inventor' of Aikido after all though:

"There is no single inventor of any great technology. Ideas rise out of a whole community. But people who can put full-blown systems together are rare. And in that sense, maybe it is fair to say that Edison invented the light bulb, after all."

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