Leonard S. Reich
This book tells the story of how and why industrial research was established in America by two large and innovative corporations: General Electric, formed in a merger of Edison General Electric and Thomson-Houston in 1892, and the dominant force in the American electrical industry ever since; and American Telephone and Telegraph, the commercial outgrowth of Alexander Graham Bell's invention of the telephone. Important lessons can be drawn from the early efforts of these two corporations. Through industrial research - and particularly through the development of patented products and processes - large companies could begin to exert a new degree of market control by strongly influencing the rate and direction of technological change. The development of industrial research also had a profound impact on science and technology in America. It affected the content and methods of both by providing new opportunities, incentives, and constraints to the growing community of students and engineers.