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)
But when Beach applied to the governor of New York for a charter to construct an extended version of his pneumatic people mover under the entire city, he was turned down twice. In 1873 a new governor granted the charter, but the panic of 1873 prevented Beach from raising sufficient funds with which to build a city-wide system, and he abandoned the project. Pneumatic subways never caught on. However, the idea resurfaced in the 1960s when engineers toyed with the idea of powering long-distance, high-speed trains via a combination of gravity and vacuum.
After years of acrimonious contention, both disputes were settled in 1922 when General Bakelite acquired Condensite and Redmanol. 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.
Beach’s typewriter won a gold medal at the 1853 Crystal Palace Exposition in New York City. Around 1860 he invented a cable traction system for streetcars that was used for several years in New York City. S. patent for improvements to the tunneling shield, a machine for driving tunnels in soft ground. The first shield, invented in the 1820s by Marc Isambard Brunel, was propelled by screw jacks through the soil; miners could then stand inside the shield, protected from cave-ins, while excavating the dirt encased by the shield.