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        Patent and Invention Research | History Detectives

        This History Detectives media gallery features a collection of resources illustrating research methodology for investigating patents and inventions.

        Psychophone | History Detectives

        A couple in Cincinnati acquired a peculiar phonograph at an antique auction. The machine was labeled “PsychoPhone” and included four, grooved wax cylinders. Their research makes our contributors think Thomas Edison invented the PsychoPhone to record messages from the afterlife. As early as the 1870s, Edison and other scientific minds explored psychic phenomena like mediums. They believed every living being was made of atoms that could “remember” past lives. Did Edison make a machine to unlock the secrets of the dead? The wax cylinders could hold the answer. History Detective Gwen Wright travels to the Thomas Edison Center at Menlo Park in New Jersey to find out.

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        Manhattan Project Drawing | History Detectives

        A contributor brings History Detectives a patent with his father's name on it. He is certain that his father worked on the famous Manhattan Project - America's covert effort to be the first to build an atomic weapon during World War II. His father refused to talk about his war assignment except to say that he sold his patent to the United States government for a single dollar. Along with the patent, our contributor has a letter from the Atomic Energy Commission stating that his father’s patent had been declassified. Was this invention used to build the Atomic Bomb? History Detective Wes Cowan discovers a plan to hide atomic secrets in plain sight.

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        Cemetery Alarm | History Detectives

        History Detectives tackles the case of a man who collects war munitions and has snapped up an item at an estate auction that looked like a Civil War-era weapon. On closer inspection, and after consulting with other collectors, he decides he has a grave alarm, an explosive device meant to guard against grave robbers. Is this a grave alarm? History Detective Wes Cowan unearths tales of body snatching and cadaver dissecting, unusual crimes and the most unlikely suspects.

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        Seadrome | History Detectives

        History Detectives investigates an inventor’s dream of bringing the US and Europe closer together. In 1927 Charles Lindbergh made history flying alone, non-stop, across the Atlantic. His flight captivated the public, and made the dream of transatlantic air travel a reality. But nearly 14 years before Lindbergh’s flight, a lone inventor had proposed a technology he believed would safely carry air passengers across the ocean in comfort, rivaling the day’s luxurious steamships. Ed Mauro of Rochester, New York believes a collection of photos and badges links his family to this extraordinary dream. History Detective Tukufu Zuberi investigates what happened to a fantastic engineering marvel and discovers what role Ed’s grandfather played in the Seadrome’s history.

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