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In American Genesis, which covers the century of technological innovat

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In American Genesis, which covers the century of technological innovat  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 25 Aug 2019, 02:26
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In American Genesis, which covers the century of technological innovation in the United States beginning in 1876,Thomas Hughes assigns special prominence to Thomas Edison as archetype of the independent nineteenth-century inventor. However, Hughes virtually ignores Edison's famous contemporary and notorious adversary in the field of electric light and power, George Westinghouse. This comparative neglect of Westinghouse is consistent with other recent historians' works, although it marks an intriguing departure from the prevailing view during the inventors' lifetimes (and for decades afterward) of Edison and Westinghouse as the two "pioneer innovators" of the electrical industry.

My recent reevaluation of Westinghouse, facilitated by materials found in railroad archives, suggests that while Westinghouse and Edison shared important traits as inventors, they differed markedly in their approach to the business aspects of innovation. For Edison as an inventor, novelty was always paramount: the overriding goal of the business of innovation was simply to generate funding for new inventions. Edison therefore undertook just enough sales, product development, and manufacturing to accomplish this. Westinghouse, however, shared the attitudes of the railroads and other industries for whom he developed innovations: product development, standardization, system, and order were top priorities. Westinghouse thus better exemplifies the systematic approach to technological development that would become a hallmark of modern corporate research and development.


1) The primary purpose of the passage is to

(A) reevaluate a controversial theory
(B) identify the flaws in a study
(C) propose a new method of historical research
(D) compare two contrasting analyses
(E) provide a fresh perspective



2) According to the passage, Edison’s chief concern as an inventor was the

(A) availability of a commercial market
(B) costs of developing a prototype
(C) originality of his inventions
(D) maintenance of high standards throughout production
(E) generation of enough profits to pay for continued marketing



3) The author of the passage implies that the shift away from the views of Westinghouse’s contemporaries should be regarded as

(A) a natural outgrowth of the recent revival of interest in Edison
(B) a result of scholarship based on previously unknown documents
(C) reflective of modern neglect of the views of previous generations
(D) inevitable, given the changing trends in historical interpretations
(E) surprising, given the stature that Westinghouse once had



JOURNAL ARTICLE
From Novelty to Utility: George Westinghouse and the Business of Innovation during the Age of Edison
Steven W. Usselman

The Business History Review
Vol. 66, No. 2 (Summer, 1992), pp. 251-304

Published by: The President and Fellows of Harvard College
DOI: 10.2307/3116939
Stable URL: https://www.jstor.org/stable/3116939
Page Count: 56

Originally posted by vksunder on 16 Jul 2008, 07:47.
Last edited by SajjadAhmad on 25 Aug 2019, 02:26, edited 10 times in total.
Updated - Complete topic (279).
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Re: In American Genesis, which covers the century of technological innovat  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Apr 2013, 00:05
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E, C, E for me.

The primary purpose of the passage is to

A. reevaluate a controversial theory
no controversy is discussed in the passage
B. identify the flaws in a study
author provides his opinion as against opinion of the author of 'American Genesis'
C. propose a new method of historical research
no proposal is made
D. compare two contrasting analyses
same as B. no comparisons being made.
E. provide a fresh perspective
yes. The author's opinion if novel "This comparative neglect of Westinghouse is consistent with other recent historians’ works"


According to the passage, Edison’s chief concern as an inventor was the

A. availability of a commercial market
B. costs of developing a prototype
C. originality of his inventions
"yes. For Edison as an inventor, novelty was always paramount"[/color]
D. maintenance of high standards throughout production
E. generation of enough profits to pay for continued marketing


The author of the passage implies that the shift away from the views of Westinghouse’s contemporaries should be regarded as

A. a natural outgrowth of the recent revival of interest in Edison
B. a result of scholarship based on previously unknown documents
C. reflective of modern neglect of the views of previous generations
no. this option is too generic and broad to be correct answer.
D. inevitable, given the changing trends in historical interpretations
E. surprising, given the stature that Westinghouse once had
yes. "it marks an intriguing departure from the prevailing view during the inventors’ lifetimes"
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Re: In American Genesis, which covers the century of technological innovat  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Jul 2008, 19:12
IMO
1.E The authour is veering off from the perspectives held by the majority of authours and providing a new look at Edison's work/motives and Westinghouse's work/motives

2.B-------> Edison was concerned with making only enough money to invent new products (hence portotypes)

3.E ------> obviously surprising since Westinhhouse was a very prominent fiugure of his time as well
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New post 11 Apr 2013, 00:07
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E, C, E for me.

The primary purpose of the passage is to

A. reevaluate a controversial theory
no controversy is discussed in the passage
B. identify the flaws in a study
author provides his opinion as against opinion of the author of 'American Genesis'
C. propose a new method of historical research
no proposal is made
D. compare two contrasting analyses
same as B. no comparisons being made.
E. provide a fresh perspective
yes. The author's opinion if novel "This comparative neglect of Westinghouse is consistent with other recent historians’ works"

According to the passage, Edison’s chief concern as an inventor was the

A. availability of a commercial market
B. costs of developing a prototype
C. originality of his inventions
"yes. For Edison as an inventor, novelty was always paramount"
D. maintenance of high standards throughout production
E. generation of enough profits to pay for continued marketing


The author of the passage implies that the shift away from the views of Westinghouse’s contemporaries should be regarded as

A. a natural outgrowth of the recent revival of interest in Edison
B. a result of scholarship based on previously unknown documents
C. reflective of modern neglect of the views of previous generations
no. this option is too generic and broad to be correct answer.
D. inevitable, given the changing trends in historical interpretations
E. surprising, given the stature that Westinghouse once had
yes. "it marks an intriguing departure from the prevailing view during the inventors’ lifetimes"
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Re: In American Genesis, which covers the century of technological innovat  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Jun 2016, 22:53
According to the passage, Edison’s chief concern as an inventor was the
A. availability of a commercial market
B. costs of developing a prototype
C. originality of his inventions
D. maintenance of high standards throughout production
E. generation of enough profits to pay for continued marketing

Can someone explain why it's not B?
I think it should be B, as the passage says that "the overriding goal of the business of innovation was simply to generate funding for new inventions"
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Re: In American Genesis, which covers the century of technological innovat  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Jun 2016, 23:38
anurag16 wrote:
According to the passage, Edison’s chief concern as an inventor was the
A. availability of a commercial market
B. costs of developing a prototype
C. originality of his inventions
D. maintenance of high standards throughout production
E. generation of enough profits to pay for continued marketing

Can someone explain why it's not B?
I think it should be B, as the passage says that "the overriding goal of the business of innovation was simply to generate funding for new inventions"


Refer: " For Edison as an inventor, novelty was always paramount: the overriding goal of the business of innovation was simply to generate funding for new inventions"

So novelty/originality was the priority.

B. costs of developing a prototype --> Does not speak about innovation. Also cost of developing a prototype is different from generating funds for innovation
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Re: In American Genesis, which covers the century of technological innovat  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Apr 2017, 07:11
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Good passage.
Concentrates on how well you understand vocabulary . :)
Novelty , intriguing departure . liked it.
My options E C E . time taken - 6 min 20 sec (Developed new strategy increases Accuracy at the expense of time. still better than 75% accuracy within less time. )
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New post 13 Jul 2017, 06:41
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Nightmare007 wrote:
Good passage.
Concentrates on how well you understand vocabulary . :)
Novelty , intriguing departure . liked it.
My options E C E . time taken - 6 min 20 sec (Developed new strategy increases Accuracy at the expense of time. still better than 75% accuracy within less time. )


Hi! Do you mind sharing your reading strategy to improve accuracy? I'm struggling like hell so far with RC :cry:
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New post 26 Jul 2017, 07:27
though i chose E for 3rd question, m bit confused.
Please share the reasoning for choosing E for 3rd question.
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New post 30 Jul 2017, 11:51
987333 wrote:
though i chose E for 3rd question, m bit confused.
Please share the reasoning for choosing E for 3rd question.


Hi,

Please check the highlighted portion.

This comparative neglect of Westinghouse is consistent with other recent historians' works, although it marks an intriguing departure from the prevailing view during the inventors' lifetimes (and for decades afterward) of Edison and Westinghouse as the two "pioneer innovators" of the electrical industry.
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New post 30 May 2018, 05:50
NandishSS

Relevant part of passage to answer question 2:

Quote:
For Edison as an inventor, novelty was always paramount: the overriding goal of the business of innovation was simply to generate funding for new inventions.

Paramount is a synonym for top priority. Answer choice C) fits like a glove.


Relevant part of passage to answer question 3:

Quote:
This comparative neglect of Westinghouse is consistent with other recent historians’ works, although it marks an intriguing departure from the prevailing view during the inventors’ lifetimes (and for decades afterward) of Edison and Westinghouse as the two “pioneer innovators” of the electrical industry

This tells us that Edison and Westinghouse had a similar reputation during their lifetime. Hence, Westinhouse's contemporaries regarded him as one of the two pioneer innovators of their time. Therefore, it is surprising that historians later on didn't pay attention to Westinhouse anymore (they shifted away the existing view on Westinghouse).

This is reflected in answer choice E), which tells us that this shift was surprising.

Hope that helps :-)
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New post 02 Jun 2018, 22:05
Experts - can you please explain #3 to me? The question is asking about the shift away from Westinhouse's **contemporaries**. Since Edison is Westinhouse's contemporary, the question, as I read it, is asking about Edison and views on him, but the passage never suggests that the views on Edison shifted.

Can you please explain this question and answer choice to me? E makes sense if the question read "The author of the passage implies that the shift away from the views of Westinghouse should be regarded as..."
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New post 04 Sep 2018, 13:53
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strivingFor800 wrote:
Experts - can you please explain #3 to me? The question is asking about the shift away from Westinhouse's **contemporaries**. Since Edison is Westinhouse's contemporary, the question, as I read it, is asking about Edison and views on him, but the passage never suggests that the views on Edison shifted.

Can you please explain this question and answer choice to me? E makes sense if the question read "The author of the passage implies that the shift away from the views of Westinghouse should be regarded as..."


For these kind of questions, I'd suggest using the process of elimination and trying to eliminate the wrong choices with the help of the words in an answer choice that are inconsistent with the passage

3) The author of the passage implies that the shift away from the views of Westinghouse’s contemporaries should be regarded as

(A) a natural outgrowth of the recent revival of interest in Edison
The passage does not indicate that there was a REVIVAL of interest, merely a departure from the "interest" of BOTH the "pioneer innovators"

(B) a result of scholarship based on previously unknown documents
The only documents that have been talked about in the passage (first line of second paragraph) are in no way suggested to be NEW/previously unknown evidence (because of the use of the word REEVALUATION).

(C) reflective of modern neglect of the views of previous generations
The passage suggests a DEPARTURE from the views previous generations, the word "neglect" is too extreme and inconsistent with the passage. The scholars are neglecting prominence of Westinghouse, not the views of previous generations.

(D) inevitable, given the changing trends in historical interpretations
"This comparative neglect of Westinghouse is consistent with other recent historians' works, although it marks an intriguing departure" As the word "intriguing" has been used in the sentence, the author probably feels that it is a shocking change - consistent, but shocking. This choice could be a contendor, but option E fits the bill

(E) surprising, given the stature that Westinghouse once had
The last and concluding sentence of the passage represents the author's opinion. (Focus on the use of "my" in the beginning of the second paragraph). This option is consistent with the main opinion of the authot, and thus, correct.
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New post 23 Sep 2019, 06:38
Is the wording in Q3 correct ? Shouldn't it be Edison's contemporaries ?

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New post 23 Sep 2019, 14:43
Good RC, last question is a bit tricky IMO, first 2 are more straight-forward. Chose E, as while the text does say that some neglect of the previous views took place, it does not say whether it is reflective of the trend as a whole.

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New post 30 Sep 2019, 02:36
regarding question 3
normally , the challenge is to find out the place in the passage which yield the information needed to answer the question. but inhere, we can find the place easily, which is the last sentence of the first paragraph.

but the difficulty inhere is inference. we need to infer the information from a sentence or even a word. the word is "intriguing " . this word justify choice e.
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Re: In American Genesis, which covers the century of technological innovat   [#permalink] 30 Sep 2019, 02:36
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