PRESS RELEASE asz March 1, 2021 expert opinion on the source criticism Goebel 2021

März 1, 2021

Lichtgeschwindigkeit 10183

am Montag, 1. März 2021


In Deutschland wurden mit viel falschem Ehrgeiz falsche Lampen mit Edisons Schraubsockel, Abbildungen und bis in die Schulen durch tausende Lehrer seit 1948 amtliche Goebel-Lügen verbreitet. Das begann mit Feldhaus, 1915, ging über die ETZ /Elektrotechnische Zeitung, das Deutsche Museum, bis hin zum ZDF 2005 „Unsere Besten“.



March 1, 2021

COLOGNE. the asz alphons-silbermann-zentrum Köln has published a new expert opinion (GUTACHTEN) on the source criticism Goebel 2021. In the course of new possibilities of internet-supported fieldwork in the module „Remembering and Forgetting a Small German Town“, the sociologist Dietmar Moews has examined the following state of research on the idol Heinrich Goebel, allegedly the inventor of light bulbs before Edison, under three controversial aspects in need of clarification (Göbel and Goebel – both spellings have been in use since 1818):

German-American Henry Goebel (1818-1893) was not an incandescent lamp inventor or developer prior to Edison’s 1879 achievement.

Goebel was not involved in the electrification era as a producer, but merely as a consumer of his time.

Goebel was respected as an idol in his German place of origin since 1929. The expert opinion states that Goebel, as a result of his voluntary participation as a witness during numerous Edison patent and license suits between 1885 and 1893, acted on his own responsibility as a criminal in court.

Thus Heinrich Goebel may not, as hitherto, officially be called the pioneer of the incandescent lamp. Goebel drops out as a „role model for school children“ on the basis of the empirical social findings.

Consequence of this finding to the source criticism Goebel 2021 is now the constitutional duty on the officially responsible local administrative level, also under control by administrative and factual supervision of the region, to omit untrue narratives to Heinrich Goebel in the future. Monuments and official texts about Goebel must no longer show untrue or misleading statements. The asz expert opinion makes far-reaching publications on Goebel, such as Johannes B. Kerner on ZDF „Die größten Erfinder“, many Brockhaus volumes since 1926 and the presentations in the Deutsches Museum in Munich invalid. Civil liberty of opinion and fairness remain thereby untouched. asz

Press contact and ViSdP:

Dr. phil. Dipl.-Ing. Dietmar Moews, Mainzer Straße 28, 50678 Cologne, e-mail:

asz alphons silbermann zentrum

Institut für europäische Massenkommunikations- und Bildungsforschung

Leiter: Dr. phil. Dietmar Moews, Dipl. Ing.

Mainzer Straße 28

D – 50678 Köln

Expert opinion on the source criticism „Heinrich Göbel“

Occupied with Göbel for years, I conducted an empirical-sociological study to interpret the current „remembering and forgetting“ as a collective good. For this purpose, a resilient source situation on the subject of Göbel and lamps had to be explored and subjected to a critique of the existing source criticism. New in this process are today’s IT-means for a worldwide archive search. The applied method is a systematic content analysis, on the basis of text evaluation, written inquiries, interviews with standardized questionnaires and depth interviews with selected guarantee persons.

The expert opinion is published for the „Springer-Goebel 2020“ and includes an expert critique of the two published unscientific essays – „Irren ist menschlich“ on „Göbel-Legende Der Kampf um die Erfindung der Glühlampe; zu Klampen 2007“ and „Die Glühlampe – eine deutsche Erfindung? On the Heinrich Goebel Monuments in Springe“ in Hannoversche Geschichtsblätter 2020 – by Hans-Christian Rohde from. The essays are unscientific, operate the further legend aberration, ignore the research status in 2007, undercut the empirical local idolization forces until 2007 or 2020. In addition, a university publication (according to doctoral regulations) is missing.

It has to be said in advance that my following expert opinion does not concern Heinrich Goebel directly, also not the history of the electric light, also not the socio-cultural and socio-political communication events of the idolization, but aims in the very narrow sense at what is to be regarded today, thus at present, as state of the science and contradiction-free, uncontradicted critical to sources for „Goebel as inventor, developer, publicist or rebuilder of electric light bulbs“ is known and held for true. The rank of the sources meaningful for this lies in the conclusiveness of the assignment to the Goebel question and the Goebel indicators for the still or as unsettled put curant questions: 1. whether Goebel invented the first usable electric light bulb in 1854, i.e. already 25 years before Edison? Supplemented with the idea also spread by the ZDF in 2005: „Goebel fought in America before court for the first inventor designation and Goebel’s family received thereupon high compensation payments from Edison“. 2. whether Goebel was involved with incandescent lamp work as a pioneer in electrification? 3. whether Goebel was a recognized capable person or a criminal with mob-like social behavior and in no way suitable as a Springer local idol? The expert opinion applies to the existing scientifically determined source criticism as well as such pseudo sources, whose origins indicate so far without sufficient source criticism misleading data or interpretations to the temporary lamp mechanic Goebel, from the century before last.

As a document for this expert opinion I sifted the field and evaluated the following subject areas to sources and the source criticism situation belonging to it:

1. source criticism on the history of the technology of electric light

2. new publications and source criticism on existing, publicly available Goebel documents and testimonies (museums, internet, archives, asz Dresden / today Cologne, university libraries, mass media of all kinds, newspaper publications etc.)

3. source criticism of documents on the course of the patent disputes, on the judgements and criminal perspective

Due to the subject of the investigation, I came to the following expert conclusion, always with regard to the scientific tenability:

The entire finding was first searched and worked up as versatile source research after sources and possibly existing source criticism or summarizing interpretation and public Goebel exposition. Thereby the scientific objectivity benefits from the fact that opinions and knowledge of numerous experts could be obtained.

Core of today’s source-critical situation in 2021 is found in deposited original documents and in copied, certified and uncertified real time text documents and transcripts, partly with wrong or uncertain translations (Goebel sworn German texts; the courts had the texts in U. S. English). It was presented in the year 2005 of the asz alphons silver man center, of Dr. Dietmar Moews a source criticism „ZDF expert’s assessment“ as well as by the same author, likewise of the asz, in the year 2006, the „Munich criticism 2006“ published. These expertises have led to the revision of the Göbel representation in the Deutsches Museum Munich (see annex Deutsches Museum, 2006, Dr. Dittmann). Further there is no valid German-language book publication with source criticism.

The following questions were taken into account as source-critical criteria for the selection of sources used by the experts: How far have the text documents been traced back to their origins? How are they verified from today’s perspective? And how are they qualitatively anchored to valid primary sources, e.g., original documents? To what extent are these origins traceable today and certain in their temporal and material quality for conclusiveness or contradiction with regard to the Göbel question? The recorded state of affairs is subject in the appraisal as well as in the source criticism itself, methodically to the semantic text-secondary content analysis. Moreover, interpretative perspectives were evaluated in the principle of systematic thinking and ideology criticism.

The basic scientific requirement for the validity of qualitative content-analytical procedure of a sufficient representativeness of the appraisal of the source criticism to Heinrich Goebel and thus to the case Goebel is reached, in which the most important sources were considered. Insofar the expert opinion claims validity as a full analysis.

From this results today the following situation of the source criticism to the specific Goebel conceptions:

In all three source-critical perspectives -.

1. history of electric light;

2. existing Goebel documents;

3. patent disputes and judgements – today there are both source-critically valid, comprehensible and source-critically likewise materially justified non-valid and finally historically unanchored Goebel images. It offers itself to the sober view of the available material:

To 1. source criticism to the history of the electric light

If one looks at the world-renowned public history of technology, in encyclopedias, reference books and museums (e.g. German Museum of Technology in Berlin, Siemens Forum in Munich, European Patent Office in Munich or German Museum in Munich and others), first the history of development and discovery of electricity and electric light appears, then numerous individual developments, then step by step experimental electric lamps as well as the history of patents as part of the economy. In the process – always in the course of internationalization – the power sources, batteries and since 1866 the dynamo (Siemens/Hochhausen) play just as much a contributing role as the production and distribution of technical products as well as the exchange of knowledge at universities and research institutes, plus patent law and the competition for patents. The source criticism on the history of electric light basically includes all publications on the history of technology worldwide. However, only the primary „Göbel question“ is examined: When did Göbel have a real lamp? The historical factuality and its scientific, insofar expert, also juridical – i.e. external proof – is valid. Starting from the hard dispute between the patent owner Edison and all others who did not submit to his U.S. patent. S. patent, it was not until 1892, in the Edison vs. United States Electric Company dispute, that the New York judgment in favor of Edison followed the suit filed in 1885. It also emphasized the outstanding quality justifying the patent claim with regard to the furniture question:

Carbon incandescents, platinum wires, blown glass bodies, Torricelli vacuums, were old and well known long before Goebel (before the unproven year of 1854). The quality of the Edison patent lay essentially in the practical design and manufacturing practice of a durable incandescent lamp. In particular, that by means of a tool drawer, the final curved shape and dimensional accuracy of the bamboo carbon filament is fixed even before carbonization, as well as a special tar putty fastening of the incandescent element and current wires, as well as an extremely high vacuum (air-washing), implies a special durability of the system. The structural practical composition of the Edison lamp was the patent achievement, not the general physical knowledge of the parts (Richter Wallace/New York: 1892; see below: to 3.). The judge thus decreed a kind of general claim with a ban on thinking for others. The technical-historical finding is source-critically flawless on the basis of the court documents (National printed Records) (see also the technical journal Electrical World/copy in asz-archiv: EW Vol XXII., No. 3, July 15. 1893, p. 35 u.S.45-49f). There it is rightly stated (p. 35): „This trial will go down in the history of patent battles as one of the most carefully prepared and densely argued preliminary hearings. Both sides say that hardly ever has a final trial been so mindfully prepared.“ (loc. cit.) This electro-historical pro-and-con argumentation of the then opponents of the years 1892 and 1893 is supplemented with a rounding view, whether thereafter additional or better or new, e.g. today’s findings are available.

Thus the source-critical situation supplies an essentially doubtless development history of the incandescent lamps, with from today’s view perfect validity: With the Englishman DeMoleyn, 1841 and the Americans Starr/King, 1845, electrical vacuum glass lamps with resistance incandescent elements of different kind are internationally demonstrated, published and also patented. Other, lesser known lamp makers, appear on this technical trail. They are, Staite Lamp, 1848, with Iridium incandescent element, 1848; Shepard Lamp, 1850; Roberts Lamp, 1852; all before the alleged Goebel year of 1854. Edison’s first carbon filament lamp with special durability vacuum and his Paper Horseshoe Lamp appeared in 1879, followed by Edison/United States Patent Office patent number 223,898 dated October 12, 1879. It states „exclusive right to manufacture incandescent lamps includes the imprint of a high resistance carbon filament enclosed in an all-glass container in which a high vacuum is achieved; In this sequence, „Henry Goebel one-half to John W. Kulenkamp/ United States Patent Office Patent-Numero 266,358, appeared on October 24, 1882, as a pretense of a lamp invention: Wire Connection and Wire Flattening for Incandescent Lamp“; as well as Sawyer-Man Lamp in the basic dispute with Edison in 1885, where likewise Goebel is awarded only unremarkability (soon came Westinghouse’s alternating current technology, while Edison’s patent expired in October 1894). Goebel, as a rebuilder in 1882, with a quasi-redundant performance and his lies, is entitled to the marginal note as a criminal perjurer in the history of technology, who was finally excluded in the court case for fraud and bribery by the parties to the dispute (however, Goebel did not become part of the real development history of the incandescent lamps). In the overview, a perfect document situation with regard to the invention publications and patents as well as their discussion in the patent processes in detail is determined.

Re 2: New publications and source criticism of existing Goebel documents

In addition to the biographical evidence of Goebel’s life – birth in 1818 in Germany, emigration in 1848 by ship to the United States, there in New York until his death in 1893, until 1886 working in a one-man business as a tenant of a jewelry store with a small workshop, repair mechanic and itinerant showman -, enough is known from original archival documents concerning the question of sources for Goebel’s actual lamp relations. The history of technology proves that the development of incandescent lamps lasted for more than a hundred years and grew in small steps.

About Henry Goebel, as Heinrich Goebel called himself as a U.S. American from 1849, the technology history research as well as the Goebel research have few – exactly three primary sources on this. These are distributed in copies. Their content can be reliably assigned in terms of source criticism, i.e. in terms of content, semantics, material and time, is homogeneous and is not subject to any serious doubts in this respect. These primary sources on the Göbel question are:

a written service contract;

a lamp exhibition published in public or in two newspapers;

a lamp patent duly granted by the U.S. Patent Office:

– 1881: service contract with American Electric Light Company New York.

No earlier dated other pertinent primary source has come to the attention of the appraiser that was considered secure at the time and is still secure today, or that has surfaced in addition, except for this service contract for incandescent lamp manufacture entered into between Henry Goebel and the American Electric Light Company New York on September 5, 1881. This contract is available in copies and in several translations, from US-English into German, was also considered and stated in the court hearings of the year 1893, and does not cause any source-critical doubts. Furthermore, there is no source criticism of later found documents, later added evidence or later published, backdated arguments, which can justify the assumption of an earlier date than the year 1881 (see below to 3. and appendix to 2), except already in the „Gutachten zur Quellenkritik 2006“ of Dietmar Moews, published by the asz at that time.


– 1882: Goebel’s exhibition

Goebel entered the public field of electric light with a small exhibition of incandescent lamps in his last store at 468 Grand Street. This was reported in The New York Times on April 30, 1882 and The New York World on May 1, 1882 (reprinted in EE v. Feb. 1, 1893, p. 121). It is Goebel’s first lamp appearance. The lamps in the exhibition were from American Electr. Light. This secondary source is deposited in numerous archives as copies, is generally accessible and undisputed. The exhibition itself is mentioned in the case of Edison et al. vs. Beacon, Feb. 1893, thus confirmed.

– 1882: Goebel’s lamp patent

Goebel’s lamp patent No. 266,358 from the United States Patent Office is the decisive primary source. It was applied for on January 23, 1882, and granted on October 24, 1882. In the patent specification and the technical system/design drawing, the skilled person finds that the subordination to Edison is factually and technically documented by the patent applicant Goebel himself. This patent achievement, which is awarded to Goebel in half with Kulenkamp, consists of a wire application which, moreover, is illustrated on a typical Edison lamp technology. This patent No. 266,358 then had a decisive weight in the later court proceedings.

To 2. from this I conclude that the earliest existing primary sources on the Goebel question, which prove Goebel in connection with incandescent lamps, were already known in real time – that is from September 5, 1881 – and were judicially negotiated and judged, as there are: 1. the service contract between Henry Goebel and the American Electric Light Comp. for system lamp construction of September 5, 1881; 2. the exhibition with such system lamps on May 1, 1882 in Goebel’s store back room in the Grand Street 468, reported in The New York World of May 1, 1882, among others, and 3. The Goebel-Kulenkamp Lamp Patent of October 24, 1882, U. S. Patent Office No. 268,358.

Re 3: Source criticism and documents on the course of the patent litigation, on the judges‘ decisions, and criminal law perspective

This third field on the Goebel question has to consider documented judge’s rulings, arguments of the opposing parties, plaintiffs and defendants, as well as testimonies and trial strategy facts.

What already disqualifies itself as truth of reason, because Goebel came only after – among others – Starr/King in 1845, allegedly in 1854 – now occupies the largest space in this expert opinion. Because still those court cases and judgments of 1893 are seen as key evidence in the view of the stray priority question „Edison vs. Goebel“, without there ever having been and not having been any resilient sources for it. However, the decisive factual truth does not lie in the temporal priority (rational truth: Goebel after Starr 1845), but it lies in the technical quality and superiority of the Edison system (Goebel 1882 worse than Edison).

In short: The expert opinion, after examining the sources and the source criticism on the court proceedings, which are secured in extensive reports and records, comes to the following conclusion: The Goebel question and the so-called Goebel Defense were not confirmed or decided in favor of Goebel in any of the judge’s decisions. No other conclusion can be drawn from these trials than sources and source criticism to 1) and to 2) show.

There are a total of 7 affidavits, allegedly by Henry Goebel sr. from the spring of 1893 on the Goebel question. The source analysis cannot acknowledge their contents. Hand signatures are missing for two affidavits and payment receipts, further contradictory testimonies of the son Henry Goebel jr. as quasi crown witness and further Goebel sons, Charles, William, George, are available. In addition, 12 close family members of Henry Goebel first for Boston/1893 about 30, then for St. Louis and Oconto/Milwaukee a total of more than 100 affidavits go out, which want to support Goebel, but in their amateurishness or inaccuracy do not help, but rather create on this side the suspicion of a perhaps harmless machination. While on the side of the lawyers and companies civil law and criminal law facts are supposed to help to manipulate the patent business, witness purchases with a view to share prices and share purchases. This should be added without further ado because the so-called „Goebel Defense“ was not raised to clarify the Goebel issue and was not conducted and negotiated to that end on the part of the defense. Main hearings were not even held after the appeal decision on Electrical Manufacturing Company vs. Edison Oconto 1894.

For the sake of brevity, it is considered useful here to give the opinion a two-part appendix – to 2.) and to 3.). Connections of the patent disputes are unfolded in the appendix to such an extent that the often quoted but not certified source-critically questionable transcripts of affidavits can be assigned, without offering more than a preliminary source criticism.

Finally, the situation of the source criticism in 2021 is to be summarized for the following reason only as provisional to an overall expert opinion. The field of investigation on the Göbel question is ideologically characterized by two opposing ideologies. On the one hand, with regard to the history of technology, the development of light bulbs and the scientific approach, a predominantly unambitious basic position, leaning towards scientific positivism, has been decisive until today. The author feels ideologically bound to such a position. According to this position, one knows what one knows – the borderline to not knowing or only thinking is determined by the existing findings. From this position, presumed assumptions have not been investigated further than it happened in the thorough processes of the Edison era (e.g. Goebel’s narrative of a Professor Münchhausen, who would have had current lamp knowledge in Hannover before 1848) and can be regarded as safe from a source-critical point of view. On the other hand partly – only in the German language area – the ideology of the conjecture suitable for a certain self-image prevails. According to this, not scientific clarification, not enlightenment and collective reason prevail, but the openly handled value setting of a desired ideologization: One tries to defend the light inventor Heinrich Goebel like an existential component of the self-esteem and the self-image against the historical being binding and the source situation.

The source situation is altogether source-critically flawless and sufficient. It consists of clear (to 1 and to 2) primary and secondary qualities. In particular, official documents and documents published in real time on the Goebel question and on the person of Heinrich Goebel are safe as concrete primary sources. In the elaborate legal proceedings in the USA (between 1879 and 1894) – for the entire light bulb development period relevant to the Göbel question, which begins with the year 1841 and extends to the Edison year 1880 – this field was analyzed and documented, is archived and accessible. It has to be emphasized, there were no personal objects or invention pieces of Goebel at that time and there are none today, or only mentioned, which support the Goebel Defense, but opposites, like the technically impossible perfume bottle or the glass tubes, which are too small for the bamboo incandescent element. Documented are all judge’s decisions in printed, partly book-bound form in the U. S. National Archives. Furthermore, the course of the trial was extensively reported in the specialist journals, so that the controversies in the hearings and argumentations, also after taking into account all other interpretative criteria such as implicitness and tangible facts, are to be regarded as reliable from a source-critical point of view and still verifiable today. Insofar as the Goebel question was touched upon or negotiated in the narrow sense of the Goebel Defense, these findings and secondary sources are presented in the appendix of the report.


Summary of the expert report of March 1, 2021:

I thus come to the expert conclusion that the source-critical treatment of the existing known sources in 2021 on the Goebel question is unequivocal. That is, the sources on Göbel as a subaltern craftsman in the field of electric incandescent lamps begin chronologically on September 5, 1881. Materially, on Göbel’s own craftsman shares, no incandescent lamps were available as verified evidence workpieces at that time. Only such lamps were subsequently submitted in 1893, but they could not be submitted since 1882, or at least they were not submitted in court. In September 1881, Goebel became an employee of a rival lamp company set up by Edison specialists only in 1881 as a hostile spin-off. It was here that Goebel gained his first lamp knowledge. In May 1882, Goebel held a lamp exhibition that was covered by two newspapers. In October 1882, Goebel acquired a lamp patent filed to deceive investors under the Edison patent. In particular, the series of replica lamps from 1893, which were produced with Goebel’s assistance at Beacon in Boston for submission to the courts, shows that there was not a single piece that structurally corresponded to the No. 4. lamp, which was of most interest to the Göbel question. The Goebel incandescent lamps presented to the courts in 1893, which were not verified at the time, are now kept in the Henry Ford Museum in Michigan/USA. An age investigation of such lamps could hardly prove the time of their assembly, since the individual parts can have their age origin much earlier (when did a wood fiber grow? when was it carbonized? when was it installed? how old were the glass blanks before tube lamps were cut from them? etc). The furniture question: when did who build it? – does not depend on it.

All Goebel conceptions to the contrary, as they are handed down in German books and in Goebel’s native town Springe, are an enduring desired idol formation, a shared collective conception, which gets along without concrete proofs and testimonies, but have been refuted judicially in the year 1893. A historical anchoring of the German-born US-American Henry Goebel (1818-1893) can be referred, with all conceptions existing on the opinion market, again and again only to the sample of the source criticism of the respective source. All allegedly „new Goebel sources“ used for idolization, which ignore this situation, like most recently HC Rohde with the formulation „Goebel had made an insignificant contribution to further development with his patent only three years after 1879“, in „The light bulb – a German invention? About the Heinrich Göbel monuments in Springe“ in Hannoversche Geschichtsblätter 2020, thus waive validity.

Springe, March 1, 2021, Dr. phil. Dietmar Moews, Dipl. Ing. Cologne


Appendices to the expert opinion of the source critics on 2.) and on 3.)

Appendix to the expert opinion of the source critics on 2.)

In this point the Goebel question about the Goebel Defense, goes from the small boasting and showmanship of Henry Goebel into imposture and into fraud – and in the legal sense fraud – Henry Goebel srs. According to this, Henry Goebel sr. in 1882, at the age of 64 years was fully capable of fraud, from the point of view of the year 1894. It concerns the connections of the lamp manufacturing company American Electric Light Company, New York, and its founder on the one hand. On the other hand, it concerns Goebel’s dealings with the lamp metier in general, as evidenced only since Goebel’s service contract. All efforts of the expert to find serious sources or indications for Goebel’s occupation with lamps, light and batteries – before 1881 – from the view of the year 2021, as already in 2005 and 2006, did not yield any results. Neither from the point of view of 1848, nor in Germany, nor 1854 or 1859 – these dates were thrown on the market at the beginning of 1893 by the electrical lobbyist Pope (with an illustration of the Lampen-Exp. No. 3, which had only been manufactured in 1892 and had in no way the technical level of the Edison patent) – nor from the time of the American Electric Light Company, nor from the thorough and source-critically viable negotiations in the patent trials, from 1885 to 1894. Finally, false assurances of witness and fraud become clear when the genesis of Goebel’s lamp patent is reviewed, especially in light of the documented falling out between the two one-half patent owners, Henry Goebel and John W. Kulenkamp, and Goebel’s assault of patent attorney Paul Goepel at his attorney’s offices in 1882.

In the expert’s judgment, a semantic-content secondary analysis of the available personal court testimony in the disputes between Goebel and his family friend, Masonic brother, and then business partner John William Kulenkamp, from the 1850s to 1893 alone shows Goebel’s brutal imaginings and actions as a U.S. citizen in east-side South Manhattan N. Y. N. Y., that an idolization for Springer schoolchildren cannot meet the least ideas of fairness in today’s „FAKE and TRUMP age“.

At the end of 1880, 3 important employees of Edison, William McMahon, George Crosby, Edwin M. Fox, leave Edison Laboratories to found their own lamp company to rival Edison: American Electric Light Company New York was founded on March 1, 1881 (asz-archiv: Electrical Engineer, New York, of Feb. 8, 1893 Vol. XV. No.249, p.148ff; EW, New York,of July 22, 1893 Vol. XXII. pp. 68-80: Oconto case). They asked Goebel in his „jewelry store“ if he had ever made incandescent lamps. Goebel denied, but he could make coals like Edison. Goebel knew about Edison’s inventions and praised Edison as a great inventor. All the people were excited about the electric light and all knew that Edison had made the invention. Had anyone had better ideas for incandescent lamps, he would have had unlimited capital to develop and bring them out as Edison’s competitor. The American et al. intended to do that. Goebel and his son obviously had motives and every reason to make big promises for pay, got paid, and would have given anything to make such lamps if they had ever made anything in the trade. Goebel entered into the above service contract on September 5, 1881, to work for American et al. in lamp making, adhering to American et al.’s technical specifications. American built lamps that infringed the Edison patent. They had taken the technical knowledge with them when they „spun off“: Goebel was a subaltern lamp parts manufacturer after Edison (op. cit.). And Goebel told that he still had good secret ideas for the lamps. It was tried in the case of Edison vs. Beacon, of Boston in February 1893 and in the verdict Judge Colt stated: „Had interested parties, such as the American Electric Light Company, been presented with a lamp such as No. 4 by Goebel and the associated knowledge anticipating Edison’s patents, it would have been worth a fortune to Goebel. But Goebel had nothing and could do nothing.

At the same time Goebel’s son Henry jr. went to Edison Laboratories to offer Edison the Edison patent knowledge of his father (cheating the business partner Goebel Srs. Dreyer) for sale. He demanded $20,000.00 (Goebel’s house rent was $700.00 annually, for comparison). Edison’s office, Mr. Eaton, demanded proof of the offered knowledge and practical samples. Goebel Jr., however, had nothing to show. The much later lamp No.4. presented only in 1893, which, if it had already existed and worked, and had been old, could have been relevant for the Edison patent, had only been made in 1883 by glassblower Heger. Goebel had nothing – Eaton’s office declined. (asz-archiv: EW of 25.2.1893, Vol. XXI. No. 8, p.141ff a.o.a.)

Even more hair-raising was Goebel’s „patent trade“ with Dreyer in 1882. Dreyer – an investor in stock and innovation deals, liaison to Edison and to Arnoux-Hochhausen – also tried to set up a lamp company on his own account. Dreyer negotiated an option with Goebel to supply all of his inventions alleged (lied about) by Goebel on April 30, 1882, and his incandescent lamp knowledge. Goebel received a $500.00 advance in return and substantial profit sharing if Dreyer went into business with Goebel lamps. Goebel could show nothing. Couldn’t rebuild an old lamp either. Dreyer paid another $425 to extend his option (see payment receipts). The trouble was especially great when Dreyer found out that Goebel was also negotiating with Edison, respectively that his son Henry jr. Goebel had thereby tried to evade the Dreyer/Goebel contract. The handwritten receipts that exist today also show Henry Goebel Jr. as the recipient of the money, claiming in 1893 that his son had taken money without his consent that Goebel Sr. never received.

The fraud against Dreyer became official with Goebel’s multiple attempts to register a lamp patent in 1882. Goebel involved John W. Kulenkamp, a non-expert, to solicit investors with the patent. The idea was to pretend that Goebel had patent qualities to sell, including incandescent lamps that had been manufactured before Edison, thus making it possible to manufacture lamps free of Edison’s patents. Goebel and his sons promised to participate as lamp manufacturers themselves.

Since Kulenkamp did not succeed in acquiring the money he had hoped for – as Goebel himself and his sons had succeeded with Dreyer and Arnoux-Hochhausen (through Dreyer’s mediation), except with Edison Laboratories – Goebel and Kulenkamp fell out in 1882. In this context, Kulenkamp, as Edison’s confidant, and Goebel, on the side of the patent infringers, appeared in opposition in the Edison patent suits in 1893. Therefore, this background story has become part of the court proceedings and is documented very precisely.

Appendix to the expert opinion of the source critique on 3.)

The transcripts from the file archive of the attorneys Witter&Kenyon, representing the defendant side at that time, of the collection of selected affidavits on the patent disputes and judge’s verdicts of 1893 are the often quoted, but not certified source-critically questionable transcripts, which officially exist since 1953 in Springe in two folders, labelled „Heinrich-Göbel-Prozeß“. These sources, however, the Jewish Berufsverbots teacher in Springe, then city chronicle writer from 1939, Dr. Heinz Brasch, however, already seemed to know in his accounts. In the following, as an appendix to the expert opinion on the Heinrich Goebel source criticism, contexts are unfolded for the reader, which are to serve an assigning understanding.

They were recorded by the attorneys, Witter&Kenyon, of the patent infringing Edison defendant Beacon et al, Boston, and the Columbia Electric Lamp Company, St. Louis, in New York, partly in German, partly in English (Goebel was allegedly not sufficiently competent of English) and sworn to by the witnesses, partly hand-signed. The collection in Springe is an incomplete selection – who ever selected them, where and from which text collection is still unclear – it is not complete. For example, the first unsigned important statement by Goebel of January 21, 1893 is missing, as well as the first one by the glassblower Heger and various others. In particular, however, this GOEBEL source collection in two folders of the Witter&Kenyon affidavits, in Springe, perhaps since 1939, in 1953 presented to the school teacher Dr. Gresky for translation work with his English students, contains only a patchy selection. Among them are no affidavits of the final case Edison vs. Electrical Manufacturing Company Oconto, and even the cross-examination with 800 questions and answers of Goebel’s son William Goebel, which took place in California, as voluntarily brought forward by the Witter&Kenyon defenders in defense, is missing in the Springer folders. William Goebel clearly could not withstand the cross-examination questions of the plaintiff sides. All Goebel children like father Henry Goebel, gave their testimonies voluntarily as self testimonies. Henry Sr. – as a witness vis-à-vis the notarially active defense attorneys Witter&Kenyon – in New York gave his alleged statements partly in German, but also in English, respectively he swore and signed them partly. The also sworn translator, German native speaker, with perfect US English knowledge, was present at Goebel’s statements. This is how it is certified on the documents. Goebel could understand US English himself. The demonstrable contradictions and mistranslations of Goebel’s statements in these texts – which have been attempted to be used in the Goebel Defense throughout – and have been introduced in U.S. English into the pleadings are therefore not translator’s treason, but Goebel’s responsibility, unless one wants to deny Goebel’s testamentary capacity. These texts have been produced by interested parties (Witter&Kenyon/attorneys of the patent infringers, New York) and they have been transcribed and selected by interested parties (either by Witter&Kenyon, where the original defense documents are archived or who had brought these documents to Germany – later in Springe – by Dr. Brasch, 1939 or Dr. Degenhardt, city director of Springe after 1948, who operated the Goebelidolization). These copies are not certified. As far as they are again already US-American texts of original testimonies given in German, this is a further source-critical restriction of the reliability of their contents. HC Rohde in his essays (2007 u. 2020) in ignorance, under renunciation of a research state 2007, did not bring these cross-examination documents from a USA trip. In any case, they are publicly accessible in the magazine THE ELECTRICAL WORLD page 69 ff, of July 22, 1893, since 1893 in the archive of the Technical University – today Leibniz University Hannover, in the branch office Rethen.

– on January 21, 1893 Henry Goebel gives the first affidavit

He declares to have brought his lamp knowledge from Germany, where he had learned in Springer from a Professor Münchhausen – already before 1848, his emigration to New York – about incandescents, arc lamp and vacuum incandescent lamp. Furthermore, he claimed to have known nothing about Edison’s work. While his youngest son William Goebel in an extensive affidavit and cross-examination, in July 1893 in California, for Milwaukee says: „The father took to himself certain papers dealing with Edison’s patents. William Goebel and a daughter-in-law say the claimed vacuum pump for venting the glass bulbs was not seen in the shop until the American Electric Light, late 1881. Henry Goebel himself mentions the perfume bottles, which were not suitable for glass processing, and describes the manufacture of his alleged incandescent lamp as it could not have been with respect to evacuation by the Torricelli mercury method. Apart of it, his glass bodies were spatially too small to be able to attach – in terms of the necessary resistance – a bamboo carbon filament of sufficient length, the replica lamps presented in 1893 all failed to work. Goebel describes preheating the carbon filament to be able to eliminate mercury buildup in the Torricelli mercury spill application, but Edison’s preheating is „air-washing“ to eliminate occluded oxygen from carbon filament and platinum.

– On March 7, 1893, Heinrich Goebel says and swears in writing: „…I never claimed to him (Goebel speaks of a business liaison with Edison Comp. and with the electrical firm Arnoux&Hochhausen, to whom Goebel had offered his services; A.d.V.) that I had any inventions which were patented or which could be patented or for which I had applied for patents, except the invention concerning the pump and the improvement of the connection of carbon filament and wires, nor did I give him any dissenting impression concerning this.“ Dreyer had bought the Edison patents from Henry Goebel in 1882, which Goebel did not own, had paid $500 once and $425 once, but had not received or seen a single real lamp – only those of American Light Comp.

Goebel’s excuse was, „He couldn’t find the lamp.“ – apparently could not produce any others on his own. (from the Colt/Boston decision of February 18, 1893)

– on May 6, 1893, the son Henry Goebel Jr. swears in an affidavit for Witter&Kenyon for State of New York that he threw the glassblower witness for the prosecution, Henry Goebel Sr.’s workmate, Hetschel, out of the workshop for drunkenness; that he himself had used Lamp No. 4 in the household before 1872; that he, Henry Jr. himself, had hung and unhung the lamp at that time so that his sister Sophie Goebel would have electric light for sewing machine sewing.

– on July 1, 1893, the Edison attorneys present to Judge Seaman in Milwaukee, for their part, an affidavit from the principal witness for the defendant Witter&Kenyon, Henry Goebel, Jr. testifying that in October 1892, he himself had taken to the court as allegedly old Goebel lamps no. 1, 2 and 3; that lamp No. 4 was made by the glassblower Heger in 1883; and that the allegedly old tool No. 6 was made by the toolmaker Korwan in 1883. There are corresponding affidavits from witnesses Heger and Korwan, while Witter&Kenyon defense attorney Allan Kenyon swears that Henry Goebels Jr. was hired by Witter&Kenyon in October 1892 to expose its implausibility as a „double agent“.

Another key witness for the Witter&Kenyon defense, Professor Van der Weyde swears that Witter&Kenyon had exactly reversed his statements, he never confirmed Goebel’s timing or lamp making and did not testify. The lamps allegedly made by Goebel, which numerous personal friends had sworn to have seen, may have been magnesium incandescents, Geissler tubes or arc lamps made by other lamp makers. With such foreign lamps Goebel had – according to statements of the son William Goebel – experimented a lot. These witnesses cannot distinguish such lamps and cannot say anything about who built which ones (asz alphons silbermann zentrum institut für europäische Massenkommunikations- und Bildungsforschung-archiv: THE ELECTRICAL WORLD of July 15, 1893, Vol. XXII. No. 3, p.45-S.50; EW of July 22, 1893 Vol. XXII. No 4, p.60ff))

Furthermore, the text material is only available in the Us-English of the original journals; thus, a short evaluation and summary by the expert is helpful to understand the expert weighting to 3.): That the whole Goebel question was raised in the trials only indirectly and much too late by third parties, while Goebel personally signed only texts in lieu of oath, whose translations introduced in court were already faulty, and otherwise, on the basis of numerous contradictions in content, little can be said about Goebel’s state of mind in the last year of his life. For he had not been brought before any court in person, seen or interrogated.

The Edison electrification period was full of patent infringements, applications for preliminary injunctions and patent disputes. It was common for knowledge and new developments to be „stolen“ – whether patented or not, „ab igne ignem.“ In those years, law firms specializing in patent litigation were founded, such as the law firm Witter&Kenyon, New York, which was involved in almost all of the proceedings here and was still one of the largest patent law firms in the USA until 2016 as Kenyon&Kenyon. Their archive can be requested from the successor firm „HUNTON Andrews Kurth“. Edison’s patent for the incandescent lamp was first applied for in 1879 and granted by the United States Patent Office on Jan. 27, 1880. Numerous other applications by Edison followed, which were patented as further developments and improvements. Edison thought that he could hold all other competitors under his patent and take them under license. In particular, the lamp manufacturer Sawyer, in New York, who together with the lawyer Man, with his own vacuum incandescent lamps, was on a par with Edison in terms of development, practically, but not in terms of patent law, did not submit to Edison’s patented prerogative. Other companies joined in, built lamps and marketed them unlicensed. Edison’s patents, which had been developed through lengthy and costly research and development, brought him neither royalties nor market advantages, but substantial litigation costs. –

Judge Wallace decision in October 1892, New York Court of Appeals

In 1885, Edison sued the United States Electric Lighting Company New York in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York for the validity of the technical scope of his patented lamp system. Judgment was not rendered for Edison, now merged as General Electric Company &Edison Laboratories, until July 23, 1891, and again after appeal by United et al. to the District Court of Appeals for the Second District of New York, by decision in October 1892. The Court of Appeals decided to uphold Edison’s patent claims for the Edison incandescent lamp patents of January 27, 1880, and July 23, 1881, and to order the defendant to cease and desist and to pay costs. The case file contains over 6,000 pages of records (asz-archiv: EW, Vol. XXI. No.8. of February 25, 1893, p.133).

Subsequently, General Electric/Edison sought injunctions to restrain unlicensed lamp making against other patent infringers. The courts granted the relief sought, as against Sawyer-Man Electric Company, December 19, 1892; Westinghouse-Electric Company in Pensylvania; Perkins Electric Lamp Company and Mather Electric Company in Connecticut. By this time, 13 years had passed without Edison being able to practically translate his now costly patent protection into market advantages. Patent law is commercial law and aims at gaining time for economic results. General Electric as patent holder of the Edison light bulbs sued for market power and licensing, not primarily for the fame of the inventor Thomas Alva Edison. The infringing companies, on the other hand, did not dispute the patent infringement at all, but also tried to defend themselves on the grounds of delay. With the subsequent applications for preliminary injunction by Edison et al., the defense of the patent infringers, Witter&Kenyon, adopted a new defense strategy – in view of the expiry of the Edison patents in 1894 – the „Goebel Defense“. The Goebel idolization in Germany is erroneously or misleadingly related to these Goebel Defense proceedings, if one wants to historically anchor the Goebel fame in retrospect – but cannot. They are therefore given special attention:

Judge Lebaron B. Colt confirms Edison on February 18, 1893

– January 1893 motion for preliminary injunction of Edison et al. vs. Beacon Vacuum Pump and Electrical Company in Boston, Massachusetts, in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts in Boston, for injunction of patent infringement. The decision affirmed petitioner Edison on February 18, 1893, by Judge Lebaron B. Colt. (Side effect: Goebel Defense is examined and rejected).

Substantiation: The sole purpose of the decision is to determine whether the claimed patent infringement exists. Only if the patent infringement is disputed or doubtful shall the preliminary injunction be denied and remitted to a trial on the merits. The definition most recently adopted by the District Court of Appeals for the Second District of New York, per decision in October 1892 as interpreting patent protection and delineating patent infringement in affirming the Edison patent claims, is met. Further, Judge Colt saw the defendant Beacon adjudicated patent infringement following the decisions against Sawyer-Man Electric Company, December 19, 1892; Westinghouse-Electric Company in Pensylvania; Perkins Electric Lamp Company and Mather Electric Company in Connecticut, which also did not dispute the patent infringement itself at all. The alleged claimed priority of Goebel was not confirmed on the basis of the non-functional so-called Goebel lamps, whose date of manufacture is uncertain, particularly because these lamps clearly do not attain in their composition those Edinsonian qualities which have been adequately discussed in court in all previous proceedings.

Judge Moses Hallett denies Edison’s motion on April 21, 1893.

– Application in January 1893 for preliminary injunction by Edison et al. vs Columbia Incandescent Lamp Company St. Louis, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri. The decision denies Edison’s motion. On April 21, 1893, Judge Moses Hallett in St. Louis publishes his decision, which differs from New York and Boston, and the following reasoning: Due to additional affidavits of new witnesses submitted by the defense, there is a change in the evidence for the court compared to Boston and increased doubts about the arguments of the petitioners. It is sufficient for Judge Hallett to have doubts about the claim (without making a decision in the disputed matter that would have come to a main hearing). Doubts are sufficient to deny an application for a preliminary injunction and to hand it over to a main hearing, while the applicant has to present his case beyond doubt. Instead of deciding the evidence on patent infringement, Judge Hallett refers to doubts that the patent was rightly granted to Edison in 1880. Judge Hallett states that this in no way recognizes or even adjudicates the claims of the Goebel Defense, but that new testimony nourishes doubt requires to be tried: „A defense that puts the case in doubt is sufficient to defeat the motion.“ … „Certainty can only be achieved at a trial where witnesses appear in person and are cross-examined.“ Judge Hallett’s dissent ignores the fact that the scope and validity of Edison’s patent claim had been resolved in extremely extensive investigations and negotiations, temporally, pecuniarily and factually, and that the sole issue here was one of infringement, which has not been disputed by the defendant. Judge Hallett states that plaintiffs‘ proffered argument that a Goebel performance of the type described is impossible is obviously nonsensical and not on target, „even though many Goebel opinions show them to be untrue.“ Hallett also ignores the decision of Colt in Boston, which found, acknowledged, and reasoned that the Goebel arguments in the Goebel Defense were not only unproven, but even under a hypothetical assumption that the Goebel position was proven, the Goebel performance was clearly qualitatively inferior to the Edison patent according to Edison’s patent reach. At the heart of the Goebel Defense was the question of whether Goebel had a bamboo charcoal thread of the claimed quality prior to Edison. The finding in the alleged Goebel proof lamps did not have that quality at all. It thus fell to Judge Hallett to argue before the patent trial of 1885, so that to the eye is revealed a play for time through proceedings to Edison’s disadvantage and to the advantage of the infringers. The Goebel Defense remained factually unsettled in this decision. This is because the Goebel issue had not been addressed at all in this proceeding, Edison et al. vs Columbia. At stake was that the entire Edison patent infringing lamp industry, upon rejection of the application, became free to market unlicensed Edison lamps, particularly because an appeal or further proceedings could not have been completed within the expiring patent term, at the end of 1894. Thus, the litigation goal of patent protection for General Electric&Edison was no longer achievable due to time constraints. Insofar as Judge Hallett stated in his reasons for the ruling that – given the state of the evidence and the legal situation – he would not have reached this verdict in a main hearing, the decision is, as a consequence for the lamp industry, an anti-competitive savagery. From a legal point of view, Hallett’s judgement is an uncertainty of the applicable law. Because in the protracted negotiations Doubts are sufficient to deny an application for a preliminary injunction and to remit it to a main hearing, while the applicant has to present evidence beyond reasonable doubt. Instead of deciding the evidence on patent infringement, Judge Hallett refers to doubts that the patent was rightly granted to Edison in 1880. Judge Hallett states that this in no way recognizes or even adjudicates the claims of the Goebel Defense, but that new testimony nourishes doubt requires to be tried: „A defense that puts the case in doubt is sufficient to defeat the motion.“ … „Certainty can only be achieved at a trial where witnesses appear in person and are cross-examined.“ Judge Hallett’s dissent ignores the fact that the scope and validity of Edison’s patent claim had been resolved in extremely extensive investigations and negotiations, temporally, pecuniarily and factually, and that the sole issue here was one of infringement, which has not been disputed by the defendant. Judge Hallett states that plaintiffs‘ proffered argument that a Goebel performance of the type described is impossible is obviously nonsensical and not on target, „even though many Goebel opinions show them to be untrue.“ Hallett also ignores the decision of Colt in Boston, which found, acknowledged, and reasoned that the Goebel arguments in the Goebel Defense were not only unproven, but even under a hypothetical assumption that the Goebel position was proven, the Goebel performance was clearly qualitatively inferior to the Edison patent according to Edison’s patent reach. At the heart of the Goebel Defense was the question of whether Goebel had a bamboo charcoal thread of the claimed quality prior to Edison. The finding in the alleged Goebel proof lamps did not have that quality at all. It thus fell to Judge Hallett to argue before the patent trial of 1885, so that to the eye is revealed a play for time through proceedings to Edison’s disadvantage and to the advantage of the infringers. The Goebel Defense remained factually unsettled in this decision. This is because the Goebel issue had not been addressed at all in this proceeding, Edison et al. vs Columbia. At stake was that the entire Edison patent infringing lamp industry, upon rejection of the application, became free to market unlicensed Edison lamps, particularly because an appeal or further proceedings could not have been completed within the expiring patent term, at the end of 1894. Thus, the litigation goal of patent protection for General Electric&Edison was no longer achievable due to time constraints. Insofar as Judge Hallett stated in his reasons for the ruling that – given the state of the evidence and the legal situation – he would not have reached this verdict in a main hearing, the decision is, as a consequence for the lamp industry, an anti-competitive savagery. From a legal point of view, Hallett’s judgement is an uncertainty of the applicable law. In the lengthy proceedings Edison et al. vs. United States et al in New York, Judge Wallace had found that the individual components of the patent lamp had been known since 1845; Edison’s practical character was decisive. Goebel did not know this at all – but the alleged Goebel proof lamps certainly did not have these qualities either. For all patent infringers already successfully prosecuted by Edison, this provided new evidence, with the prospect of a retrial.

Edison affirmed by Judge William H. Seaman on July 20, 1893.

– Motion in January 1893 for preliminary injunction by Edison et al. vs Electrical Manufacturing Company, Oconto, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, opened May 16, 1893, in Chicago, stayed and reopened July 3, 1893, in Milwaukee. Decision affirms petitioner Edison on July 20, 1893, by Judge William H. Seaman. (Side effect: Goebel Defense is reviewed and denied). Reason: This is the most remarkably comprehensive and thorough judicial clarification ever in the history of such litigation in patent matters. Judge Seaman argues the decision, as did Judge Colt in Boston.

Judge Seaman judges the core of the Goebel Defense to be „ex parte“ (not in the context of effect/not part of the issue). Goebel himself had stated that he had made lamps according to the knowledge of Professor Munchausen of Springer, but had not collaborated in the general step-by-step development of incandescent lamps or thought so.

There was no reason for bamboo filament in Goebel’s alleged battery operation, as the known incandescent carbons were more suitable, easier to manufacture and more durable. On the other hand, the patented Edison bamboo carbon filaments would have required a perfect manufacturing technique and a high vacuum, which the lamps presented for Goebel did not have, and he with his alleged home-made primary wet batteries it was not technically possible either.

Finally, new affidavits were submitted by the plaintiff, in which the main witness for Henry Goebel Sr. the son Henry Goebel Jr. as well as other former colleagues of Goebel’s at the American Electric Light Comp. of the time between 1881 and 1883, now stated and testified that not Goebel but they had made the lamps in question in the time after 1882 or in the year 1892. These testimonies were eventually invalidated in mutual bribery allegations by the parties, in that it came out that Henry Goebel Jr. had initially worked for the defendant side and the attorneys Witter&Kenyon as a paid consultant and witness tug. Goebel’s trip from New York to Boston, to the lamp replica demonstration in February 1893 was arranged, paid for and controlled by Witter&Kenyon. At last, towards the end of the trial, the plaintiff side was able to produce opposing affidavits Henry Goebel jrs; who had last changed sides. It was noted that Henry Goebel Jr. had tried several times on his own account to testify to alleged knowledge of this dispute in exchange for payment.

The court further found Goebel’s Srs. Credibility unconvincing, in that it could not be reasoned why he had not communicated the claimed achievement for real time – while living and working in the midst of the incandescent lamp development scene In New York – and why he had not applied for a patent for it, while he had brought an incidental sewing machine part under his own patent in 1865. Even if one would have accepted the alleged Edison participation as factual truth to the Goebel question as true, thus to believe a light bulb production of Goebel in the year 1854, only the long since published light bulb developments of the Englishman De Moleyns, in the year 1841, the light bulbs of the Us-Americans Starr and King from the year 1845 and those of the US-American Roberts from the year 1852 would have been reached technically-qualitatively. (Copies in the asz-archiv: EW Vol. XXI. No. 8 p.142 of February 25, 1893).

The alleged Goebel proof lamps presented in 1893 Exp. No, 1, 2 and 3 lacked both novelty of the individual elements and the fact that none of the alleged Goebel lamps was functional at all, compared to the contested Edison quality. The series of replica lamps manufactured in March 1893 with Goebel’s participation at Beacon in Boston had some of the sought-after element combination (platinum/bamboo carbon filament/Torricelli vacuum), but not the durability and longevity of the incandescent elements. The 1893 replica carbon filaments were also made at Beacon with new tooling. While the supposedly old Goebel tools really dated from 1883, as sworn to by the toolmaker in 1893 who had built them for the American in 1883. (Copy asz-archiv: op. cit.). Until then, since September 1881, Goebel had cut the bamboo wood fibers free hand with a knife – which did not yield suitable precision (copies in asz-archiv: EW Vol. XXII. No.8, p.46 of July 15, 1893). It is thus unquestionable that the allegedly old proof lamps, which have at least the components of the Edison lamps, were created only during Goebel’s American Electric Light collaboration in 1883. Finally, that American Electric Light Company glassblower, Heger, also swore by written affidavit that he made these very lamps with his own hand after 1882 and that Goebel was incapable of such perfect glasswork. Similarly, Goebel’s son William Goebel testifies in the records of cross-examination when he says, „Father was a botcher.“ (asz-archiv: op. cit.)

Edison, in his testimony, declared it an impossibility that Goebel, who had really clumsily worked glass tubes, such as Exp. 1, 2 and 3 presented to the Boston court as home-made, had spent half his business life (and allegedly earlier in Germany for the Technische Hochschule laboratory glass) selling over hundreds of home-made barometers.

Goebel was at liberty to specifically follow the publication of the Edison patents (extensively reported in 1880 also in the German-language „Staats Zeitung“), to bring claims of proof and priority to the discussion or to file a suit against Edison, according to the situation. The lamps brought in 1893 Exp. No, 4, and 11 would have been worth recognition and money in 1880 – only Goebel could not present such lamps at that time despite having received payments – from Dreyer and from Arnoux&Hochhausen (loc. cit.).

Judge James G. Jenkins confirms the preliminary injunction on May 9, 1894.

– Appeal filed immediately after decision on July 20, 1893 by Electrical Manufacturing Company, Oconto, Wisconsin vs. Edison et al,against preliminary injunction in Edison et al. vs Electrical Manufacturing Company, Oconto,/Judge Seaman in United States District Court at Milwaukee, admitted to United States Court of Appeals at Chicago. Judge James G. Jenkins upheld Judge Seaman’s preliminary injunction against the petitioner Electrical Manufacturing Company, Oconto, on May 9, 1894. Reason: All arguments and evidence had already been considered in the previous trials, dragging out the entire patent term (Edison’s patent expired on November 19, 1894). In summary, no new evidence had arisen, which for this very reason could not – already – have caused other decisions in the previous trials.

Regarding 3.), the overall context of Henry Goebel’s appearance in the Edison light bulb court cases was to be determined here for the assessment of the sources. The verification and the interpretation of the contents of the secondary sources are flawless with regard to the Goebel question from a source-critical point of view. Because the important arguments that led to the verdicts can be read in several versions of competing journals, in archives all over the world (e.g. library of the Leibniz University Hannover; city library Springe; city archive Springe; museum archive Springe, asz-archiv and others). While the judgments themselves are preserved as primary sources in the relevant court archives as well as at the Electrical History Institute of MIT, Boston, and are available to the scientific community. So Goebel Sr. appeared at the law firm Witter&Kenyon on the side of the Beacon Pump Company, Boston (copies in the asz-archiv: div. issues EW; ER; EE; ETZ from 1893 and 1894) in January 1893, with affidavits and construction drawings and as a lamp rebuilder at Beacon in Boston, on the plan of Edison’s last patent year. Goebel was unable to produce his own lamps. He also did not own a single photograph of a homemade lamp or battery, although there are various family photographs, with store, telescope and horse-drawn wagon, to date there is not a single lamp photograph that would have been taken prior to Edison’s patent year of 1879. Goebel had worked in New York his entire life, since immigrating in 1849. He was a contemporary witness to the electrification of New York. He claimed knowledge and interest in arc lamps (carbon arc), in electric batteries, in electric motors, in wires and conductors, in Torricelli’s evacuation and glass blowing craft, in sealing and coking, etc. However, he allegedly took no notice of Edison’s incandescent lamp publications and patents in 1879 and therefore did not publicly claim his own at that time. Goebel did so only after he had become active in lamp manufacturing for American Light. Furthermore, for the significance of the verdicts of the year 1893 and 1894, it is still noteworthy that the manifold gainful activities of the Goebel family included that – according to the evidence – especially by the sons Charles, Adolph and Henry jr. at lamp companies in New York, all of them unlicensed Edison patents. Finally, the main witness for Henry Goebel’s self testimony, Goebel’s son Henry Goebel Jr. is revealed as a briber and bribe-taker in court in Oconto. His gainful entry into the law firm of Witter&Kenyon, as it were as a consultant, tug and corrupter of witnesses, in the fall of 1892 (copies in the asz-archiv: EW Vol. XXII. No. 8. of July 1893 p.35 u. p. 45-50), who further allegedly presented old, non-functional proof lamps and recruited witnesses from Goebel’s relatives and acquaintances for Witter&Kenyon. This cannot lead the litigants to cross-examine Henry Jr. as a witness (asz-archiv: EW loc. cit.). However, these were precisely not civil or prosecutorial court proceedings, but motions for preliminary injunction, for patent infringement, not for fraud. With the son Henry Goebel Jr. as a disqualified key witness, the Goebel Defense was factually without any chance of success for the defense. On the contrary, false testimony and contradictions of old Goebel alone now stood against testimony of numerous lay witnesses from his own circle of relatives and acquaintances (copy in asz-archiv from the National Archives and Records, Group 21, printed case files of the Court of Equity no. 3096 Boston: affidavit of Henry Goebel, January 21, 1893, 21 pp.: e.g., Munchausen; oil lamps instead of incandescent lamps; dating errors for evacuation of alleged proof lamps; mercury purification and deposits on copper wires, etc.).

It is this first affidavit of January 21, 1893 Goebel’s source-critical for the evaluation of all Witter&Kenyon texts typically problematic. Here, from the point of view of the expert on this source (original text in copy) until the expert opinion „Munich Criticism 2006“, the source criticism has not discovered the following problem. According to the source, the US-American Goebel gave his affidavit allegedly in German. This happened in the rooms of the law firm Witter&Kenyon (defenders against Edison). A lawyer acted in an official role (notary) and swore in the witnesses. Also allegedly present was a translator. Immediately following Goebel’s oral statement, which was recorded in writing, the statement was translated into U.S. American, then signed and notarized by the witness and the notary. This US-American text, sworn by Goebel, is submitted to the district court in Boston, a personal examination of Goebel as a witness or a cross-examination are not carried out. Then the German text of Goebel says: „…I also made a good number of physical instruments under the general direction of this Professor Munchhausen, mostly for teachers of the School of Technology in Hanover and for Professor Munchhausen and others. We made a large number of experiments on electric lamps, were familiar with the electric arc and its behavior, and made the same frequently. Münchhausen was a very witty man and often stayed in my study for long periods of time. …“. This Goebel text is quoted by the reviewer Pope according to the certified Us-American translation in the Electrical Engineer, who stated that -according to the state of the evidence- and thus: „to repair philosophical apparatus for the instructors in the Technological School of Hannover, he soon became much interested in physical research, in which he was encouraged by one Professor Mönighausen, a tutor in a neighboring wealthy family, for whom he made various pieces of apparatus, and who was accustomed to spend a great deal of his leisure time in Goebel’s little store…“ (Copy in asz-archiv: Electrical Engineer, New York. Vol. XV. No 247, p. 78, dated January 25, 1893). Just as the suggestive family name „Münchhausen“ becomes the name „Mönighausen“, which does not exist at all in the German language, the sensational news of a famous German already appears in ETZ Heftor in Springer“, especially since the lamp knowledge of that time was unknown in Hannover, also in the forerunner of the Technical University. 7, p. 89f of February 17, 1893: „… Goebel, stimulated by Prof. Mönighausen from Hanover, made experiments in this regard…. “ and already „Mönighausen in Hannover“ in the Neue Deister Zeitung Springe, 19th volume, of February 14, 1893, where still living contemporaries of Heinrich Goebel would have been very surprised about „Professor Mönighausen from Springer or in Springer“, especially since the lamp knowledge of that time was unknown in Hannover, also in the forerunner of the Technical University.

Quite funny are then language flowers, like the hometown Springe at the Deister named as Springer, the family name Göbel or Goebel as Gobel and – quite unbelievable – Goebel’s German announcement Angelrute, in the back translation as Fischerstange.

Copyright: Cologne, March 1, 2021 Dr. phil. Dietmar Moews, Dipl. Ing. dito translation


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