Posted 08 June 2007 - 08:11 AM
First, I want to note that I've moved this post from the "Antonios" topic because that topic had already been hijacked into unforeseen byways, partly due to my own posts. This, however, I thought deserves its own topic.
Yes, Trevor, George's book is expensive; however, I'm sure the book (I have not seen it) gives far more bang for the buck than such equally pricey tomes as Fountain Pens of the World. The latter simply shows a lot of eye-candy and offers some generalized text. If you would spend $140. on a single pen then spending $140. on a book that shows you the most basic information on that pen and many of the other pens in your collection is cheap at the price.
As for the information being available without charge elsewhere, I think you're right if you think in very narrow terms. Knowing George and having no inconsiderable experience in this matter, I believe that you would end up spending many hundreds of frustrating hours finding all the patents collected in George's book. Since I'm sure that there are patents for odd accessories and designs in George's book, you will spend a very, very long time discovering all of those patents. Even if you don't value your time very highly, you're going to amortize the cost of the book in time saved about the second or third time that you open it.
Finally, I'm going to speculate here, I expect that any annotation that George has supplied will be thorough and informative. When I began constructing the L&P Patent Database I built in a field for remarks that quickly became the heart of the database. In that field I included a summary of the patent and information that, where appropriate, links each patent to others that are similar or connected in some way. By locating the patent in time, by company and in relation to other patents and companies one can trace the history of the patent, patentee, assignee and others involved with the individual patent. In short, you can get information in our database that isn't readily available elsewhere. I expect that the same would be true of George's book.
So, yes, $140. is a lot of money and a lot more than I can afford at this time. And, yes, access to the L&P Patent Database is nowhere near so expensive. But looked at from the perspective of the information that you'll gather simply by opening George's book, it's a bargain.
I have never made but one prayer to god, a very short one: 'O Lord, make my enemies ridiculous.' And god granted it. - Francois-Marie Arouet de Voltaire, French author, humanist, rationalist, & satirist (1694 - 1778)