Dr Elmer Gates process of sitting for ideas is detailed in Napoleon Hill's book Think and Grow Rich. Companies used to pay Dr Gates to sit for solutions to their problems.
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Elmer R. Gates (1859 – 1923), the son of Jacob and Phoebe Goetz, American scientist and inventor; born near Dayton, Ohio, died in Washington DC.
Gates’s inventions include the foam fire extinguisher, an improved electric iron, an aseptic brewing and fermenting process, electric loom mechanisms, diamagnetic and magnetic separators for extracting gold from sand, an incandescent gas mantle furnace, the educational toy “Box and Block,” and numerous other mechanical, scientific, psychological, and educational devices.
At the turn of the 20th century the Elmer Gates Laboratory in Chevy Chase, MD was the largest private laboratory in the United States.
Although a prolific inventor, Gates considered himself to be a psychologist. He applied scientific experiment to introspection and used invention to examine the processes by which the mind discovers new knowledge. This study led him to “psychotaxis,” the integrated hierarchy of sensory discriminations required to create a valid and complete mental representation of a given part of the physical world. Psychotaxis is a major component of “psychurgy,” Gates's art of mind-using, which he regarded as an improved scientific method.
Dr. Gates and his system of generating ideas was mentioned in Napoleon Hill's popular book Think and Grow Rich. A rough description of the process is outlined in the "Developing Your Creative Imagination" section of Chapter 12.
The late Dr Elmer Gates, of Chevy Chase, Maryland, created more than 200 useful patents, many of them basic, through the process of cultivating and using the creative faculty. His method is both significant and interesting to one interested in attaining to the status of genius, in which category Dr. Gates, unquestionably belonged. Dr. Gates was one of the really great, though less publicized scientists of the world.
In his laboratory, he had what he called his "personal communication room." It was practically sound proof, and so arranged that all light could be shut out. It was equipped with a small table, on which he kept a pad of writing paper. In front of the table, on the wall, was an electric pushbutton, which controlled the lights. When Dr. Gates desired to draw upon the forces available to him through his Creative Imagination, he would go into this room, seat himself at the table, shut off the lights, and CONCENTRATE upon the KNOWN factors of the invention on which he was working, remaining in that position until ideas began to "flash" into his mind in connection with the UNKNOWN factors of the invention.
On one occasion, ideas came through so fast that he was forced to write for almost three hours. When the thoughts stopped flowing, and he examined his notes, he found they contained a minute description of principles which had not a parallel among the known data of the scientific world.
Moreover, the answer to his problem was intelligently presented in those notes. In this manner Dr. Gates completed over 200 patents, which had been begun, but not completed, by "half-baked" brains. Evidence of the truth of this statement is in the United States Patent Office.
Dr Elmer Gates earned his living by "sitting for ideas" for individuals and corporations. Some of the largest corporations in America paid him substantial fees, by the hour, for "sitting for ideas."