Interest in the Future

Thomas Edison (1847-1931) held 1,093 U.S. patents in his name, including the phonograph, the motion picture camera and the most famous of all – electric light bulb.  Thirty years after his birth, another famous inventor, engineer and businessman came along – Charles Franklin Kettering (1876-1958).  He held 186 patents.  Although he does not have the “household name” familiarity of Thomas Edison, we are benefiting from his efforts.  Even though poor eyesight stymied his progress in grade school, he continued to believe that anything was possible.  His all-electric self-starter engine eliminated the need to crank a car’s engine, a safety feature that is still used in our modern automobiles. Other inventions included the portable lighting system, an engine-driven generator that could provide electrical power for locations (farms etc) far from the electrical power grid, and an incubator for premature infants.

Inventors are a special group of people who see a need before it becomes a necessity.  Perhaps that is what Charles Kettering meant by interest in the future.

The Past Moves On…

My interest is in the future because I am going to spend the rest of my life there. Charles Kettering (August 29, 1876 – November 25, 1958)

4 thoughts on “Interest in the Future

  1. I remember the old cars that had to be cranked. I heard of men who sustained broken arms because the crank would snap back. Even my father received a cut on his hand from cranking our old car. Thanks to Mr. Kettering. His innovation was truly an outstanding safety invention–and his engine generator was used by many farms around Thanks for mentioning him in your blog–it brings honor to his name

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    • Inventors have a different way of problem solving. It seems to me that see the end result before they begin. And they seem to view failure as success. Thomas Edison said: “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

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