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American Ingenuity

Published: October 22, 2009

Your September/October issue was truly delightful. I read every word (except the article on fishing!) during the first two days after I received it. The article “American Ingenuity” is especially delightful. The picture of Henry Ford whispering in the ear of Thomas Edison is truly a classic. I just sit and look at that picture with a smile on my face. Whoever managed to click the camera at this precise moment must have been another genius.

“Profiles in Creativity” by Elizabeth Svoboda presented a wealth of information. There are so many truly creative Americans that it makes me proud to be a fellow citizen.

“Twelve Innovations That Changed Our World” by Jeff Nilsson (and illustrations by Britt Spencer) was fascinating from beginning to end, but when I reached the sentence near the end concerning “The American Voice” and read the sentence “dancing at the Zuni pueblo,” I could hardly contain myself. I grew up in the Zuni pueblo — their drumbeats were my lullaby. Not to mention the wonderful poem by Charles Osgood — such a special man! I could go on and on, but just suffice it to say “thanks” for a wonderful experience.


Your feature “Twelve Innovations That Changed Our World” was very interesting and informative. However, I believe there should have been 13 innovations. Between 1800 and 1920, the U.S. and other emerging nations relied on the steam engine for the Industrial Revolution. The steam engine was the workhorse for power plants, transportation, agriculture, and mining.


I enjoyed “American Ingenuity” by Frederick E. Allen in the September/October issue. However, I believe Mr. Allen left out one crucial ingredient for inventors in America — the freedom to invent. Freedom to dream and invent has produced the greatest nation on earth, past or present.


Just received the September/October issue featuring “American Ingenuity.” Impressive! I have strongly suggested to my great-granddaughter (a high school senior) that she read this as part of her homework, keeping in mind that these innovations were the result of our educational system, past and present. Unfortunately, it seems that this same system is under attack from all sides as being “lousy” or worse, and compared unfairly in many ways to other nations, some of which have not contributed as much or as diversely. These negative notions cloud our students’ impressions of our educational system, which like democracy, may not be superior in all ways but is the best there is! Appreciate the great effort and always look forward to the new issues.


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