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Short Stories of Science and Invention

A Collection of Radio Talks by
Charles F. Kettering


1.  The Intangible in Human Progress

Radio parts     Suppose, in our imagination, we take this radio apart. Suppose we take all the pieces out of the wooden box we call a cabinet. Now, you could call in a good cabinetmaker and say, "Jim, can you make a cabinet like that for me?" He'd answer you, "Of course I can. For about five dollars." You could say to another fellow, "How much can you make that pin for?" He might say, "Oh, about a dime."

     Then you look at all the parts on the table. Someone had to make every piece in the set. If you checked only the weight of the material, you'd probably find the radio could be bought for forty or fifty cents a pound. But you can't buy a radio the way you buy a pound of meat. That material isn't all you bought. You bought something else. You bought that intangible something which, when the parts are all put together, makes it work. That something which makes it possible for you to hear the announcer say, "This is London calling."

Michael Faraday     When you bought that radio you bought the combined knowledge and experience of every great electrical scientist from Michael Faraday on down to the present. You also bought the results of endless experiments and the ideas of thousands of inventors.

     That is what is housed in that cabinet along with so many pounds of material - that intangible some-thing which goes into every product - that something which is priceless.


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- 100 -
Sophie Germain
Gertrude Elion
Ernest Rutherford
James Chadwick
Marcel Proust
William Harvey
Johann Goethe
John Keynes
Carl Gauss
Paul Feyerabend
- 90 -
Antoine Lavoisier
Lise Meitner
Charles Babbage
Ibn Khaldun
Ralph Emerson
Robert Bunsen
Frederick Banting
Andre Ampere
Winston Churchill
- 80 -
John Locke
Bronislaw Malinowski
Thomas Huxley
Alessandro Volta
Erwin Schrodinger
Wilhelm Roentgen
Louis Pasteur
Bertrand Russell
Jean Lamarck
- 70 -
Samuel Morse
John Wheeler
Nicolaus Copernicus
Robert Fulton
Pierre Laplace
Humphry Davy
Thomas Edison
Lord Kelvin
Theodore Roosevelt
Carolus Linnaeus
- 60 -
Francis Galton
Linus Pauling
Immanuel Kant
Martin Fischer
Robert Boyle
Karl Popper
Paul Dirac
James Watson
William Shakespeare
- 50 -
Stephen Hawking
Niels Bohr
Nikola Tesla
Rachel Carson
Max Planck
Henry Adams
Richard Dawkins
Werner Heisenberg
Alfred Wegener
John Dalton
- 40 -
Pierre Fermat
Edward Wilson
Johannes Kepler
Gustave Eiffel
Giordano Bruno
JJ Thomson
Thomas Kuhn
Leonardo DaVinci
David Hume
- 30 -
Andreas Vesalius
Rudolf Virchow
Richard Feynman
James Hutton
Alexander Fleming
Emile Durkheim
Benjamin Franklin
Robert Oppenheimer
Robert Hooke
Charles Kettering
- 20 -
Carl Sagan
James Maxwell
Marie Curie
Rene Descartes
Francis Crick
Michael Faraday
Srinivasa Ramanujan
Francis Bacon
Galileo Galilei
- 10 -
John Watson
Rosalind Franklin
Michio Kaku
Isaac Asimov
Charles Darwin
Sigmund Freud
Albert Einstein
Florence Nightingale
Isaac Newton

by Ian Ellis
who invites your feedback
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