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Short Stories of Science and Invention

A Collection of Radio Talks by
Charles F. Kettering

INDEX

Weekly, from September 1942 to July 1945, Charles F. Kettering gave five-minute intermission talks about Science and Invention during the radio broadcasts of the General Motors Symphony of the Air.

Kettering invented the first automobile self-starter, and for 31 years directed a research laboratory for General Motors.

These radio talks are a fascinating legacy from the mind of a prolific inventor. The obvious anachronisms now add a historical perspective of the war-time period in which they were written.

These web pages now preserve some of the most popular stories for a new generation to read The text and art come from a General Motors booklet of selected talks. (Reprint, March 1959)

6. Hand and Mind
A Radio Talk by Charles F. Kettering

     When the war came, our armed forces and industry were faced with a colossal training problem. For this was a technological war, involving thousands of different kinds of intricate me­chanisms, requiring a knowledge of their construction, opera­tion and maintenance. Our enemies had been instructing their men in the construction and use of these devices for many years. We had only months to do our job and we must do it better. For a long time, Herman Schneiderin­dustry had been working on special training methods, using the coop­erative system of education. As an example, we have a large school, known as the General Motors Insti­tute of Technology, where the stu­dents work half time and go to school the other half. This system was first used by Dean Herman Schneider in the Engineering School of the University of Cincinnati years ago. Many schools are now applying this system to all types of courses.

Home     I have always considered this co­operative system of Dean Schneider's as really an invention. To appreciate the importance of his work, we must go back to the beginning of our edu­cational system. In the early days, in this country, industry was in the home - each household was almost a complete industrial organization. It raised its own food, made its own clothing, depended on the horse for its limit­ed transportation.


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