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Short Stories of Science and Invention

A Collection of Radio Talks by
Charles F. Kettering


8.  A Veterinarian "Shoes" a Horseless Carriage

     To compare the relative speeds of these two tires, the air disc one and the old solid tire, Dunlop rolled them across his yard. The new air tire went the whole length of the yard and bounced off the wall at the end. The solid tire did not go nearly as far.

     And so from that time on, his son Johnny would have nothing but the new air tires on his tricycle "because he could beat the bigger boys." But Dunlop then did not have the slight­est conception of the automobile. He didn't rate the pneumatic tire as a scientific invention, but only as something to please a small boy.

     In England at that time, bicycle racing had become one of the most popular sports. Everyone was inter­ested in anything that would in­crease the rider's speed. As an ex­periment, Dunlop equipped one of the new "Safety" bicycles with his pneumatic tires, and William Hume, who was not one of the best riders, defeated all the solid-tired competi­tors in his first race. Among the de­feated riders was Harvey DuCros. Arthur DuCros, learning of his brother's defeat, investigated the new tires and had them put on their new "Safety" bicycles. The follow­ing year, he and Harvey won all of the English and French races on their Dunlop tires.

     But people were not exactly convinced, so when news about these revolutionary tires began to travel, the "Irish Cyclist," a trade journal, made these sarcastic comments: "Pneumatic? Something to do with air, isn't it? Quite right, too, we like to see new ideas well ventilated." But Dunlop did not let such criti­cism or the more practical difficulties discourage him. In 1890, through the help of the DuCros, the Pneu­matic Tyre Company was formed and the new tires soon became stand­ard on nearly all English and Ameri­can bicycles.


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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
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