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Short Stories of Science and Invention

A Collection of Radio Talks by
Charles F. Kettering


13.  Orukter Amphibolos
Amphibolos      However, just 140 years before the people of Philadelphia had gathered along the same street and river to witness a demonstration of inventor Oliver Evans' strange vehicle which he called the Orukter Amphibolos or Amphibious Digger. Here is his own description of the event. "To show that both steam carriages and steamboats were practicable, I first put wheels to the boat and propelled it by the engine a mile and a half up Market Street and around Center Square to the River Schuylkill. I then fixed a paddle-wheel at the stern and propelled it by the engine down the Schuylkill and up the Delaware sixteen miles leaving all the vessels that were under sail full halfway behind me."

     This was not only a demonstration of the first "Duck" but also an exhibition of the first self-propelled vehicle to be built in this country preceding both the locomotive and steamboat by many years. It sometimes happens that men live in an age that has neither the market or production equipment to take advantage of their advanced ideas. Only after the motor boat and the automotive truck had been highly developed did the amphibious vehicle become a practical mechanism.

     Oliver Evans was one of those unusual persons who at an early age exhibited an exceptional skill and interest in things mechanical. At the age of 22 he developed a machine for making wire teeth used in carding wool. He also invented an automatic flour mill which processed the flour from the grain to the barrel without its being touched by human hands.


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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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