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Short Stories of Science and Invention

A Collection of Radio Talks by
Charles F. Kettering


13.  Orukter Amphibolos

Oliver Evans      He was also much interested in steam. One day he came across a book describing Newcomen's steam engine which had been developed in England. Newcomen used atmospheric pressure to do the work steam was condensed to produce a vacuum under the piston. Evans however, thought the steam should be used directly. Obsessed with this idea, he designed and built a high pressure engine. Newcomen was interested only in pumping water, but Evans visualized steam power being used to do all sorts of work.

     By 1803 he seriously entered the steam engine business, and one of his first jobs was to build a steam dredge ordered by the city of Philadelphia. This was the amphibious vehicle which he demonstrated and described in 1804. Unfortunately Evans was ahead of his time as far as a market was concerned for he found the building and selling of steam engines full of disappointments and financial reverses. A fire destroyed his factory in 1819 and ended his active work, but his contributions along with thousands of others have made this country a great industrial nation.

     Evans lived in the days when America was still largely undeveloped. The frontier then was a definite, physical thing to be overcome by whatever tools were available.


- 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

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