The Jewish holiday of Hanukkah celebrates the victory of the few and the weak over the mighty and the strong. Legends and stories surround the holiday’s origins, whose name means “dedication” in Hebrew.
For centuries, Hanukkah was a modest occasion, a minor holiday. Jewish law and custom only required the lighting of candles for eight nights, with one candle to be used as the shamash (“guard” or “servant” in Hebrew) to light the others. The lighted candles were to be kept by a window where they could be seen by passers-by. In Eastern Europe, the celebration included eating latkes (potato pancakes), distributing small amounts of Hanukkah gelt (coins) to children, playing games with a dreidel (a spinning top), and playing cards.
In the 1920s, following his success with the Model T, Henry Ford increasingly turned his attention to transforming farming—the life he sought to escape as a boy. He focused on finding new products and new markets for agriculture. (The charcoal briquette was an early result of this effort, made from surplus wood scrap.)
In 1928, Ford started the Chemical Lab (the building in Greenfield Village now known as the Soybean Lab), and asked Robert Boyer, a student at the Ford Trade School to run it. Ford told Boyer to select good students from the Trade School to staff the Lab. Ford then set them to experimenting with all manner of agricultural produce, from cantaloupes to rutabagas.
After a sultry summer, all of a sudden the air turns chilly and crisp. The sunlight is somehow brighter and more intense. The days get shorter. The leaves start turning their riotous colors. When I was growing up, this was the time my brothers would stash away their baseball gloves and start tossing around the football.
Football Season had arrived.
American football got its start as a college sport. In fact, virtually all the rules, playing strategies, player equipment, and methods of scoring that today we consider part of American football evolved during its early college years.
American football probably originated in England and it came to this country in two separate versions. The first version, which involved more kicking, eventually became the game we know as soccer. The second version, which involved more carrying and running with the ball, was akin to the British game of rugby.
How would you like to live in a round house built of aluminum, steel, and plastic, suspended on a mast like a giant umbrella, with built-in closets and shelves and a bathroom the size of an airplane toilet?
R. Buckminster Fuller thought this house, which he called the Dymaxion House, was just what the American public wanted. Fuller, an engineer, philosopher and innovative designer, conceived the house in 1927 and partnered with the Beech Aircraft Corporation in Wichita, Kansas, to produce prototypes in 1945. Although Fuller designed his house so that it could be mass-produced, only one was ever built and lived in.
For many of us, the music of our youth holds special meaning. It was no different for successful industrialist Henry Ford (1863-1947).
Country fiddlers had provided the lively music for the rural dances of Henry Ford’s youth during the 1870s and 1880s. Ford loved the sound of a violin, even purchasing an inexpensive fiddle as a young man and teaching himself to play a bit.
In the mid-1920s, Ford—then in his early sixties—sought out this beloved instrument that had provided the “sound track” for Ford’s young adulthood in rural Michigan.
This week on “The Henry Ford’s Innovation Nation” you’ll learn about Rosa Parks and the Rosa Parks Bus. Want to learn more about Rosa Parks and the Civil Rights Movement? Take a look below.
By the end of the 19th century technological miracles were commonplace. Railroad trains routinely traveled a-mile-a-minute. Electric lights could turn night into day. Voices traveled over wires. Pictures could be set into motion. Lighter-than-air balloons and dirigibles even offered access to the sky. But the age-old dream of flying with wings like birds still seemed like a fantasy. In a simple bicycle shop now located in Greenfield Village, two brothers from Dayton, Ohio, turned the fantasy of heavier-than-air flight into reality.