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Fall 1990

Volume 6, Issue 2


A preeminent historian and museum curator looks back at a career devoted to the past of American railroads

The American chemical industry continues to thrive while some high-tech fields struggle. The reasons go back a century and hold many lessons.

Before there could be hardware or software, there had to be a vision of exactly how computers would work. A handful of brilliant mathematicians, chief among them John Von Neumann, saw the future.

It saved what was then America’s leading export industry

He was already pioneering steam navigation, industrial automation, and a precursor to the automobile before the nineteenth century began

For decades Tom Swift was America’s best-known inventor. His secret: He always stayed an uncanny step or two ahead of reality.

In the beginning, steam and electricity seemed much more promising for automobiles. The reasons they died out aren’t as simple as you may think.

We hope you enjoyed this essay.

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