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Summer 1996

Volume 12, Issue 1


EVERYONE KNEW THAT LAUGHING GAS and ether made people insensible to pain, yet for decades no one thought of using them in surgery. Then three people at once claimed it was their idea alone.

FORGET ABOUT SANDHOGS, DYNAMITE, and compressed air. With this technology, underwater tunneling is less like digging a mine and more like docking the space shuttle.

ROBERT GODDARD began his career by patenting the basic rocket design that remains in use to this day. He spent the next thirty years trying to make it work.

THE MODEL T TRANSFORMED THE WORLD, BUT IT WAS OUTDATED from the start. And a great many changes that Henry Ford worked on his supposedly changeless car only made matters worse.

… and why the most revered industrial research center of all couldn’t stay on top longer


We hope you enjoyed this essay.

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