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“Short Stories of Science and Invention,” by Charles Franklin Kettering, General Motors. This 128-page paperback is a collection of essays read on radio programs. Most are two to three pages long and tell the history of an inventor or invention. Many are from the years of World War II. Topics include subjects like the Wright Brothers, Charles Goodyear, the atomic bomb, submarines, the helicopter, radar, plastics, the assembly line, interchangeable parts, the telegraph, the Panama Canal, balloon tires, and leaded gasoline. Some topics are little known such as the synthesis of quinine by Dr. Robert Woodward or the invention of aniline dyes.

Kettering is best known as the head of General Motors Research Department, but early on he founded Dayton Electric Company, later Delco, where he invented the electric starter for automobiles and led the discovery of leaded gasoline.

The essays are good reading. They emphasize attitudes needed to succeed at invention. The essays are quick reading but are a useful introduction to those interested in science and invention. Index.
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