American Inventor Series: Josephine Cochrane, Inventor of the Dishwasher

Josephine Cochrane, born March 8, 1839, was born in Ohio but spent most of her adult life living in Shelbyville, Illinois as the wife of a wealthy politician named William Cochran. Josephine spelled their name with an “e” at the end to give it some extra pizzazz.

Read More

American Inventor Series: The Wright Brothers

How do you tell the story of the brothers who gave mankind the gift of flight? The men who realized ancient man’s distant dream of taking to the sky? It’s a daunting task, but luckily other gifted historians have attempted to tell their story.

Read More

American Inventor Series: Cyrus McCormick, the Man Who Freed America from Famine

Cyrus Hall McCormick was born in 1809 on his father’s rural farm tucked between the Blue Ridge and Allegheny Mountains in an America that was still developing “beyond the struggle for food.”

Read More

American Inventor Series: Margaret E. Knight, the ‘Lady Edison’

Margaret E. Knight, born in York, Maine in 1838, preferred a “jack-knife, a gimlet, and pieces of wood” to dolls as a young girl. Her amateur woodworking skills made her sleds the “envy of the town’s boys” while her kites were famous throughout the community, according to Henry Petroski’s account of the young inventor in The American Scholar.

Read More

American Inventor Series: William H. Miner, Inspiration for Rural Americans

William H. Miner was born during the Civil War and died during the Great Depression. He was orphaned at the age of 10 after the death of his father and his only son died a week after birth. He nonetheless exhibited an “unswerving optimism, iron will, dogged determination, meticulous management, and supreme self-confidence,” according to Miner biographer Joseph C. Burke.

Read More

American Inventor Series: Benjamin Franklin, American Printer

Before anything else, Benjamin Franklin was a printer. It’s difficult to imagine now, but printing was a strenuous trade in Franklin’s time, requiring late hours, heavy lifting of various lead types, and long shifts operating the manual presses. Franklin, however, loved to read, which suited him well in his career as a printer.

Read More

Movies to Watch This Weekend

In 2003, British intelligence specialist Katharine Gun (Keira Knightley) gets a memo from the NSA detailing how Great Britain is helping America gather compromising information of U.N. Security Council members so they will vote in favor of the Iraq War. Trying to avoid seeing a war happen, Gun defies her government and releases the memo to the press.

Read More