The new book “Dayton’s Children” profiles twenty innovators who changed our lives. The book goes beyond Dayton in profiling 20 innovators who changed our whole world. For over 100 years remarkable, intertwined individuals have reshaped the way we live, from the car keys in our pockets to the water we drink and the air we breathe.
Mark (Martel) illustrated each profile and wrote much of the book, while noted author Mark Bernstein contributed three key chapters. More material came from Yellow Springs journalist Lauren Heaton, inventor John Janning, and 1913 flood survivor Charlie Adams, along with two interviews conducted by Kate Hagenbuch Martel.
Mark Bernstein, author of “Grand Eccentrics,” contributes chapters on Charles Kettering, Arthur Morgan and John H. Patterson. LCD inventor John Janning and 1913 flood survivor Charlie Adams help tell their own tales.
Readers will learn why the Wright brothers’ intense, legalistic style of problem solving was so effective yet so hard to emulate. The gregarious Charles Kettering proved second only to Edison in inventions and first in folksiness. His partner Edward Deeds was the original social networker, who engineered everyone around him. High school dropout John Janning made LCDs real for us, while outsider Elsa Gardner made herself so useful the boys had to admit her to their club. Mary Ann Johnson used aviation history to launch urban renewal while husband Rich developed the precursors to online learning. Neal Loving bootstrapped himself up to the sky despite racism and the loss of both legs.
It’s not all sugar-coated. “Dayton’s Children” takes a balanced look at the epic bad luck of Thomas Midgley, whose two biggest inventions threaten the planet’s atmosphere. Local hero Colonel Deeds’ two brushes with prison can be a shock next to his reputation as the city’s greatest job creator. The book grew out of the website DaytonInnovationLegacy.org which educates students, uncovers local history, restores local pride and inspires today’s innovators wherever they live.
Curt Dalton, favorite local author and historian, says “the book humanizes the larger-than-life men and women from Dayton who helped create the world of today. I really love the fact that you don’t have to have an engineer’s degree to understand and enjoy “Dayton’s Children.” It should be required reading for every high school student in Dayton… and beyond!”
More praise comes from Congressman Mike Turner, aviation photographer Dan Patterson, historian Edward Roach, and Amanda Wright Lane, great-grandniece of the Wright brothers. She notes that, “to say Dayton’s children ‘changed the world’ may be the understatement of the 20th and 21st centuries.”
“Dayton’s Children: The unlikely gang who brought us aviation, ‘The Cash’ and the keys to the road” is available at Carillon Historical Park, Amazon.com and other retailers.