We should assure them that people of other eras had numerous and varied skills. They were not as specialized, for they had to do all their own work and repairs. Pioneers had to clear land and build their own cabins; early industrialists like the Lambs and the Youngs had to invent and create new pieces of machinery. Today, teams of inventors or whole companies might develop a new gadget, but Thomas Edison was on his own!
In school, we learned the names of many famous inventors: Marconi with his radio; Edison’s electric light bulb; Alexander Graham Bell and his telephone. We even say that Ford invented the automobile (though it was actually the assembly line that he created.) Things get murkier as we go along. Do you know who invented television or the computer? Sudden inventions, such as those our parents’ generations saw, were phenomenal, news events!
Yes, much has changed in the century and a half since Clinton was established. They’ve been, perhaps, some of the most telling decades in history. Yet, the next 100 years could bring even more stupendous things, as history begins over and over. Modern technology assures that information will explode into a never-ending expansion of new knowledge. Many theorists believe knowledge is doubling every few years now, and that it’s moving faster and faster! -- Even so, there will always be much for us to learn from studying history. Waste not, want not.