The Launch of Apollo 11 (from The Dream of spaceflight)

Poised on the launch pad and towering thirty-six stories against the stars, the Apollo-Saturn rocket seemed unearthly in the wash of floodlight, glowing icy silver-white, like the moon above it.  A half-million pilgrims had made their way to the mosquitoed marshlands of Florida's Merritt Island, … [Read more...]

The Bomb

Leo Szilard had a dream.  As a boy in Budapest, reading H.G. Wells’ novel about a nuclear war that destroys most of Europe’s cities, he concluded that the world should be governed by a group of gifted scientists.  He envisioned the development of atomic energy as both a limitless power source and a … [Read more...]

Thomas Edison in American Mythology

A story has come down concerning one of the famous camping trips which Thomas Edison took with Henry Ford, Harvey Firestone, and the naturalist, John Burroughs, in the hills of West Virginia shortly after the First World War.  A village mechanic was inspecting the motor of their ailing car when a … [Read more...]