A) Upton Sinclair was born in 1878 in Maryland. He was a novelist who worked to expose social injustices in his writing. He was able to write amazing novels due to his schooling (went to University of Columbia) and his childhood (lived on edge of poverty, but saw wealthy life through relatives). B) His writing connects to our unit because he wrote an extremely well known novel called "The Jungle". This novel exposed the disgusting reality of working life in meat factories and slaughterhouses, and the unhealthy expired/poisoned meats being sold. This lead to the meat inspection act being passed. C) I wonder if Upton Sinclair would ever buy meat from these places, or if even after the act was passed he wouldn't buy meat because he didn't want to support them. D) Something interesting to me is that "The Jungle" was first rejected by many publishers. That is crazy to me because it became a huge hit and is still extremely influential today. Overall, Sinclair's amazing writing greatly impacted society in the first half of the 20th century.
A) Henry Ford was an American automaker born in 1863 in Dearborn, Michigan. Growing up, Ford worked on a family farm as well as traveling to Detroit to work as a machinist and work on steam engines. Once married, Ford worked at Edison Illuminating Company in Detroit and he was quickly promoted to chief engineer. Using all of these skills from his many technical jobs, Ford was able to create the quadricycle (early type of car). After that, he created the Model t and Ford Motor Company. Not only is he super famous for created some of the first cars, but he is also known for his incredibly efficient way of creating them, the assembly line. In this way of doing things, he would have tons of workers each doing one small part of building a car. When a worker did their part such as putting on a wheel, the car would then go on to the next person who would do their part and this would be repeated many times. D) Something really interesting to me is that with this extremely efficient way of making cars, Ford Motor Company was eventually able to produce one Model t every 24 seconds. B) This connects to our unit because it helped make transportation easier in a struggling country, offered many jobs to struggling families, and gave businesses all over a new way of efficiently making items through an assembly line. C) I wonder if Henry Ford ever thought that still in 2018 his car company would be one of the most successful car companies in the world creating many cool new models every year.
A) Thomas Edison was an American inventor born in Milan, Ohio on February 11th, 1847. After being home schooled, Edison worked on the railroads. One day while working, he saved a 3 year old boy from being ran over by a train. To thank Edison, the child's father taught Edison how to operate a telegraph. From then on, Edison was able to use this knowledge and past knowledge to become one of the most famous inventors. With over 1,000 inventions patented, Edison is most famous for inventing the first commercially practical incandescent electric light bulb and the phonograph. B) This connects to our unit because in the early 1900's, our country wasn't doing well, but with inventions like these, Edison was able to make a positive impact on our country. D) Something really interesting about Thomas Edison is that he was nearly deaf from growing up with scarlet fever, ear infections, and having a train incident. C) I am still very curious to know more about the over 1,000 inventions that he made. I wish I could sit down with him and ask him what inspired him to make them all.