Crossing Paths with Henry and Thomas

As much as I like looking forward to how we can make positive changes to ensure a bright future for our children, I enjoy looking back to see where we’ve been.  This past week, my son, Ben, and I went fishing around Grayling Michigan with some friends.  No fish species will ever become endangered as our lack of fishing instincts keeps them safe.

We fished the North Branch of the Au Sable, a famed Michigan trout stream that was also a favorite of Henry Ford and Thomas Edison.  The NB of the Au Sable near Lovells Michigan is a beautiful river, and certainly provided Henry and Thomas the atmosphere where many ideas can be spawned.

As an employee of Edison’s “Edison Illuminating Company” in Detroit, Henry Ford once received encouraging words from the world famous inventor regarding Henry’s efforts to develop an automobile.  Henry never forgot Edison’s kind words, and as Henry became a giant in the automotive industry, a lifelong friendship developed with fishing and camping as a favorite relief from the grind.

Sustainable living with modern technology was an important goal of both Ford and Edison.  They could see firsthand how the required resources and their associated pollution wastes for the automotive and power generating industries could not be sustained indefinitely.

Henry and Thomas both built homes in Ft Myers Florida for winter vacations.  Thomas Edison built an adjacent laboratory dedicated to the development of bio-materials.  Henry financially supported Edison’s efforts.  Henry was an early advocate of the development of sustainable materials, developing bio-based plastics for automotive parts.  The Ford Focus EV puts these efforts into practice with bio-based foam seat cushions and seat fabrics fabricated from recycled plastic resins.  With continued effort, we will reach the goal of 100% cradle-to-cradle products required for a sustainable future.

During the Sun Catcher’s journey from New York City to Detroit, we are going to cross paths with Thomas Edison, Henry Ford and many others who have played an important part in the development of technologies needed for living a solar powered, sustainable life.  I hope you will find it interesting as we see how the inventions of jello, the ticker tape machine, the telegraph, the first air conditioned building,and my GreatGreatGrandfather in Port Huron Michigan intertwine in a series of historical events…some significant and some not so important….that have impacted our ability to create a sustainable future for our children.