Saturday, January 28, 2017

Buckeye Brothers

While I was driving today, for some reason my mind wandered to history and biography here in the Buckeye State, Ohio.  Ohio has produced many famous men (and a few famous women), ranging from soldiers and statesmen to inventors and explorers.  In several cases, the famous men have come in sets of at least two.  Here are the examples that came to mind just while I was driving.

William Tecumseh Sherman was an officer in the United States Army famous for his service as a general during the Civil War, and for command of the Army during portions of the Indian Wars.  He is well known for his "March to the Sea" and for his statement that "War is Hell." His brother John was a statesman and politician who served in Congress and at various times as Secretary of the Treasury and Secretary of State.  He is perhaps best known for the Sherman Anti-Trust Act, and early piece of anti-monopoly legislation.  The Sherman tank was named for William.

Aviation pioneers Orville and Wilbur hailed from Dayton, Ohio, and did much of their experimental work there.  Alas, they took their first powered flight in North Carolina.  I think they are famous enough that I shall not describe them further.

Powel Crosley, Junior and his brother Lewis were inventors and businessmen involved with automobiles, radios, radio broadcasting, and baseball.  They hailed from College Hill, originally an independent suburb northwest of Cincinnati, but since incorporated into the City of Cincinnati.  For years, the Cincinnati Reds played baseball at Crosley Field.  Lewis served as an engineer officer in the Army during WWI.  The Crosley's produced the VT (variable time) fuses for anti-aircraft use in Cincinnati at the same plant that had produced consumer radios before the war.

Oris and Mantis van Swearingen were business men from the Cleveland area.  They were heavily involved real estate and electric traction (trolley lines and rapid transit) in Cleveland, and later with railroads generally.  The Terminal Tower on the Cleveland Public Square, the city of Shaker Heights, and the rapid transit line that connects them are some of their signature accomplishments that can still be seen today.

Nature or nurture, or both?  Who knows?  I just thought it somewhat interesting.

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