At thirty-three, he was a middle-aged failure. At least, that is what his father thought. He spent all of his spare time working on a cockamamie dream. He had done so for years.
Finally, he finished. He brought the product of his work over to his father’s house. His mother was thrilled. His sisters begged for a ride. His father refused to come out of the house.
Who cared how you got from one place to another! Not only that, what a silly concept—mobilizing yourself?
So the father went back into the house. His son and daughter-in-law got back in the new contraption and transported themselves back home. The trip took one hour and covered ten miles, but they did it themselves. No horses, no donkeys, no oxen. They returned in their automobile.
The year was 1896. In a few years, the son would have a company producing his brand of automobile. A few years after that, he would become one of the most powerful, influential, richest, and most famous men on the planet. He, more than anyone else, would create the middle class in the United States.
One other thing. The son, who was a failure, would make the name of the man most people had never heard of, one of the most recognized names on earth one hundred years running. Anyone know the first name of the father? I don’t, I forgot. But thanks to the son, Henry, I know the father’s last name.