Lead: In 1911 Charles Franklin Kettering put the final touches on his DELCO starter, the first automotive self-starter. Later he would call his motivation in problem solving, “intelligent ignorance.”

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: With the advent of the self-starter, the hand-crank became instantly obsolete. Even Henry Ford, whose Model-T was a symbol of stolid similarity, could not resist the constant demands of the public for innovation. For three decades he represented the spirit of invention that transformed the automobile from rich man’s toy to a part of the everyday life in the United States. Aside from Thomas Edison, he was America’s most prolific inventor being largely responsible for an easily applied and fast drying automobile paint, for tetraethyl lead which ended engine knock and made possible high-compression engines, and the first commercially viable diesel locomotive. He believe that the solution to a problem was in the problem itself and that it cried out to be discovered. Beginning with what he called “intelligent ignorance,” a refined form of intellectual curiosity, he would task his team with a problem and they would explore for the solution.

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