Friday, August 17, 2012

Inventors River Walk

Thursday was our last day in Dayton, and we spent it with our niece Laura and her son Josh at another one of the Five Rivers MetroParks.  Maybe John and I should have started with this park first because we then would have understood what the five rivers were, all of which can be discovered in the metro park system.  The city of Dayton is at the confluence of four shallow streams that drain the upper portion of the Miami Valley.  At the Riverscape Park in downtown Dayton is a small shelter type building that has written on it the five bodies of water which are part of the park system.  They are: the Miami, Stillwater, Mad River (our campground sits by this river), and the Twin and Wolf Creeks. Pictured below is that building, which is over the pedestrian/bike path by the Miami River.  In the background of the picture is a fountain which is located near Deeds Point, another park in the metro system. At the Riverscape is Inventors River Walk.
Through much of its history Dayton has had more inventions per capita than any city in the United States.  The most well known is the engine-powered airplane by the Wright brothers.  Another one is the self-starter engine by Charles Kettering in 1912.  It is pictured below.  John, Laura and Josh are giving it a close look.
And have you given much thought to who invented the lowly ice cube tray?   It was invented by Arthur Frei in 1950.  He developed 23 patents on the device.  One of his more significant advancements of the ice cube tray was the lever on top of the tray which released the ice cubes.
Moving on from the simple and mundane to one of the more significant and recent inventions coming out of Dayton, we found the search engine at the Inventors River Walk.  It was invented by the employes of Mead Data Center (now known as LexisNexis) in the 1960s.  This method of searching, which uses "and" "or", and "not" to define parameters, was so successful it led to LexisNexis becoming a leading source of information.
The other inventions shown at the Inventors River Walk are: the hydraulic jump fountain (to prevent floods), the pop-top can, and the cash register.  It is an impressive park and very well done.  Thursday evening we had the pleasure of attending some Air Force entertainment presented by their musical group called the Tops in Blues.  Because Laura's husband Mike is currently deployed we got priority seating which placed us closer to the stage.  This group has been entertaining troops around the world for 59 years.  Air Force men and women take a year away from their work to perform, and we must say that they are a very talented group from what we saw last evening.  Part of the show was a tribute to Michael Jackson.  Ordinarily it is not the music John and I enjoy, but we still appreciated what we heard and saw (the lighting and dancing).  Tops in Blues also perform stateside, so if they come to your town make every effort to attend!

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