Lincoln Daily News
Appliance and TV
403 Broadway St.
John R. Gehlbach
529 Pulaski St.
Thomas L. Van Hook
Complete Auto Repair
720 N. Sherman St., rear
Thompson Auto Body
919 S. Kickapoo
105-115 Lincoln Ave.
P.O. Box 170
J&S Auto Center
103 S. Logan
222 S. McLean
Logan County Bank
318 N. Chicago
1165 - 2200th St.
Advanced Carpet Cleaning
708 Pulaski St.
P.O. Box 306
411 Pulaski St.
Heartland Com. College
620 Broadway St.
601 Keokuk St.
129 S. Sangamon St.
2025 2100th St.
Atlanta, IL 61723
(217) 737-2672 cell
Roger Webster Construction
303 N. Sangamon St.
341 Fifth St.
and Training Center
120 S. McLean St.
K. Bridget Schneider
A.G. Edwards & Sons,
food & ice cream
Gleason's Dairy Bar
110 Clinton St.
127 S. Logan
F-C-S at LDN
The Mustard Moon
1314 Fifth St.
Health & Fitness Balance
113 S. Sangamon
214 N. Chicago
Windows, doors, siding,
315 Eighth St
Illinois has a long history of
producing successful inventors
While Illinois is known as
the Land of Lincoln because President Lincoln grew up here, many
Illinoisans do not know that he was also one of the few U.S.
presidents who was also an inventor. In 1849, while serving as a
representative in Congress, Lincoln was issued a patent for a
"device that buoyed vessels over shoals."
While Illinois has been home to such
famous residents as Marshall Field, William Wrigley, Ray Kroc and
Michael Jordan, this column is not about them. This column is about
Illinois' most prolific inventors and their inventions. As we travel
throughout the state to shine the spotlight on some of our greatest
inventors, we discover some who became household names, while others
lived in relative obscurity even though their inventions became
household names or led to the creation of some of America's greatest
Our journey begins in the author's
hometown of Quincy, on the banks of the Mississippi River. Quincy is
home to inventors Parker Gates, Elmer Wavering and William Lear, who
were all pioneers in the electronics industry.
According to Quincy Herald-Whig
archives, Parker Gates and his father co-founded the Gates Radio
Company in 1922 in a rented storeroom when Parker was just 14.
Parker's early inventions included a sound machine that was used in
movie houses all over the country, along with the first
transcription turntable in 1929. A few years later, he invented a
remote amplifier, which enabled radio stations to broadcast events
live from outside the station, and in 1933 he invented a smaller
version of the microphone as well as the first radio station master
console and the first radio broadcasting transmitter.
With the advent of television in the
1950s, the Gates Radio Company began producing television
broadcasting equipment and transmission towers. Gates Radio was
later bought out by what is now Harris Broadcasting Corporation in
1957, and Gates stayed on to serve as president of the subsidiary.
William Lear was one of America's most
successful inventors ever. Lear was born in Hannibal, Mo., in 1902,
and his family soon moved to Chicago, where he attended school up
until the eighth grade. After serving in World War I, Lear moved to
Quincy in 1922 at the age of 20.
Lear and a friend, fellow Quincyan
Elmer Wavering, co-invented the first practical car radio later that
year. Unable to afford a booth at a major automotive trade show in
Chicago, the two inventors devised a way to attract the attention of
potential customers who would be attending the trade show. They
parked their car near the entrance and cranked up the volume of
their radio, attracting the attention of nearly everyone who passed
through the doors that day. As a result, they were able to write up
more orders from new customers than either of them could have
imagined. Lear and Wavering eventually signed over the rights to
Motorola in 1924, and their car radio became Motorola’s first major
According to the
Dimension website, other Lear inventions included the world's
first reliable aeronautical radio compass, as well as an automatic
pilot system. The first fully automatic landing system that Lear
developed earned him the FAA’s Collier Trophy, an award that was
bestowed upon him by President Truman.
In 1962, he made possible the
first-ever completely automatic blind landings of passenger flights.
Today, Learjet, which Lear formed in 1962, is the world’s foremost
supplier of corporate jets. Lear also designed the eight-track tape
player in the 1960s. Altogether, he earned more than a hundred
patents in the audio, automotive and aircraft industries from 1930
to the 1960s.
Leaving Quincy, we get in the boat and
travel upriver to Moline, where John Deere opened his first factory.
Deere was born in Rutland, Vt., in 1804 and moved to Grand Detour,
Ill., in 1837. The cast-iron plows used in the Midwest at that time
were designed for the light, sandy soil of New England, not for the
fertile Midwestern soil. The rich Midwestern soil would cling to the
plow bottoms, causing the farmers to stop every few steps to scrape
the soil from the plow.
Deere studied the problem and became
convinced that a plow could be developed to scour itself. He created
such a plow in 1837 and successfully tested it on a farm near Grand
& Company factory opened in 1848, and today the company sells
more than $13 billion in agricultural equipment annually. It is one
of the nation's 100 largest manufacturing companies.
[to top of second column in this
Some of the best new inventions come
from simply combining two separate ideas. In 1890, Benjamin Holt and
Daniel Best each developed their own types of tractors. Holt
developed the world's first steam track-type tractor in 1904, while
in 1906, Best developed the world's first gas track-type tractor,
which crawled along the ground like a caterpillar. They weren’t
working together at the time but rather for separate companies.
According to the Caterpillar
website, Caterpillar track-type tractors were used by the Allies in
World War I, and in 1925, the Holt Manufacturing Company and the C.L.
Best Tractor Company merged to form Caterpillar Tractor Co. Today,
Caterpillar is the world's leading manufacturer of construction and
mining equipment, and its diverse product line of more than 300
products accounts for more than $17 billion in annual sales.
Next, we hop on our tractor and
continue riding east as we search for more inventions in the town of
DeKalb. Farmers all across the country appreciate the work of DeKalb
residents Joseph Glidden and Jacob Haish. According to Scott Cook of
the University of Virginia, early versions of barbed wire had been
invented as early as 1867, including a version by Haish, but Glidden
perfected it in 1873 and is known as the inventor of modern-day
barbed wire. Haish invented an automatic machine to manufacture it
the same year.
The significance of barbed wire was
that it replaced the more expensive stone, rail or wooden fences
that were being used at a time when there was a lack of timber in
Illinois. Glidden sold the rights to his barbed wire in 1876 and
continued receiving royalties for the next 15 years, while Haish
became one of the wealthiest men in DeKalb during the late 1800s.
Cyrus McCormick, the inventor of the
mechanical reaper, earns a spot in this article even though he
didn't live in Illinois until he was 38 years old. Creating a reaper
after his father had tried and given up on the idea, McCormick
patented his invention in 1834 after a competing inventor had
announced the construction of a reaper of his own a year earlier. He
started to manufacture the machine on the family estate in 1837.
Sales were slow in Virginia, and after
meeting with Illinois Sen. Stephen A. Douglas in 1846 and visiting
the vast grain fields of the Midwest, McCormick decided to move his
operation to Chicago.
According to the National Inventors
Hall of Fame, McCormick's reaper combined all the steps that earlier
harvesting machines had performed separately, allowing farmers to
more than double their crop size. By 1860, he was selling over 4,000
reapers a year, and his success in Chicago helped make Chicago the
greatest grain port in the world.
McCormick's company eventually merged
with a rival to become International Harvester Company, and today it
is known as
The first African-American woman to
receive a patent was also from Illinois. According to the
Learning website, Sarah Goode of Chicago was a businesswoman and
inventor who received a patent in 1885 for her folding cabinet bed.
When not being used, the bed folded up against the wall into a
cabinet, to be used as a desk. Goode invented the bed for people
living in small apartments.
Chicago is as far east as one can travel in Illinois without getting
wet, we end our search for inventions here. Our journey began in
Quincy and it ends, for now, in Chicago. Even though we’ve only
scratched the surface of the subject of inventors and their
inventions, it’s time to gas up the car, the boat and the tractor,
so we’ll stop here for now.
week: Here's why you've never heard of the OTHER person who
invented the telephone
Paul Niemann is a contributing author
to Inventors' Digest magazine. He also runs
helping people in the marketing of their new product ideas. In
addition, he teaches marketing and advertising at Quincy University.
He can be reached at
R & H Farm Supply to close
& H Farm Supply, Inc., in business in Lincoln since 1962, has
announced plans to close, with the going-out-of-business sale to
start Friday, Feb. 21.
Manager Darren Humphres
explained that for several years the number of farmers in the area
has been going down, and business and industry have also been
decreasing. These represent the customer base for the farm supply
and hardware store. At the same time competition has gone up. The
result has been more ways “to split the pie up,” leaving a smaller
share for each. Eventually, the R & H share grew too small.
Humphres said the going-out-of-business sale will begin next Friday, with 20 percent off. The
percentage reduction will gradually increase until the merchandise
is gone. According to Humphres no exact closing date has been
determined.- “It could be a month,” he said, or more or less,
depending on business.
R & H Farm Supply is owned by
Humphres’ father Harold Humphres. It is affiliated with Ace
Hardware, a buying group or co-op. There are eight employees.
Harold Humphres bought the business from the Custis family in 1985. It was founded in 1962 by Roy and Helen Custis, from whose first
names the corporate initials are derived.
Paramedics enjoy spacious
On Sunday, Feb. 16,
Logan County Paramedics will show off their new 6,000-square-foot
headquarters on Postville Road.
The open house will feature
tours of both the downstairs business area and upstairs living
quarters. Former state Rep. Jonathan Wright, a Logan County
Paramedics Association board member, will speak at the 2 p.m.
dedication ceremony. Also on the program are Dr. G.E. Blaum,
president of the board of directors, and Steve Siltman, chief
executive officer and office manager. Hours for the open house are
1-5 p.m. Refreshments will be served.
Siltman said the new location
at 1300 N. Postville Road is ideal for serving the entire county.
From the edge of Lincoln ambulances can quickly get to either city
or county addresses, he explained. The paramedics moved into the
building Nov. 16, 2002. Phone numbers remain the same: 911 for
emergencies and 732-2212 for other business.
The new facility is five or six
times the size of the paramedics' former headquarters at 1185 Walnut
St. Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital leased that building plus
ambulance space at the hospital to the county at half the operating
cost, according to Woody Hester, ALMH president and chief operating
officer. Space was the only reason for making the switch, Siltman
"I think it's great!" office
coordinator Shirley Alberts exclaimed about the roomy facility,
which has more than enough closet and floor space for all her files.
She said the new office affords a better atmosphere and more privacy
for customers who want to discuss their bills. "It's a lot nicer
that (the paramedics) have their own rooms," Alberts continued.
"They can bring their stuff here, not have to lug it back and
[Photos by Trisha Youngquist]
From the '50s through the '70s
the building housed a John Deere dealership. Then it was a
Pontiac-Cadillac dealership through the '90s. The paramedics
association bought the structure from Jim and Patricia Glenn.
In renovating the building, the
paramedics gutted the interior and started over from scratch.
Everything is new, Siltman said, including new city water and sewer
hookups, plumbing, heating and interior design. The renovation
project is virtually complete, except for stripping and staining the
garage floor, which will be done later in the year. Plans also
include resurfacing the parking lot and adding signage as money
The first and second floors are
3,000 square feet each. At ground level are offices, a training
room, laundry and storage areas.
The training room includes
pull-down screen with rear projection, a computer for Power Point
and other presentations, and DVD and VHS projectors. Siltman said
the room is heavily used. Besides board meetings and monthly
training sessions, it is home to special classes such as a two-day
Pre-Hospital Training Life Support course and a 16-week Emergency
Medical Technician basic class. Steve Boatman of Loami is education
coordinator. The training room, with outside access in the middle of
the facade, is available for public use as well.
Also on the ground floor are
the ambulance garage, housing four vehicles, and another garage with
storage space and some exercise equipment. On the ambulance garage
wall are maps to help locate patients. Included are maps of the
city, county and multi-building sites such as Eaton Cutler-Hammer,
Centennial Courts, Christian Homes and several mobile home parks.
Upstairs are living quarters
for the paramedics. Each four-member shift works 24 hours, changing
at 7 a.m. In addition to a spacious TV room, kitchen, eating area
and two full baths, the living quarters contain 14 bedrooms, one for
each full-time paramedic and two for part-timers. Siltman and
Alberts, who work eight-hour days, do not have upstairs space.
Alberts said the association
averages 260-275 ambulance calls per month. Despite benefiting from
a Logan County levy for ambulance service, the association strives
to be as self-supporting as possible. Siltman said, "If we ask for
something, we're going to need it." The philosophy of the 12-member
board is to "be prudent with tax dollars," Siltman emphasized.
[to top of second column in this
Board members include Blaum,
Wright, vice-president Warren Peters, treasurer Shirley Edwards,
secretary Bob Thomas, Randal Storm, Clifford Sullivan and Paul
Beaver, all of Lincoln; Bill Martin of Atlanta; Eldon Behle of
Elkhart; Suzanne Aper of New Holland; and Gene Bathe of Hartsburg.
This year for the first time
since the '70s, Siltman said, the county ambulance service provider
is not receiving any subsidy money aside from a $50,000 levy to
purchase ambulances, down from $125,000 last year. The maximum levy
remains at 5 cents per $100 assessed valuation, or .05 percent, and
would bring in about $190,000. However, the actual levy has never
reached even .04 percent. This year it is .0133 percent.
Siltman noted that the
financial status of Logan County Paramedics Association is dependent
on Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements, which are subject to change
by the federal government. If reimbursements fall, the paramedics
may have to ask for a higher tax levy.
Reimbursement levels were cited
by ALMH president and CEO Woody Hester in 1999 when he announced
that the hospital would not compete to renew its ambulance service
contract. He said Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement rates are less
favorable for hospital-based ambulance services than for those that
are non-hospital based. Therefore it is in the best interest of the
community to have a non-hospital-based service. In 2003 the rate
differential continues, providing LCPA with more reimbursement money
than the hospital would receive for the same service.
The four ambulances owned by
the association are 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2002 models. Siltman
expects to buy a new ambulance in 2004. One reason this year's levy
is down is that there is already enough in the county ambulance fund
to make the purchase.
Prior to the early '70s local
ambulances were operated by funeral homes. Then ALMH contracted with
the Logan County Board to provide ambulance service for the county.
At first Decatur Ambulance Service supplied the vehicle and one EMT,
while ALMH contributed the other EMT, space for the ambulance and a
bedroom. Attendants also worked for the hospital, primarily in the
emergency room, Siltman said.
In 1976 the county passed an
ambulance service referendum. With the new tax dollars ALMH was able
to sever its relation with Decatur Ambulance Service, purchase an
ambulance and receive a $50,000 annual subsidy for operating
expenses, including salaries. At about the same time all EMTs
enrolled in nine-month paramedic school at St. John's Hospital in
Springfield, graduating in 1977.
ALMH continued to operate the
ambulance service until 1999, when it did not seek to renew the
contract. Then the Logan County Board bid out the ambulance service.
The successful bidder was the newly formed Logan County Paramedics
Association, made up of hospital paramedics plus a board of
directors from the community. In December 1999 the association began
serving the county.
current full-time paramedics are organized in three alternating
24-hour shifts. On A shift are shift manager John Olmstead, Gene
Simer, Deana Jones and Troy Howie of Atlanta. B shift comprises
manager Penny Thomas, Danny Dean, John Short and Molly Williams of
Mason City. C shift consists of manager Corey Slack and Steve
Boatman of Loami, Heather Bree of Springfield and Polly Riggs. All
not otherwise identified are from Lincoln. In addition to Siltman,
Alberts and the full-time paramedics, there is a part-time fill-in
roster of 10 paramedics, one EMT and several clerical workers.
Automotive business plans
move to Woodlawn Road
The most colorful buildings
in town are about to come down, and J&S Auto Centre will soon have a
new home on the corner of Woodlawn and Palmer.
Jim Horn, who owns J&S Auto with his
wife, Shelley, said he expected to close on the Woodlawn Road
property and begin demolition soon. "Permits, permits, permits," he
said in explaining one element that makes the process take a little
The Horns have already succeeded in
getting the property rezoned from residential to commercial.
"We're shooting for a June 1 grand
opening," Horn said. Realistically, though, he knows it may take a
month or month and a half longer to complete construction and the
[photos by Bob Frank]
The Horns plan to erect a
4,000-square-foot building to house their automotive store and
Bombardier all-terrain vehicle dealership. The building will include
a showroom for the ATVs. There will be two overhead doors for
vehicles on Palmer and an entrance each on Woodlawn and Palmer. It
will be a "nice-looking, unique building," Horn said.
[to top of second column in this
Most of the 31,000-square-foot property
will be purchased from the Buelter estate. In addition, there is a
9-by-110-foot strip at the rear that comes from a neighbor's
the reason for moving is that J&S Auto Centre has outgrown its
current home on Logan Street. The Horns began the business 13 years
ago at 101 N. Logan. Seven years later they moved across the street
to 103 S. Logan. That move also was motivated by the need for more
Chamber's annual dinner
initiates Legion facility
Coyne of State Farm Insurance and Barbie Carter of Logan County Bank
were recognized as king and queen of the Lincoln/Logan County
Chamber of Commerce’s Mardi Gras-style annual dinner. The dinner
Saturday night, Feb. 15, was the first event to be held in the new American
Mary Conrady, manager of the Lincoln
CEFCU office and immediate past president of the chamber board of
directors, reviewed chamber accomplishments for the past year.
Twenty-two new members were inducted into the chamber, 27
traditional ribbon-cutting ceremonies were conducted by the
Ambassadors, and eight chamber businesses hosted after-hours mixers.
In addition to the "Meet the State Candidates" breakfast, morning
programs focused on technology tips and advice for owners of small
Continuing to bring agriculture and
business leaders together, the chamber organized the third annual
Logan County Ag Day breakfast and hosted a chamber mixer on a farm.
Quality-of-life community events organized by the chamber included a
luncheon for office professionals, the Lincoln Art & Balloon
Festival, a golf outing, and the Christmas parade. Local trade was
promoted through the Chamber Bucks program and cable TV exposure.
"If I had to choose one accomplishment
over the past year that stands above all others," said Conrady, "it
would have to be the community video that was produced by the
chamber’s marketing committee. The video is a powerful tool to
attract businesses, individuals or families to locate here."
[to top of second column in this
Conrady then introduced the new chamber
president, Brian Ash of Logan County Bank. Ash unveiled his theme
for the coming year, "Planting Seeds for Progress." "The actions we
take today will have an impact on tomorrow," he said. "We have
already taken steps for our future within the chamber. Our director,
Bobbi Abbott, recently completed the four-year Institute for
Organizational Management certification, and we have added Jeff
Mayfield as economic development director and Senator Bob Madigan as
government liaison. We’re ready to grow the economy!"
introduced new chamber board members Diane Van Dorn-Slack of Midwest
Records Storage; Ed Block, Saint-Gobain Containers; Rick Hamm, State
Farm Insurance; and Steve Smith, Illinois American Water Company.
Conrady recognized retiring board members Todd Lowman of Garland
Gehrke Trucking and Terry Werth from the Logan County Board.
County Chamber of Commerce
Abbott, Executive Director
S. Kickapoo St.
local chamber of commerce is a catalyst for community progress, bringing
business and professional people together to work for the common
good of Lincoln and Logan County.
here for information on ag scholarships sponsored by the chamber
Street Corner News
Street Lincoln offers
business start-up monies
To entice new businesses to
open in downtown Lincoln, Main Street Lincoln is offering financial
assistance through a $20,000 grant from Illinois FIRST.
Eligible businesses must locate in
Lincoln’s Courthouse Square Historic District and have a business
plan based on the Small Business Administration model.
The Business Builder Fund is aimed at
new businesses that need financial assistance to get started. Funds
are available to business owners who would not be able to meet bank
loan down-payment requirements without these funds. The grants will
provide no more than one-third of the equity or down payment for a
bank loan, or a maximum of $10,000.
Application for the grant is made as
part of the business loan application process at participating
lending institutions. A lending institution recommendation is
required for the award of this grant.
[to top of second column in this
"We are offering this money to
encourage people who would like to own a business but don’t have the
financial means to get started," noted Dale Bassi, chairman of the
Main Street Lincoln Economic Restructuring Committee. "Downtown
Lincoln is a great place to open a business, with its mix of retail
and service businesses and restaurants," he added.
information about the grant and available property in the historic
district, contact Cindy McLaughlin at Main Street Lincoln, (217)
Street Lincoln press
here for more details from an earlier posting in LDN.]
volunteers and elects new officers
At its annual meeting last
week at the Maple Club, Main Street Lincoln announced officers
elected for 2003. The new officers are David Lanterman, president;
Dan Doolin, vice president; Susie Fuhrer, treasurer; and Linda
Churchill, secretary. Main Street Lincoln also welcomed newcomers
Dr. Kristin Green-Morrow and Chris Slack to the board
The Lincoln College Express provided a
festive evening of entertainment for the annual meeting. Recognition
was giving to outstanding volunteers of 2002: Paul Beaver, Linda
Churchill, Ron Keller, Dick Logan, Michelle Schick, Melody Shew,
Angela Stoltzenburg and Betty Verderber. Awards of outstanding
service were given to exiting board members Jan Schumacher and Dale
Sen. Bill Brady joined in the
festivities as did several Lincoln government officials.
"It is obvious by the great attendance
and enthusiasm of the attendees that Main Street Lincoln plays a
positive role in promoting our downtown and enriching our
community," said incoming president David Lanterman.
Lincoln is a volunteer-driven organization. It is only with the help
of the community that goals are achieved. Volunteer opportunities,
big and small, are always available. If you'd like to help with the
goals of 2003, please call Main Street, 732-2929, for more
Street Lincoln press
Cindy McLaughlin, Program Manager
604 Broadway St., Suite 4
106 S. Chicago
P.O. Box 129
218 Eighth St.
114 E. Cooke St.
P.O. Box 78
Mount Pulaski, IL 62548
601 Keokuk St.
604 Broadway St., Suite 4
polishing & cleaning
1039 W. Wabash Ave
Springfield, IL 62704
716 N. Logan
Holiday Inn Express
130 Olson Drive
2202 N. Kickapoo
Maple Ridge at LDN
Lincoln, IL 62656
Advanced Eye Care
623 Pulaski St.
Nobbe Eye Care
1400 Woodlawn Road
Good Ole Pest Control
Daron Whittaker, owner
380 Limit St.
102 Fifth St.(217) 732-3100
Alexander & Co.
410 Pulaski St.
610 N. Logan
222 N. McLean
Werth & Associates
1203 Woodlawn Road
Blue Dog Inn
111 S. Sangamon St.
1101 Woodlawn Road
Lincoln Mission Mart
819 Woodlawn Road
Neal Tire & Auto
507 Pulaski St.
Abraham Lincoln Tourism
Bureau of Logan County
303 S. Kickapoo
945 Broadwell Drive
The Classic Touch
129 S. Sangamon St.
319 W. Kickapoo St.