“When a great genius appears in the world you may know him by this sign: that the dunces are all in confederacy against him”*…
Genius follows its own law of gravity. It migrates in ever greater numbers to where it thrives. Hence places like Silicon Valley – and attempts to replicate it elsewhere, like London’s Silicon Roundabout. The phenomenon is older than the microchip, of course…
Watch the centers of creative gravity migrate through Europe, from 1400 to 1950, at “The Geography of Genius.”
* Jonathan Swift (the inspiration for John Kennedy Toole)
As we put on our sailin’ shoes, we might recall that it was on this date in 1853 that Steinway & Sons sold its first piano in the United States. The company had been founded in March of that year by Heinrich Engelhard Steinweg, who’d started making pianos in his native Germany in 1935 (and who didn’t officially change his name to “Steinway” until 1864). Working in a loft on Varrick Street in Manhattan, he called his first U.S. piano “Number 483” as he’d built 482 pianos before immigrating. It was sold to a New York family for $500. Over the next thirty years, Henry and his sons, C. F. Theodore, Charles, Henry Jr., William, and Albert, developed the modern piano; almost half of the company’s 127 patented inventions were developed during this period.
* Jonathan Swift