A collection of biographical stories and poems about fascinating people in history whose real dreams made a real difference. Developed in performance, these stories bring old tales to life for contemporary readers in a way that is both entertaining and informative.
Martha Cinader, a published writer and recording artist, has shared stories and poetry with audiences in libraries, schools and nightclubs and at jazz and theatre festivals in America and Europe.
Currently living in Greenville SC, with her husband and three sons, she blogs about being a virgin homesteader, among other things. Her forthcoming novel, Marvelina, is a fairytale for grown women.
Just as many people still don't know that it was Nicola Tesla who invented the radio, not Marconi, there is still the perception that Alexander Bell invented the telephone and not Philip Reiss...
I wrote this story from the perspective of Philip Reiss, looking down from heaven and telling his own story.
I dreamed one night of a giant replica of a human ear, in every way resembling my own ear, but constructed by my own hands. Even the exquisitely delicate eardrum was most perfectly imitated and lovingly constructed.
Every waking hour that I could spare, I strove to create what I had seen so clearly. What better work could I possibly set about to imitate than the handiwork of God? If I wanted to create an instrument that could hear, well then let me examine my own ear!
I went directly to the corner pub. The gentlemen patronizing that establishment were surprised to see me there, and had themselves a good laugh when I asked for a barrel without the beer! That beer barrel was my personal treasure.
I took that beer barrel, cut one side of it away and carved a hole, thinking of the hole in my ear leading to my eardrum. That was the next item I needed to create, an eardrum.
For an eardrum I went into the kitchen. My dear wife was just then preparing a meal for our darling children. I took a sausage that was just waiting on the table to be cooked, and very carefully peeled off the skin. While marching back to my beer barrel with my second prize, I was thinking that I would place it across the ear hole like the skin of a drum. While I was performing that task to my satisfaction, I was already thinking that I would place one drop of sealing wax on the eardrum so that I could attach a little strip of platinum placed in such a way that it would be sensitive to every exquisite vibration of the eardrum. These things I also accomplished.
I observed that when these items were arranged with very close attention to detail, with perfect precision, the platinum strip did indeed send signals to the knitting needle that I borrowed from my wife’s knitting basket. I soon had the joy to see my pains rewarded with success!