The Autobiography of Robert A. Millikan

The Autobiography of Robert A. Millikan

The Autobiography of Robert A. Millikan

The Autobiography of Robert A. Millikan

Excerpt

When one takes a world outlook one cannot help realizing how extraordinarily different have been the life experiences of the men and women who have lived from 1868 to 1948 from those who have lived in any other period of comparable length in human history. For it has been the lot of all the generations of mankind up to the two generations which my life span has covered to leave the world at death very much the same kind of place they found it at birth. But this will not be true of those of us who come from the vintage of '68. Our ordinary life experiences bear little resemblance to those of my father and much less to those of my grandfather.

This book represents an effort to record and appraise some of the changes which have come under the eyes of one particular observer of the rapidly changing scene. I shall begin, however, in 1825, some forty years before my birth.

My grandfather, Daniel Franklin Millikan, was a typical American pioneer of Scotch descent, who, after learning the trade of shoemaker and tanner in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, and after marrying his master's daughter, Aurelia Pease, decided in 1825 to leave the ancestral Millikan farm in the Berkshire Hills near Beckett, Massachusetts, and to try his fortunes in the newly opened and less rocky, but heavily timbered lands of the Western Reserve in Ohio. There my father was born in 1834, and when he was four years old the family, like most of those Anglo-Saxon pioneering families, sold its cleared and appreciated farms, took its lares and penates, its horses and cattle and trekked westward again in covered wagons (the railroad first got through to Chicago in 1839) to settle this time on the banks of the Rock River not far from the present town of Sterling, Illinois.

The conditions of that migration, the motives prompting it, the . . .

Author Advanced search

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.