|PRESIDENT'S ADDRESS||Today, July the 31st, 2008
- John Ericsson’s 205th birthday is commemorated in many places:
In USA and Sweden. In New York, Stockholm, Gothenburg, and his birthplace – Värmland. John Ericsson Society, New York received greetings from the sponsoring organizations and sent greetings to them in return.
John Ericsson, an engineer and inventor born in Sweden, arrived in the United States in 1839. He lived and worked for the rest of his life in this area of Manhattan – first at Astor House on Broadway, between Vesey and Barclay streets, then at 95 Franklin Street and finally at 36 Beach Street.
From time to time an inventor comes along who transforms an entire industry, forever changing its principal product and stimulating the development of technology. Such a man was Captain John Ericsson. His research and innovations in propeller design, and his inventions, notably incorporated in the iron-clad Civil War battleship USS Monitor, marked a turning point in shipbuilding and transformed the maritime industry. He is perhaps, best known for the USS Monitor and the extraordinary feat of its production in 100 days. As an engineer and inventor of the 19th century, however, his research and inventions in solar energy, sun motors and hot air engines are relevant to such 21st century issues as environment, energy resources and solar power.
The objectives of the John Ericsson Society, New York are to perpetuate and honor the memory of Captain John Ericsson, advance the profession of engineering and work for cooperation among engineers in all countries with special recognition of the branches of engineering wherein his principal achievements were attained. Last year, in Newsletter and Website, the Society called attention to the relevance of Ericsson’s work to 21st Century issues.
In January of this year, 2008, there was published a work Planet Savers: 301 Extraordinary Environmentalists by Kevin Desmond, Greenleaf Publishing, Sheffield, Great Britain. The Collection includes brief biographies of Carl Linnaeus, John James Audubon, George Perkins Marsh “called America’s first environmentalist”, Charles Darwin, Jacques-Yves Cousteau, and, Al Gore, among others.
John Ericsson is included (number 25) for his research on solar energy and invention of the sun motor and hot air engines. He constructed a solar observatory on the roof of his house at 36 Beach Street, Manhattan, and built working sun engines.
The John Ericsson Society, New York founded in 1907 offers members the privilege of participating in the use of 21st Century technology and methods to gather and provide access to evidence of the achievements of Captain John Ericsson, thus preserving for future generations an accurate record of his historic contributions and promoting the advancement of engineering science.
/Leif G. Brisfjord
President, John Ericsson Society, New York