Friday, 20 July 2018

The glass harmonica: a story of creativity and innovation (No.6)

To see the previous posts in this series click here.

The way Benjamin Franklin thought, allied with some of his other qualities and the nature and extent of his knowledge, offers important insights into a creative mind that was capable of making practical and successful inventions and innovations. Six aspects are particularly significant.

Here is the sixth aspect:

Franklin was totally committed to developing his ideas and making his inventions a reality.

The above is clearly demonstrated by Franklin's unhesitating commitment of time and resources to the development of the glass harmonica: at one point he engaged approximately 100 glassblowers to the task of developing and creating the glass bowls central to the instrument's mechanism.

Given Franklin's great responsibilities and wide interests, many of which entailed grappling with the pressing issues and problems of his time, one might think that inventing a musical "curiosity" like the glass harmonica would be nothing more than a hobby occupying the fringes of Franklin's thinking. 

As his previously mentioned writings and above commitment of resources make clear, however, Franklin did not consider making the glass harmonica to be a mere hobby. When he turned his attention to inventing the instrument it was not with a relaxed and fleeting glance but a concentrated and intensely focused stare.

To read the next post click here.

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