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The Man Who Saw TomorrowThe Life and Inventions of Stanford R. Ovshinsky$
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Lillian Hoddeson and Peter Garrett

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780262037532

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262037532.001.0001

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Young Years (1920s–1930s)

Young Years (1920s–1930s)

Chapter:
(p.15) 1 Young Years (1920s–1930s)
Source:
The Man Who Saw Tomorrow
Author(s):

Lillian Hoddeson

Peter Garrett

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262037532.003.0002

This chapter describes Ovshinsky’s Eastern European Jewish family background and his early years of growing up in Akron, Ohio. It explores his formative experiences of working-class culture and the influence of the social democratic values of the Workmen’s Circle. His father, Ben, whose radical political background made him the primary source of those values, also influenced Ovshinsky’s choice of vocation as a machinist and toolmaker by introducing him to the life of Akron’s machine shops and factories. The chapter recounts the beginnings of Ovshinsky’s self-education in his insatiable curiosity and his constant, omnivorous reading from an early age. This education, amplified by his heavy involvement in socialist politics, was far more important than his formal schooling, traced here through his early years in high school.

Keywords:   Akron, Workmen’s Circle, democratic socialism, self-education, Ben Ovshinsky

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