Name That City! — December 31, 2020

This week we’re looking at flyover ingenuity. Here’s a review of the questions:

  1. Forest Gill invented the bumper sticker. What city did he invent it in and why?
  2. A guy named Ray Harroun was perhaps the first to use a rear-view mirror on a motorcar. Where did this event happen?
  3. Organic chemist John Sheehan collaborated with his doctorate advisor to create a feasible production of RDX, a substance that was used as an explosive in WWII, giving the Allies a huge advantage. What city’s school did he attend?

And here are the answers!

  1. Kansas City, MO—Gill was the owner of a print shop. Until he invented the bumper sticker, people had to publicize their ideas or their support for a political candidate by using handmade placards tied to their cars with bits of twine.
  2. Indianapolis, IN—The event happened at the very first Indy 500. Race cars back then always had two men on board. One to drive and the other whose job it was to look backward and alert the driver to what was going on behind him. Harroun was the only driver who was all by himself in a car because he’d rigged a 3-inch-by-8-inch mirror and mounted it above his dashboard. It made his car more aerodynamic because it didn’t have the weight of the second person.
  3. Ann Arbor, MI—Sheehan got his Master’s and PhD from the University of Michigan, which is where his work with RDX happened. Later, while attending MIT, Sheehan spent nine years finding a way to synthesize penicillin, a project that the federal government had previously failed at.

Thanks for playing!