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Great Bend in Barton County, Kansas — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

Jack Kilby

 
 
Jack Kilby Monument image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., November 13, 2012
1. Jack Kilby Monument
Inscription.

Tribute to Jack Kilby
There was a time when engineers who improved our daily lives and spawned global industries achieved enormous prominence and public attention. Henry Ford and his tin lizzie were recognized everywhere. Alexander Graham Bell was a household name around the planet. But Jack Kilby, a son of Great Bend who changed the world with a good idea, never received that kind of recognition. Outside of the engineering labs, where he is recognized as an immortal, his name generally drew a blank. And that was just fine with Jack.

In his soul, Kilby was an engineer, and proud of it. "It's incredibly satisfying," he said, in his easy, plainspoken Kansas way, "to face some important problem and find a solution that works."

That mattered more than prizes, wealth, or fame. When Kilby won the Nobel Prize in Physics, the inventor of the microchip was introduced in Stockholm as the man who created our modern digital world -- calculators, computers, cell phones, space travel and so forth. Naturally, Jack disagreed.

In his Nobel lecture, he said that kind of talk reminded him of the story of a beaver and a rabbit sitting in the woods near Hoover Dam: "Did you build that one?" the rabbit asked. "No, but it was based on an idea of mine," the beaver replied.

Jack St.
Jack Kilby Monument Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., November 13, 2012
2. Jack Kilby Monument Marker
Clair Kilby didn't become a household name around the world. But he solved an important problem, a problem of literally cosmic dimensions. For Jack Kilby, the engineer, that was enough.
- T.R. Reid
The Washington Post
Jun 22, 2005 - Revised February 4, 2012

————————

"The increasing diversity in our media was spurred by the development of satellite transmission, the personal computer, and the internet - none of which would have been possible without Kilby's invention."
- David K. Bivins, GBHS '60
PhD., MIT; former NBC Vice President

"Kilby did, after all, come up with the most valuable invention of the past half century."
- Boston Globe

"I recognize the achievements of this extraordinarily distinguished graduate of the Great Bend school system."
- Shannon Stimson, GBHS '69
PhD., Harvard University,
Professor at Cal-Berkeley

"How many towns could claim as their native son a man whose inventions changed the world?"
- Jeanene (Cook) Hoover, GBHS '54

"The significance of this man's genius, and its impact on the world is mind-boggling. Truly history has been made by Jack Kilby."
- Glenn Opie, GBHS '44

"Jack Kilby, a quiet slow-talking sort from Great Bend, Kansas, finally got a chance to work in a major
Jack Kilby Monument Markers image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., November 13, 2012
3. Jack Kilby Monument Markers
laboratory on a problem of premier importance. Within weeks, he hit on an idea that struck the world of microelectronics like a lightening [sic] bolt."
- T.R. Reid's book, The Chip

"Jack Kilby did more than invent the integrated circuit; Jack Kilby invented the future."
- Kansas City Star

"Jack's work changed the world as few inventions before or since have."
- Tom Engibous, Texas Instruments

"Through Kilby's invention, microelectronics has grown to become the basis of all modern technology."
- Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences

"What he did was nothing short of discovering fire."
Gary Gore,
Great Bend Chamber of Commerce

"Jack Kilby's idea launched the information age."
The Washington Post

"Jack Kilby, to me, is Thomas Edison walking....It's Inspiring. You can come out of Great Bend High School and change the world."
- T.R. Reid,
reporter, correspondent and author
October 2001

"I've always though of Great Bend as my hometown and I've been proud of that."
- Jack Kilby
October 2001

The Gift
He reaches out his hand, giving his microchip to a young boy. To Kilby's right, a girl eagerly reaches out a hand to her slightly older companion. With her other hand she points toward the stars.

Symbolically, the sculpture
Jack Kilby Statue image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, September 9, 2015
4. Jack Kilby Statue
represents transmission of knowledge from one generation to the next and how that transmission has been affected by the microchip. Kilby passes on the knowledge of his generation, "The Greatest Generation," to the boy who represents "The New Generation," which has been the first to fully experience the impact of Kilby's revolutionary invention. The microchip greatly accelerates the speed at which knowledge is shared.

The young girl representing "The Future Generation," is eager to find what goals her generation can achieve with The Gift
Sculptor Chet Cale, Great Bend, KS

Dedicated April 28, 2012

 
Erected 2012.
 
Location. 38° 21.931′ N, 98° 45.892′ W. Marker is in Great Bend, Kansas, in Barton County. Marker is at the intersection of Main Street (U.S. 281) and Forest Avenue, on the right when traveling north on Main Street. Touch for map. Monument is on the west grounds of the county courthouse. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1400 Main Street, Great Bend KS 67530, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Streetscape (within shouting distance of this marker); Civil War Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); ATSF Locomotive No. 3416
Jack Kilby Statue Detail image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., November 13, 2012
5. Jack Kilby Statue Detail
(approx. 0.7 miles away); Oscar Micheaux (approx. 1.9 miles away); a different marker also named Civil War Memorial (approx. 2 miles away); Site of Fort Zarah (approx. 2.8 miles away); Fort Zarah (approx. 2.8 miles away); Van Wingerden's Crew (approx. 4.8 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Great Bend.
 
Also see . . .
1. The Nobel Prize in Physics, 2000. (Submitted on June 21, 2013, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. The Chip That Jack Built. (Submitted on June 21, 2013, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
3. Jack Kilby National Inventors Hall of Fame Bio. (Submitted on June 21, 2013, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
4. Jack St. Clair Kilby at Find A Grave. (Submitted on June 21, 2013, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
 
Categories. Air & SpaceCommunicationsMan-Made FeaturesScience & Medicine
 
Jack Kilby Statue Detail image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., November 13, 2012
6. Jack Kilby Statue Detail
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on June 21, 2013, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 673 times since then and 76 times this year. This page was the Marker of the Week June 23, 2013. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on June 22, 2013, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.   4. submitted on October 14, 2015, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.   5, 6. submitted on June 22, 2013, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.
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