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American Originals

American Originals
American Originals will trace the stories of those who charted their own paths, overcame barriers and achieved a better life for themselves and those around them by embracing personal responsibility, hard work and an entrepreneurial spirit.

The American Dream has been caricatured as wealth accumulation and material success like owning a house or buying a car. This has done a great disservice to the American ethos and American culture. The essence of the dream is earned success, achievement, recognizing opportunity and includes an appreciation for the role of entrepreneurship and the contributions that entrepreneurs have made to society.

By highlighting these success stories, we hope to demonstrate the value that these leaders have created and inspire others to follow in their footsteps. The American Dream and being an American Original is all about ordinary people achieving extraordinary things. As Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Orel Leonard Hershiser once said: “Great things can happen to ordinary people who are willing to work hard and never give up.”

Born in rural Pennsylvania in 1857, Milton Hershey attended seven different schools and never made it beyond the fourth grade. At fifteen, he found his passion in a Lancaster ice cream parlor making candies. His father, Henry,...
The year 1921 was one of the worst years in the history of the American automobile business. Many companies folded in a brief but severe post-war recession as prices dropped and car inventories piled up. Walter P....
Over the last two-and-one-half years, we at the Archbridge Institute, in conjunction with the American Business History Center, have written and published twenty-one biographical articles on “American Originals.” These men and women, black and white, immigrants and native-born, lived...
On February 11, 1898, John Charles Smith of Toronto hit his head and died of a cerebral hemorrhage. The Irishman left behind his wife, Charlotte; five-year-old daughter, Gladys; another daughter, Lottie; and a son Jack. Destitute, Charlotte struggled to keep...
Few industries have had a greater impact on the world than our airline system. This global network was built over a period of forty years by a handful of leaders who pioneered on dangerous and shaky grounds. Pre-eminent among them...
Outside of the field of product and transportation design, too few people know who Raymond Loewy was. The best-known industrial designer, founder of the industrial design profession, and member of the pantheon of our greatest designers, it is time for...

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