National Geographic : 1955 Apr
483 Tafts of Ohio: Their Ancestors Served State and Nation for Generations Alphonso Taft was Secretary of War under President Grant. William Howard Taft was the only American to become both President and Chief Justice. U . S . Senator Robert A. Taft was known as "Mr. Republican." Here State Representative Robert A. Taft, Jr., relaxes with his children at their Cincinnati home. of wooded parks, uncrowded recreation areas luring thousands to enjoy their cool, green fastnesses--all these combine to make Cleve land great. In Cleveland the oil-refining industry had its real start; the genius behind that vast enterprise was John D. Rockefeller. As a young boy, John D. had saved $50. A potato farmer offered him seven percent interest for a loan. With his father's consent the boy lent the farmer the money, and when the potatoes were dug young Rockefeller took a job picking them up at 37' cents a day. The farmer paid back the $50 with $3.50 interest. "Lending that $50 and working in the field enabled me to be in two places at once," John D. gleefully told his father. "The money earned me $3.50, and my work got me more." "Still, the farmer made more money out of the potatoes than you did," Rockefeller, senior, said. "Your $50 financed the potatoes you picked up for 37/2 cents a day." "That taught me a lesson," John D. Rocke feller said years later. "I resolved after that to be the man who plants the potatoes." In those few words lies the secret of the fabulous career of the Oil King. At Cleveland wharves on Lake Erie ore freighters lay winter-bound. To these wharves, too, when ice is out of the Great Lakes, come vessels from foreign countries. Opening of the St. Lawrence Waterway will make Cleveland a world port (page 454). Less generally known is the role of Cleve land in another field of transportation-avia tion. The lake-shore city is the home of the Lewis Flight Propulsion Laboratory of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, where scientists seek ways to power planes at ever-faster speeds and higher altitudes. Museum Stresses Health Among the many interesting places I visited, the Cleveland Health Museum, first of its kind in America, seemed most unusual. The displays, many of them activated by push button control, demonstrate to visitors how to enjoy better health (page 451). When I walked past the charts showing cor rect posture and how to attain it, I involun tarily straightened my shoulders.