Ken Yohn is the kind of one who turns into so absorbed with a topic that… Nicely, for instance:
When contemplating how individuals prefer to personalize their autos, and after watching varied Bling My Experience tv exhibits, Yohn discovered himself on the British Museum finding out photographs of historical Roman chariots, to see if this tendency to customise was new or could possibly be traced again into human historical past.
Yohn studied and studied and thought he lastly had discovered proof, solely to be taught that what he was seeing wasn’t personalization however the distinction between chariots constructed for normal troopers and people designed for officers.
I share the above instance merely to point out simply how inquisitive is Ken Yohn, chairman of the historical past and politics division at McPherson College. And for the previous a number of weeks, he’s been the featured teacher within the school’s inaugural (and free) “Wheels of Change: How the Vehicle Formed Our Lives” webinar collection.
Yohn’s character is as participating as his research are enlightening in depth and element. In the event you missed the 6-week collection, you missed a delightfully instructional and entertaining expertise. Happily for you, nonetheless, the varsity will replay the collection quickly on its YouTube channel, so you’ll be able to see and listen to for your self as Yohn presents on varied subjects after which is joined by friends to debate what Yohn considers probably the most vital and permeating expertise to enter human historical past.
As you doubtless know — and if not, you really want to know — McPherson is the one school within the nation that gives a 4-year diploma in automotive restoration, although the curriculum goes nicely past the varsity’s storage and workshops to incorporate necessary programs in enterprise and the liberal arts.
You don’t simply stumble throughout this school’s compact campus in the midst of nowhere (truly, fairly near smack dab in the midst of Kansas), it’s important to work to search out it. However college students from throughout the nation eagerly accomplish that every semester, and their efforts are rewarded with a post-graduate employment historical past that might be the envy of even the Ivy League, if such colleges even knew of McPherson’s existence.
Yohn discovered himself at McPherson for the 1999-2000 faculty yr. He was born in Illinois, attended school’s in Indiana and Iowa, and is an avid bicyclist and bicycle restoration skilled, and one thing of world traveler.
“Wheels of Change” coated six subjects, every for an hour, though the question-and-answer classes tended to run over allotted 60 minutes. Simply to whet your curiosity for watching the YouTube replays, I’ll listing the subjects, with the particular visitor or friends, and can share a spotlight or two from my notes:
Subject: “4 Epic Highway Journeys that Upended the World
Visitor: McPherson grad Kyle Smith, now affiliate editor at Hagerty
Abstract: A have a look at the influence of early motorcar journeys and the way they formed public opinion about this new invention
Spotlight: Carl Benz could have invented a machine, however it didn’t change into a automotive till his spouse and kids principally stole it one evening whereas he slept (she did depart him a word) and drove it 66 miles to go to her household, and several other days later drove it again once more.
Subject: “Paving the Approach for the Vehicle”
Visitor: Andrew Beckman, archivist, Nationwide Studebaker Museum
Abstract: How bicyclists and their push for higher roads for themselves and for steam-powered omni-buses and different applied sciences helped make the unfold of motorcars attainable
Spotlight: One motive motorcars grew to become standard was the air pollution and ailments brought on by a lot horse manure and urine and so many horse carcasses on the streets of American cities.
Subject: “That Be Giants in Them Thar Hills”
Visitor: Bob Casey, retired curator of transportation at The Henry Ford museum
Abstract: Henry Ford, Billy Durant and the creation of the mega companies
Spotlight: Ford and Durant usually are seen as polar opposites, however Casey identified 5 facets wherein they had been very a lot alike.
Subject: “The Highway to Perdition”
Visitor: Abbey Paulsen, highschool junior, and Tabetha Hammer, McPherson grad and head of the Greenwich Concours for Hagerty
Abstract: How the auto liberated ladies and captivated youngsters
Spotlight: Paulsen instructing Yohn tips on how to begin and drive her Mannequin T.
Subject: “The Nice Conflict”
Visitor: Casey Maxon, McPherson grad and historian for the Historic Car Affiliation
Abstract: The vehicles position within the mechanization of warfare and the conflict’s influence on private mobility
Spotlight 1: We hyperlink caterpillar treads with tanks however they had been created by a California winery proprietor to cope with sandy soil.
Spotlight 2: Maxon notes that World Conflict I began with an car, when Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his spouse had been assassinated whereas of their automotive.
Subject: “Artwork for the Folks”
Visitor: Donald Osborne, chief government of the Audrain Vehicle Museum
Abstract: How Harley Earl and automotive styling democratized magnificence
Spotlight: Osborne explaining that the top of GM design taught the general public that model wasn’t only for Hollywood and sports activities figures.
One different spotlight, shared every week, was Yohn’s introductory abstract of the examine of historical past, that historical past is the results of selections, that historical past doesn’t repeat — each second is exclusive — that there are a number of causes for every historic second, and that what’s essential is not only historic details however their that means.
There was far more within the 6 hours of presentation. You possibly can see for your self when the collection replays on the McPherson YouTube channel.