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Charles F. Kettering: Science of Automotive Engineering, 1936

Perseverance

Charles Franklin Kettering was born on a farm near Loudonville, Ohio, on August 29, 1876, the fourth of five children of Jacob Kettering and Martha Hunter Kettering. He experienced the strictness of his mother and the farming responsibilities of his father which instilled an interest in mechanical "tinkering." After graduating from high school, Kettering began teaching at a nearby one-room school house. He left two years later to enter the College of Wooster but eyesight problems caused his return to teaching. Another two years later Kettering entered Ohio State University, but again weak eyesight caused him to leave and he began work on a crew installing telephone wiring to carry this recent invention across the countryside. Returning once again to Ohio State, he persevered and eventually, at the age of twenty eight, obtained a degree in electrical engineering. The university recommended him for employment at the National Cash Register Company (NCR) in Dayton, Ohio.