Ohio History Journal




The saga of Ohio is replete with factors of strong senti-

mental appeal and compelling human interest. The pioneer,

triumphant over innumerable obstacles; the soldier, clothed

with the mantle of patriotism and heroism; the political

leader, emotional in his oratorical pleas; and the reformer,

with panaceas for the ills or supposed ills of society--

these have all been fruitful and fascinating themes in the

hands of the historian. And well they might be, since

Ohio has such a rich heritage along social, political, and

cultural lines.

There are, however, factors more silent in their opera-

tions that may have been of greater significance in shaping

the course of life than those around which center so much

fanfare. Inventive ingenuity and industrial initiative condi-

tion to a marked degree the economic environment in which

one lives. He who tries to find new ways of doing things

or improved methods of operation in the economic world

often leads a contemplative life and proceeds in an unob-

trusive fashion, yet produces lasting results for society.

Ohio has had an unusual number of inventors and industrial

leaders of note who have made signal contributions, but

may not have received as much attention as they merit.

Their story is not glamorous and it does not arouse emo-

tional interest, but it is highly meaningful in terms of

growth and development of the state. James Leffel, who

belongs to this group, well deserves the article on him in

this current issue of Ohio History, and we hope and antici-

pate that there will be other articles of this kind in future



Guest Editor