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Blessed Day font designed by Billy Argel.

Blessed Day font designed by Billy Argel.

Makers love asking themselves lots of “what if?” questions throughout their day.  I recently got to thinking, “What if Kickstarter videos were not about some future project, but were about some past project?”  It’s a fun creative exercise to imagine what people in history would have said if they had created a Kickstarter video for their project.  To start things off, here is a Historical Kickstarter from Ferdinand de Lesseps, the French engineer who launched the project to build the Panama Canal.   While de Lesseps did not succeed in completing the canal, he deserves a lot of credit for laying the groundwork for the later success by the American engineers who completed the Panama Canal.

In creating this video, I tried to become Ferdinand de Lesseps as described in different books I’ve read. All the facts and figures in this video are historically accurate, too.  And now it’s your turn. What would a Historical Kickstarter video look like made by the Wright Brothers? Neil Armstrong? Thomas Edison? And others? Use your imagination. It doesn’t have to be straight-laced. Feel free to embellish the historical story in amusing ways.

[Phil Shapiro is a maker and media maker in the Washingon DC-area. He loves open source,  digital storytelling and conducting panel discussions. He can be reached at  and on Twitter @philshapiro.]

Phil Shapiro

Phil Shapiro is a maker and media maker in the Washingon DC area. He loves open sourcedigital storytelling and fixing up donated computers to deliver to people who need them. He can be reached at and on Twitter @philshapiro.

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