Incredible History of Innovation Inspires Dayton Mini Maker Faire

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Incredible History of Innovation Inspires Dayton Mini Maker Faire

The second annual Dayton Mini Maker Faire is August 5-6 on Carillon Historical Park’s beautiful 65-acre campus. As Montgomery County’s official historical organization, Carillon Historical Park celebrates how Dayton, Ohio changed the world.

Home to the airplane, automobile self-starter, cash register, ATM, pop top, and so much more, Dayton had more patents per capita than any U.S. city by the turn of the 20th century. At the Dayton Mini Maker Faire, the city’s groundbreaking history comes to life, and inspires a whole new generation of Dayton makers.

Below is a list of makers celebrated at both Carillon Historical Park and Dayton Mini Maker Faire, that highlight the tremendous past and present of Dayton making.

Celebrated at Carillon Historical Park:

The Wright Brothers

Wilbur and Orville Wright lived and worked in Dayton, and Carillon Historical Park has more Wright family artifacts on display than any place in the world. You can even find the 1905 Wright Flyer III there. Gifted to the park by Orville Wright, the 1905 Wright Flyer III is the only airplane designated a National Historic Landmark, the world’s first practical flying machine, and what the Wright brothers considered to be their most important aircraft.

Charles F. Kettering

By 1900, there were only 150 miles of asphalt-paved road in the entire nation. When Daytonian Charles F. Kettering invented the self-starter at the turn of the century, the automobile industry boomed. Kettering invented the self-starter alongside Carillon Historical Park founder Col. Edward A. Deeds, Bill Chryst, and “the Barn Gang” in an old barn outside Deeds’ home. Deeds Barn is now located at Carillon Historical Park.

James Ritty

In 1879, Daytonian James Ritty invented the cash register. Known as the Ritty Dial, the machine was designed to prevent employees from pilfering profits at Ritty’s saloon. In 1884, John H. and Frank Patterson purchased controlling interest in Ritty’s company, National Manufacturing Co., and changed the name to National Cash Register. By the turn of the 20th century, one-sixth of the nation’s corporate executives had spent a portion of their career at NCR. Carillon Historical Park has a huge collection of cash registers, including the 1879 Ritty Dial.

Celebrated at Dayton Mini Maker Faire:

David Picciuto

The popular Make Something YouTube star, author, and Making It podcast host, will be the headline celebrity speaker at Dayton Mini Maker Faire.

Boneyard Build-Off

The main highlight of the Dayton Mini Maker Faire is the Boneyard Build-Off, a Junkyard Wars-style competition where professional makers race against the clock to complete a project using repurposed and recycled materials. Six teams participate, and attendees can either watch in person or from across the park via video feed (provided by local amateur radio operators).

The Wright Stuff Rocketeers

The Wright Stuff Rocketeers will once again have their 300×300-foot model rocket launch zone. For a small fee, visitors can build their own rocket and launch it on the green space surrounding Deeds Carillon (near the entrance to Carillon Historical Park).

Fun side note: The grounds surrounding Deeds Carillon were originally designed by the Olmsted Brothers, the famed landscape architects responsible for Central Park.

Proto BuildBar

Proto is the world’s first BuildBar, a creative experience center featuring 3D printing, electronics kits, and micro-computing in a full service café environment. Proto will provide the Learn to Solder area at Dayton Mini Maker Faire once again this year.

The Dayton Amateur Radio Association

The Dayton Amateur Radio Association, founders of Hamvention (the world’s largest ham radio convention), are sponsoring a 40×40-foot HAM radio pavilion where you can build a free crystal radio kit.

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Leo DeLuca

Leo DeLuca's writing has been featured by Ohio Magazine, Pitchfork, The A.V. Club, and more. The co-author of Dayton's Spirit of Community Service and Leadership (Dayton History, 2016), DeLuca is a three-time All Ohio Excellence in Journalism award winner.

View more articles by Leo DeLuca


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