The Oldest Living American Never Thought They’d See This
41,610 isn’t the new height of the Dow.
And it’s not the amount of Executive Orders signed by the end of 2016.
It’s the number of days the oldest living American has been alive.
These 41,610 days of life grant Ms. Adele Dunlap of New Jersey membership into the most exclusive club in the history of humankind: “the supercentenarian club.” Minimum qualifying age: 110 years.
Despite the revolving door of presidents she’s witnessed, there’s been one constant throughout Ms. Adele’s life span: the power of regular individuals with extraordinary odds to drive humankind forward with the help of technological breakthroughs.
That was the case the week after Ms. Adele’s first birthday — December 17, 1903. That’s when two brothers from Dayton, Ohio did the impossible: they made man fly.
And they did so without university degrees or the $70,000 grant the federal government had given Dr. Samuel Langley of the Smithsonian Institution to attempt the same feat.
Against these odds, the two brothers made history by inventing, building, and flying the first airplane. By the time Ms. Adele was a teenager, the aviation revolution was in full flight.
Commercial flights on winged airplanes would give humans a new view of the world and unleash one of the largest waves of opportunity and prosperity during Ms. Adele’s teenage years and into her adulthood.
But that wasn’t the only invention that would change the world during Ms. Adele’s lifetime.
On July 15, 1908 – after two failures and only $223.65 in the company checkbook – Henry Ford sold the first Model-T, defying the odds and creating a product that would take man off the horse-drawn carriage and put America on the road to progress.
By the time Ms. Adele was in her 20s, Ford would become the world’s first self-made billionaire creating an unimaginable wave of wealth for him and his investors.
Up to this point, it would have been extremely difficult for someone like Ms. Adele to claim a piece of the wealth that was generated in her lifetime.
That would all change with the following invention and the revolution that would ensue thanks to a man from Iowa….
Robert Noyce would become known as “the Mayor of Silicon Valley” following his creation of the silicon chip that would be included inside nearly every computer in the world to this day.
Until these breakthroughs in information technology, it was extremely difficult for someone like Ms. Adele to learn about the progress of humanity and the wealth that was available in the advent of technologies created by Ford or the Wright Brothers.
Regular investors wouldn’t hear about the most important news in the markets until after the professionals in Wall Street had their fill. They would have to wait to read the news in the “extra” sections that were added to the newspapers.
The problem, of course, was that by the time the “news” got to regular investors outside Wall Street, all that was left were stale, left-over bread crumbs.
Today, thanks to this information revolution, you can learn about the innovators of our time and their breakthroughs and stake your claim — ahead of the crowds.
for The Daily Reckoning