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Photo of Elwood Haynes in his first car
Elwood Haynes in his first car in 1894

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Elwood Haynes
A Local Legacy

Have you ever heard of Elwood Haynes? Well, maybe you have heard of some of his inventions: stainless steel, the thermostat, and the horseless carriage.

Born in Portland, Indiana on October 14, 1857, Elwood Haynes invented one of the first successful gasoline-powered automobiles. He also invented stainless steel, the thermostat used in houses, and many other items. As a young boy, Haynes was curious about how things worked. When he was 12 he read his sister's college chemistry book, and by 15 he was experimenting with alloys, metallic substances made of two or more elements.

In 1886, natural gas was found in Haynes's hometown. After this discovery he organized a company to supply it to the town. In 1893, he purchased a gasoline-powered engine and designed a "horseless carriage," or auto. Haynes then went on to invent the muffler and different metal alloys. Specifically, he invented stellite alloy, which may be his most important invention. This metal alloy was the first step in the development of a series of space-age alloys.

Are you interested in science and scientific experiments? Maybe you could be the next Elwood Haynes.

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