As I sat on the deck of the ship which was taking me to the universities of Europe, and watched its eagerness to get away from the busy harbor of New York, I thought of the day when, nine years before, I had arrived on the immigrant ship. I said to myself: "Michael Pupin, the most valuable asset which you carried into New York harbor nine years ago was your knowledge of, and profound respect and admiration for, the best traditions of your race...the most valuable assets which you are now taking with you from New York harbor is your knowledge of, and profound respect and admiration for, the best traditions of your adopted country."
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Michael Pupin's was a genuinely American story, the lifelong journey of a boy from rural Serbia, from a town so tiny it appeared on no maps, who became one of the greatest scientists of the early 20th century, changing the lives of people the world over with his technological innovations-he invented the therapeutic X-ray and made telephone communications practical and inexpensive-and helping to invent the modern world we know today. First published in 1922, Pupin's autobiography won the Pulitzer Prize in 1924, but Pupin's insightful and incisive words are their own greatest recommendation.
Also available from Cosimo Classics: Pupin's The New Reformation.
American physicist and writer MICHAEL IDVORSKY PUPIN (1858-1935) was born in Serbia and emigrated to the United States as a teenager. As a professor and researcher at Columbia University, he invented sonar and made important discoveries in the fields of X-ray physics and telecommunications.