Our Founding Fathers were a mixed bag: From small farmers and merchants to lawyers — and in President George Washington’s case, a surveyor turned warrior turned gentleman planter. Some were statesmen; others lacked formal education. Many had wealth while others eked out a modest living, and John Hancock undoubtedly had the best penmanship. Ah, America in the making.
But the purest embodiment of the American spirit – still invaluable today — is that of the premier colonial entrepreneur, Benjamin Franklin. A scientist, publisher, diplomat, and inventor. A man who helped draft both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States, established the postal system, and helped turn electricity from a parlor trick into a powerful force.
Franklin could not, apparently, sit still. He invented the lightning rod, studied ocean currents, meteorology, causes of the common cold, and refrigeration. His frugal side drove him to develop the Franklin stove, which provided more heat while using less fuel than others, and bifocal eyeglasses – which helped the masses read anything not penned by John Hancock.
By all accounts, he was an American long before the country was Independent. At Liberty Nation, we appreciate Franklin’s legacy and want to introduce you to a man who is today’s epitome of American ingenuity: Warren McClurg.
And here’s why McClurg is at the top of our list this Independence Day – Spark-eez.
A Labor of Love
While watching his young daughter attempt to ignite a sparkler with what he calls “antiquated chemistry” and cringing as the lighter got hotter by the second, McClurg vowed to invent a better way. As he says, “This delicate balancing act of holding a lighter in one hand — while waiting for the sparkler to ignite in the other — seemed dangerous.”
McClurg owns and operates an Inlingua International, a linguistics business that translates on a contractual basis with Bayer Corp., but when it’s time to figure out how to make a better mousetrap, he dons his entrepreneur-chemist hat and calls his friends.
After trial chemical concoctions, copious time spent in $800 an-hour labs, and a delicate wrangling with a small range of nanotechnologies, together, they came up with a strike-to-light sparkler – which then took five years to patent.
But that Benjamin Franklin trait of stick-to-itiveness paid off, and today, Spark-eez is the only sparkler manufactured in America. It is the only firework sporting a matchless, lighter-less technology now used for every kind of American celebration, from commemorating anniversaries, birthdays, weddings, and, when the time comes, independence and freedom.
An Outspoken Patriot
In many ways, McClurg exhibits the free and independent spirit of the Continental Congress who gathered in Philadelphia in June of 1776, where Virginian Richard Henry Lee presented delegates with a resolution that forever altered the course of unbridled tyranny throughout the world:
“Resolved: That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.”
As with Benjamin Franklin and all our Founding Fathers, McClurg is not shy in expressing his thoughts on the political quagmire we face today. Is he enamored with President Trump? Not as anyone can tell, but he does believe that the president “is a stand-alone hero. The only person that stands between us and the insane.”
And by insane, McClurg reminds us that the Democratic Party is straying far into a socialist regime and notes the desire the left seems to have to eliminate the free market. “When the public servant has become the public master, this Republic will cease to exist. Trump is the perfect CEO for my nation and simply must be reelected.”
While celebrating the birth of our nation, salute Old Glory, clang the bells, light the sky with fireworks, ignite a Spark-eez, and embody the spirit of ‘76. Tell anyone who will listen that America must remain free and let those who would destroy her from the inside out know that cannot happen. The Republic is as worth fighting for now as it was in 1776, and channel the words of Mr. Franklin: “We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.”
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