A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Our Rich History: Kentucky inventors, entrepreneurs, innovations; free workshop at NKU’s Grant Center

By John Schlipp Special to NKyTribune Kentucky is famous for its Bourbon, the Kentucky Derby, horse breeding, and historic tourist sites such as Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill. Yet the Bluegrass state also contributes its fair share of entrepreneurial and inventive commercial activity. This was affirmed recently by Site Selection magazine (Volume 66, Issue 2, March 2021, pages 67, 86), an industry...

Our Rich History: Batty about Cincinnati: Reds’ fans and their hometown team — what a team!

By John Schlipp Special to NKyTribune “The whole town’s batty, about Cincinnati,
 What a team, what a team, what a team, Each man and lady—from one to eighty, How they scream, how they scream, how they scream.” “The Whole Town’s Batty About Cincinnati” – Larry Vincent, 1961 These humorous lyrics are part of a Reds’ home team anthem composed by Larry...

Our Rich History: Granville Woods, the black Thomas Edison, was noted inventor and held many patents

By John Schlipp Special to NKyTribune Part 61 of our series, “Resilience and Renaissance: Newport, Kentucky, 1795-2020.” A note from the “Our Rich History” editor: In celebration of the beginning of Black History Month, we honor the vast achievements of African-American inventor, Granville Woods. Nationally acclaimed as the “Black Edison,” Woods first achieved notable success in the Cincinnati...

Our Rich History: Business branding and regional trademarks — some recognized globally

By John Schlipp Special to NKyTribune All of us have identities — sort of like product brands—in addition to our names. Throughout history, even cities have branded themselves. For example, Cincinnati was originally christened as the “Queen City of the West.” Over time, its municipal marker simply became the “Queen City.” “Suspension Bridge Grand March,” by composer Henry Mayer, to...

Our Rich History: One small step for NASA, one regional leap for discovery — the local connections

By John Schlipp Special to NKyTribune Apollo missions boosted American pride. Did you realize, though, that NASA programs have also rocketed the American economy? From aerospace research to computers to Temper Foam, NASA has produced an excellent return on taxpayer dollars. The spectacular Apollo missions of NASA were more than a novel diversion or a space race with the former Soviet Union. The practice...

Our Rich History: 150th anniversary — Roots of Cincinnati Reds’ radio at Crosley Field

By John Schlipp Special to NKyTribune   (Part 2 of a three-part series celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Cincinnati Reds) Take me out to the ballgame,
Take me out to the crowd.
Buy me some peanuts and cracker jack
s don’t care if I never get back, Let me root, root, root, for the home team,
If they don’t win, it’s a shame. 
For it’s one, two, three strikes you’re...

Our Rich History: Approaching Oscars, we remember Robert Surtees, a local man who won several

By John Schlipp Special to NKyTribune With the 90th Annual Academy Awards ceremony scheduled for March 4 we should celebrate one of our region’s most frequent winners of the highly coveted Oscar® award. This Academy achievement was not for an actor or a director. Believe it or not, the winner of three Academy Awards from our region went to one of the more obscure, behind-the-scene members of a film...

Our Rich History: Cincinnati’s legendary downtown department stores and the grand downtown dining experience

Part 1 of a continuing series on Cincinnati’s grand downtown department stores By John Schlipp Special to NKyTribune For those old enough to remember the days of numerous vibrant downtown Cincinnati department stores, it makes many of us sad to hear the news of Macy’s closing their downtown store in 2018. Front cover of Lost Tea Rooms of Cincinnati. Macy’s is the descendant of Shillito’s, a...

Our Rich History: Betty Clooney, ‘the best of us,’ and part of ‘devoted’ and famous sister singing act

By John Schlipp Special to NKyTribune Sibling singing acts have been around since families sang together for after-dinner amusement before the days of plentiful prime-time broadcast entertainment. As mass media entertaining developed with radio and records, highly talented acts catapulted beyond their local churches, schools, and community events. Our region’s memorable sibling acts include: 98...

Our Rich History: Early Kentucky patents and inventors; search free at NKU’s Steely Library

By John Schlipp Special to NKyTribune Northern Kentucky has a rich history of inventors and patents, even as early as the antebellum period. The US Constitution encouraged national innovation by establishing that “Congress shall have Power…To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings...

Intellectual property adds value to your company’s assets; learn more at free business workshop

By John Schlipp Special to NKyTribune What is Intellectual Property? How does it affect our everyday lives? How does it benefit businesses? The answer to all of these questions, in addition to business planning basics, are covered at a free workshop entitled “Entrepreneur Business Basics 101: Initiate, Engage, Connect.” The event is scheduled at the Covington branch of the Kenton County Public...

Our Rich History: Una Merkel, silver screen actress, was born in Covington, had an illustrious career

By John Schlipp Special to NKyTribune Hollywood’s classic silver screen era still resounds in popular culture. Even contemporary films continue to pay homage to it. For example, director Robert Altman’s Gosford Park (2002) is a classic British “whodunit” plot set in 1932, where guests and servants fill a grand English country home. The ambiance oozes with 1930s-era Hollywood glamour. There...

Our Rich History: In recognition of Black History Month, National Inventors Day — three NKy inventors


By John Schlipp
 Special to NKyTribune Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky have a rich heritage of invention and innovation. Our region’s industrial and cultural diversity, strengthened by the mass migration of Europeans and African Americans, has played a role in making us an incubator for new ideas. With 45 US patents granted to his name, Granville Woods (1846-1910) is among the most significant...