Glamour Doesn’t Change The World

Keith Tantlinger, Builder of Cargo Container, Dies at 92

[W]ithout ever intending to, Mr. Tantlinger, an engineer who died at 92 on Aug. 27 and who had long worked out of the limelight, helped bring about the vast web of international trade that is a fact of 21st-century life. More than any other innovation, the modern shipping container — by turns venerated and castigated — is now acknowledged to have been the spark that touched off globalization.

Boldfaced emphasis added by me.


In the early 1960s, Mr. Tantlinger prevailed on Mr. McLean to relinquish the patents to the corner fittings and twist-lock, permitting them be used industrywide.

Boldfaced emphasis added by me.

That is what happens when adults rule the world. They put the well-being of everyone ahead of their own parochial and ephemeral self-interest.

They don’t fight like children (read: Apple) over “What’s mine.”

And if you think that was a fluke, let me remind you again about the Compact Cassette:

Although there were other magnetic tape cartridge systems, the Compact Cassette became dominant as a result of Philips’ decision in the face of pressure from Sony to license the format free of charge.

Boldfaced emphasis added by me.

There are plenty of people who have changed the world. We don’t know their names. They never sought stardom, never held Events to introduce or showcase their products, were never on the covers of magazines.

They weren’t stars.

They were more important than that.



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2 responses to “Glamour Doesn’t Change The World

  1. “They weren’t stars.

    They were more important than that.”

    Nice, thx.

  2. Pingback: The Patent Trap | The well-prepared mind

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