During the holiday season at the end of each calendar year, I usually take time to reflect upon the past year and then think about how I might want to invest my volunteer time, energy, and money in the coming year. I also think about what “Resolutions” I should make for the New Year. Of course, many of us seldom follow through and keep them. In my case, cleaning up the garage is a perfect example.

However, the day after Christmas I started once again, by throwing out a stack magazines that remained unread for months. I can blame that on being too busy being focused on emergency preparedness projects such as ALERT, CERT, NERT, CERN, and STAR. (My regular readers know what all these acronyms mean.)

Today’s blog is sharing some thoughts that grew out of my thinking about a most historic period in the history of Petaluma … the perfection of the egg incubator in the late 1800s. According to local historians, credit for developing a practical incubator capable of maintaining a temperature of 103 degrees for a period of three weeks, so that embryos inside eggs can develop and hatch. (Patent # 319,064, dated June 2, 1885 to joint inventors Lyman Byce and Isaac Dias.)

Pet IncubByce1st Incub

Illustrations from “History of Petaluma: A California River Town” by Adair Heig, Scottwall Associates, Petaluma, California, 1982, and“Empty Shells: The Story of Petaluma, America’s Chicken City, by Thea Lowry, Manifold Press, 2000.

The invention of their incubator helped Petaluma become known as the “Egg Capital of the World.” The new device certainly hatched eggs in a more effective, efficient, and economical manner.

Since moving to Petaluma in 1993 and learning about the history of the chicken and egg industry with the invention of the incubator, I believe each of us can become a “human” incubator” – capable of inventing social processes that address the needs, concerns, and problems of the 21st Century. Through logical thought and planning, “something” new can gradually be developed and created that will solve the basic issue.

Over the past 15 years, I have had the opportunity to join with other community volunteers and function like an “incubator” … hatching new ideas and pilot projects designed to achieve the desired goals in a more “effective, efficient, and economical manner.” As I continue to “reflect” on the past, the PetalumaNet project launched in 1995 was an “incubator” type project. Over the next few weeks, I hope to relive part of that earlier journey by “Revisiting Our Information Highway” – and recall how citizen volunteers stepped up to the plate and made many contributions toward establishing Petaluma as a CyberCity. The growth and developing of our CyberSpace and CyberPlace is worth recalling.

It’s a New Year’s Resolution I hope I can keep; as well as clean up the garage 😉
Stay tuned as I warm up our Cyber-incubator and hatch a few more Information Highway blogs.