This article presents success stories of James Hartness, American Society of Mechanical Engineers President, aviator, and governor of Vermont. Hartness, who started his working life an apprentice machinist, became a major inventor of improved machine tools and measuring techniques. He made pioneering contributions in the fields of astronomy and aviation, and mentored and inspired others. Hartness's improbable career opportunity occurred in 1889, when the small and struggling, privately owned Jones and Lamson machine shop moved from Windsor to Springfield, Vermont. Hartness wrote of the need for respect and the importance of considering the factory worker who operates the machines. He explained that habit is good, and that improved machine tools would be successful only if they could be operated effectively. Hartness had a brief political career as a one-term governor of Vermont. He had served well on several state commissions and in 1920 he was nominated as the Republican candidate.

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