HORNBY The Boy Who Made $1,000,000 With A Toy
M. P. GOULD
"Start Something" has two meanings. When you tease your little sister, pester your pals, try to fool your father or trick your teacher, you are "starting something." And when you play with blocks, lay tracks and run trains, and then set up a wireless outfit or build derricks, steam- boats, automobiles, and bridges; or still later make money by thinking up some special scheme and putting it through you are "starting something" of a different character. Every boy has a natural desire to "start something." He wants to build, or make, or invent new things, or new and better ways of doing old things. "Penrod," in Booth Tarkington's book, was an inventor; he was always "startting something," but always getting into trouble, playing pranks, getting ahead of the other boys, deceiving his parents. Some people think "Penrod" is almost as bad as "Nick Carter," or "Huckleberry Finn" Frank Hornby "started something" a long time ago and now he is a millionaire. He "started" because he read a book called "Self Help" which was written by Samuel Smiles, and which tells the stories of great men who have invented useful things, and of how they, too, "started something" and stuck to it until success crowned their efforts.
Frank Hornby invented a toy that is making it easy for boys all over the world to start building aeroplanes; constructing bridges; designing automobiles and a thousand other things. By playing with this invention any boy can learn how to make many things that are practical and useful, and may "start something" that will help make money for him when he grows up. I have written the story of how Frank Hornby "started something" so that boys all over America might know how he succeeded, and might find in his experience, ideas which would enable them to "start something" and perhaps make a million dollars also. Few of us like to read books that are dull and dry. We like books that are exciting and that rouse our ambitions and make us long to be like the people we read about. "Treasure Island'' makes us want to be a pirate. "Ivanhoe" makes us want to be a brave, fearless Knight and rescue fair maidens from castle dungeons. "The Last of the Mohicans" makes us want to be crafty in the woods and escape from the "Murderous Indians." "Arabian Nights" fills us with a feeling of mystery and awe, while "Robinson Crusoe" stirs up our imagination and makes us want to be left alone on a desolate island, and do the things he did.
and His Friends" makes us love dogs, while no one can read "Black
Beauty" without wanting to own and pet, and ride and drive, a pony
just like ''Black Beauty"