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Sciencenter Partners with the History Center to Highlight Science, History and an Ithaca Inventor

December 20, 2005

ITHACA, NY - In the first-ever collaborative effort exhibit of the Sciencenter and The History Center in Tompkins County, museum visitors can discover the world of Everett Fleet Morse, whose inventions provided the foundation for a large section of today's Ithaca-based manufacturing industry.

The exhibit, "Everett Fleet Morse: An Inventor in Ithaca," gives Sciencenter visitors an opportunity to explore a number of original patents, personal and historical artifacts, and photographs of Everett Fleet Morse and the Morse family.

Fleet, as he was known, invented an efficient bicycle chain. From this modest beginning soon emerged a thriving industry, one that produced efficient smooth-running chains that drove machinery and automobiles all over the world.

Fleet graduated from Cornell University in 1884 with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and served his community as alderman of the City of Ithaca. His grandson and namesake, who loaned the Morse family artifacts for the exhibition, is also a Cornell graduate.

Born in Ithaca in 1857, Everett Fleet Morse was a distant cousin of Samuel F.B. Morse who invented the telegraph. The 1858 Transatlantic cable, invented by Samuel F.B. Morse, allowed North America and Europe to communicate instantly. A piece of the original transatlantic cable, which belonged to Everett Fleet Morse, forms part of the exhibit.

"Everett Fleet Morse: An Inventor in Ithaca," is a Discovery Trail exhibit created in partnership by The History Center and the Sciencenter. The exhibit is generously sponsored by Emerson Power Transmission, BorgWarner Morse TEC Inc., Cornell University Office of Community Relations and Cornell University Library, and the Morse Family. The exhibition will be on display at the Sciencenter through February 28, 2006.

The Sciencenter is a hands-on science museum for people of all ages with over 200 exhibits, educational programs, a gift shop, an outdoor science park, and a seasonal 18-hole miniature golf course. The museum is open Tuesday-Saturday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and on Sunday from noon-5 p.m. The museum is closed on Mondays. The museum will be closed Christmas Day (Sunday, December 25) and New Year's Day (Sunday, January 1). Admission is $6 for adults, $5 for seniors, $4 for children 3-17 years, and free to members and children under 3. For membership information, current programs and activities, please visit The Sciencenter is a proud member of the Discovery Trail in Ithaca. More information can be found at

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