The Thinking Machine

While doing some reorganizing in my library I ran across a book that brought back a lot of memories.

It is one of the many books in my multi-generational library that brings back memories.

Grandpa and Grandma - Ancestors - Older couple - White Beard - Old GlassesThe book belonged to my Grandparents and I would often read it when I would go visit them.

Big Blue Van, Grandpa's Van, Hamburg, IowaMy Grandparents lived in a big old country house near Hamburg, Iowa. When we visited them I usually had plenty of time to do some reading, especially if it was in the winter and we couldn’t go outside.

books, detectives, Jacques Futrelle, Titantic, MemoriesThe book is The Thinking Machine: Adventures of a Mastermind by Jacques Futrelle.

This book has three short stories that feature Professor Augustus S.F.X Van Dusen who was known as the Thinking Machine. He was featured in more than 50 short stories and a novel, with many of the short stories first appearing in publications like The Saturday Evening Post.

books, detectives, Jacques Futrelle, Titantic, MemoriesI had never checked to see if Jacques Futrelle had written any more stories until today. I now have a book on my way through inter-library loan which has more of his stories.

I am pretty sure that my Grandma picked up this book at an estate sale or a yard sale and the reason why it caught her eye was the name of the professor. My Grandma was a Van Duzor, which is one of the many spelling variants of the descendants of Abraham Pietersen Van Deursen who came to New Amsterdam in the early 1600’s. Van Duesen is another variant and if The Thinking Machine had been a real person he would have been a distant cousin.

When I found out that my Grandparents were going to downsize and move to a smaller place in town I asked if I could take this book and a few others home with me.

I also found out something interesting about the author. He was a passenger on the Titanic. He was able to get his wife on a lifeboat and was last seen standing with John Jacob Astor IV on the deck of the Titanic.

I am looking forward to the arrival of the book at the library, and in the meantime will read these short stories again.


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