Technical innovators help define American exceptionalism, and these pages focus on the pioneers and companies that are paving an American path into the future. American invention and discovery transformed the world, and they continue to play a central part in humanity’s most celebrated advances.

leather for basketballs

Chicago Craftsmanship: Horween Leather Company

For those who follow big-league professional sports, the name of the Horween Leather Company may be slightly familiar. That's because, for the last 77 years and the last 11 years, respectively, the company has supplied the leather that official balls for the National Football League (NFL) and the National Basketball Association (NBA) have been made from. In addition to this honor, the company supplies leather for some of the finest baseball gloves, upscale apparel and luxury accessory merchandise to be found anywhere. The company continues to be one of the last remaining leather tanneries still located in the United States.

ditullo designs

A New American Design Hero: Michael DiTullo

Multitalented and multidisciplinary designer Michael DiTullo has conceived innumerable products from footwear to automobiles to razors to speakers. But for DiTullo, everything starts with a simple sketch on a sheet of paper that he uses to rapidly communicate an idea, usually to a client or a manufacturer. From a sketch, a manager or business person can quickly grasp what DiTullo has in mind from a design standpoint, what it would take to produce such an item and possibly what the manufacturing costs and/or potential production obstacles might be.


Pushing the Scientific Envelope: NASA

In the immediate aftermath of World War II, both the United States and the Soviet Union continued to advance their already-substantial military programs of aeronautics research, some of which had contributed significantly to particular victories during the war.


California Coachbuilding By Michael Di Tullo

Every action has an equal and opposite reaction in physics as well as design. In this age of nearly autonomous appliances that we still call cars, there's an emerging group of American coachbuilders breathing new joy into the art of the automobile. The same person that uses a Tesla with autopilot to fight their way through their daily grind of a commute may want a very different kind of automobile to enjoy on the weekend. Affluent drivers with a sense of taste and nostalgia are now starting to turn to a select group of U.S.-based shops that are elevating the design of vehicles to a fine art form.