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Fate took Kilby from Kansas blizzard to Nobel Prize

Jeremy Guthrie, from Mark’s Custom Signs, installs bronze plaques to the Jack Kilby Memorial Plaza at Kilby Square in downtown Great Bend on Wednesday afternoon. The monument will be completed when the sculpture is set this week, in time for the evening unveiling ceremony on April 28.

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Early in April 1938, a massive snow and ice storm knocked out most of the telephone and power lines in Western Kansas. With communications down, the electric, gas and oil companies were scrambling to make contact with their distant offices and crews. Amateur radio operators came to the rescue and inspired a young high school student named Jack Kilby.
 At the time, Jack’s father, Hubert S. Kilby was in charge of the Kansas Power Company, a corporation formed in 1929 by the consolidation of Great Bend Water & Electric Company and several others. With telephone lines down and snowdrifts of ...


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