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Jack Kilby monument.

Inventor of the Microchip Monument

Field review by the editors.

Great Bend, Kansas

Jack Kilby was not born in Great Bend (or even Kansas) but he did grow up there, graduating high school in 1941 before eventually landing a job at Texas Instruments. That's where he invented the integrated circuit in the summer of 1958.

He was awarded the Nobel Prize in physics in 2000 and died in 2005. After many delays, his hometown of Great Bend unveiled its Kilby monument, titled "The Gift," in front of its county courthouse on April 28, 2012.

The sculpture makes Kilby look a bit like a comic book archvillain scientist. He leans forward, a hulking guy with a bald head, his tie flapping in the Kansas wind. A microchip is barely visible in his meaty left hand, which he extends toward a teenage boy.

Meanwhile, an impatient-looking girl seems to demand the microchip while pointing skyward, "to the stars," according to the statue's Great Bend sculptor, Chet Cale.

Quick, future generations -- grab the microchip before the breeze blows it away!

Inventor of the Microchip Monument

1400 Main St., Great Bend, KS
Downtown, on the east side of Main St./US Hwy 281, four blocks north of 10th St./US Hwy 56. In front of the Barton County Court House.
Lit at night. Local health policies may affect hours and access.
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
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Nearby Offbeat Places

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In the region:
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