WMU History Professor Emeritus Dale Porter was interviewed by two reporters for the BBC on the topic of Sir Goldworthy Gurney, an amateur British scientist who developed the first steam-powered car during the 1820s. The BBC produced an online news video about Gurney as well as an article for the BBC News published on January 22, 2015.
The interviewers contacted Porter because he authored a well-known biography titled The Life and Times of Sir Goldsworthy Gurney: Gentleman Scientist and Inventor, 1793-1875, published by Lehigh University Press in 1998. The article notes that in 1829, Gurney’s steam car traveled from London to Bath, which was the longest sustained journey by a mechanized vehicle.
Porter was an undergraduate at WMU. He earned his M.A. at Stanford and his Ph.D. at the University of Oregon before returning to WMU in 1970. "The Life and Times..." was one of five books he published during his career at WMU before retiring in 2000. Dale notes that he and his wife, Betty, are caretakers and docents for a 1906 house museum in Nederland, Colorado.