About the Inspiration


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John S. Howell III, Army Air Corps Cadet 1943

John S. Howell III,
Army Air Corps Cadet, 1943

The most influential force in Susan Howell’s life was her father, John Stinson Howell III. His wealth and influence gave Susan entrée to national and international leaders, and an insider’s look at world-changing events. More importantly, his values and beliefs helped Susan to maintain the important perspectives that have led to a worthwhile life of artistic expression and civic service. 

John Howell and the JETCAL

A decorated pilot in World War II, Mr. Howell was a commercial leader who helped to create the jet age with his revolutionary JETCAL® Analyzer. His invention was adopted worldwide by the U.S. armed forces, commercial airlines and America’s allies. By the beginning of the Jet Age, Mr. Howell was considered the nation’s foremost authority in designing and manufacturing testing and calibrating equipment for jet engines. 

Prior to the development of Mr. Howell’s technology, jet aircraft were generally unstable and costly because their engines would often overheat, and engine testing required removal from the plane. As a result, it was difficult to maintain consistent and reliable performance. JETCAL testing caused cases of engine overheating to drop dramatically, which quickly made his invention an integral part of the jet manufacturing and testing processes. Now, the gauge is required in every jet aircraft.

Susan regularly accompanied her father on his visits to military bases around the world. Often, these trips included lengthy visits with political dignitaries and military leaders, as well as the officers and enlisted men in the military facilities. As a result, she had a first-hand look at the workings of political leaders and U.S. military operations around the world.