641     March 21, 1966 (Taped March 14)
Betsy, Bill, Bess, Henry

Hans Mauch from Dayton, Ohio: “Using this machine, I can read with my fingertips”                 
Mauch’s invention translates printed letters into electrical impulses which a blind person, with proper training, can feel and interpret as text.  While Mauch’s invention had practical limitations (a trained user could only read about ten words a minute), it was an early advancement in what would become the field of text-to-speech devices.  Mauch is also known today for his early work on jet engines, and for his innovations in prosthetic limbs.  His “S-N-S” hydraulic leg design developed in the 1950s is still commonly used today.   

91-year-old Dr. Aurelius McGarvey Wallace from Gate City, Virginia: “I flew to New York in a jet plane…I was the pilot” 
Dr. Wallace is a practicing physician who has flown his own planes since 1938.  He is believed to be the nation’s oldest licensed pilot.  In 1964 he took an FAA fitness test and passed with flying colors.  He flew his first jet, an air force trainer, in 1965.  His wife and son are also pilots.  Dr. Wallace would die of natural causes in 1972 at the age of 97.   

Special guest Bob Holiday: “I’m going to teach Steve Allen to fly like Superman tonight”                 
Holiday is in costume for his title role in the Broadway musical It’s a Bird…It’s a Plane…It’s Superman (1966), which is opening on March 29.  Despite generally positive reviews, the ambitious show would not connect with audiences and would close in July.  It would be revived several times in the following years, including a poorly received 1975 TV adaptation that did not feature Holiday.  The actor, hired more for his impressive build and good looks than for his talent, would find few acting roles in the years that followed, and would develop a successful second career as a custom home builder.  Here, the show gets comical mileage out of Steve flailing about on the wires.