It seems fitting that the Grand Canyon still serves as a site of innovation. In 1882, Dutton published his Tertiary History of the Grand Cañon District as a Monograph of the U.S.G.S. that included this quote:
“Great innovations, whether in art or literature, in science or in nature, seldom take the world by storm. They must be understood before they can be estimated, and must be cultivated before they can be understood.”That quote, from Clarence Dutton, was not inspired by computers or light bulbs, but instead by the Grand Canyon. Weaving together geology and eloquent descriptions of unparalleled scenery, he argues that the Grand Canyon, as an idea not as a physical reality, is a great innovation. “As with all great innovations it is not to be comprehended, in a day or a week, nor even in a month. It must be dwelt upon and studied,” he explained.