Eric Flint Wiki
Tom Stone
Fictional Character
1632 series
POD: May, 1631
Appearance(s): "To Dye For" in Ring of Fire
1634: The Galileo Affair
1635: The Cannon Law
"Dye Another Day" in Ring of Fire III
1635: The Papal Stakes
Type of Appearance: Direct
Nationality: United States of Europe (born in the United States of America)
Date of Birth: 1950/1955
Occupation: Businessman
Spouse: Magda Stone
Children: Frank Stone, Gerry Stone, Ron Stone
Created by: Mercedes Lackey

Tom "Stoner" Stone was a laid back "non-businessman" who "Tuned In and Dropped Out" in the early seventies, leaving Pharmacology graduate school at Purdue University to join the Lothlorien Commune outside Grantville. After the commune fell apart, Tom remained. He was officially the father of three boys, Frank, Gerry, and Ron, although only Frank was his biological son. In addition to teaching himself subsistence farming, Tom provided for his small family by raising improved strains of Cannabis in a home-built greenhouse and selling it to an out-of-town contact to avoid trouble with the law. He successfully bribed the kids to keep it secret by promising not to reveal their real names.

After the Ring of Fire stranded Grantville in the past, Stone's agricultural skills became critical for the town's survival. Even his marijuana plants became a valuable, legal commodity, ensuring that he'd achieve more than subsistence.

In 1632, Grantville was visited by Magdelena Edelmann, the daughter-bookkeeper of Karl Jurgen Edelmann, Jena's guildmaster. Tom and Magda fell in love nearly at first sight. However, Herr Edelmann deemed Stone unsuitable as a husband due to Stone's lack of material wealth. Initially, Tom's colorful tie-dyed shirts had signaled "money" in a society where only the rich could afford colors. While Stone refused to charge the town for his cannabis, since it was for medical purposes, he did begin to think about colors in cloth.

Aided by the High School's science department, Stone helped develop simpler (early era) antibiotics such as chloramphenicol and some sulfa drugs, as well as the insecticide DDT. He was also able to develop a simple and cheap process for making colorfast dyes. Herr Edelmann relented, and Stone married Magdelena.

His ability to make a waterproof green ink was important in the production and acceptance of the New United States' paper currency, and he was effectively left in charge of designing it. As a result, the bills had images of a buck ($1), hands kneading dough ($5), a loaf of bread ($10), and the singer Johnny Cash ($20).[1]

By 1633, "Doctor Professor Stone" was firmly established as an increasingly rich and famous dye maker, pharmacologist and chemist. He was named as the medical attache to the United States of Europe's first delegation to the Most Serene Republic of Venice. He accepted a year's posting to lecture at the University of Padua to spread his scientific knowledge.