One of the first (conceptual) frameworks developed for understanding the relation of science and technology to the economy has been the linear model of innovation. The model postulated that innovation starts with basic research, is followed by applied research and development, and ends with production and diffusion. The precise source of the model remains nebulous, having never been documented. Several authors who have used, improved, or criticized the model in the past fifty years rarely acknowledged or cited any original source. The model usually was taken for granted. According to others, however, it comes directly from V. Bush’s Science: The Endless Frontier ( 1995). This article traces the history of the linear model, suggesting that it developed in three steps corresponding to three scientific communities looking at science analytically. The article argues that statistics is a main reason the model is still alive despite criticisms, alternatives, and having been proclaimed dead.