engineering

Ray Dolby and the Noise Reduction System

Ray Dolby and the Noise Reduction System

On January 18, 1933, American engineer and inventor Ray Milton Dolby was born. Dolby is best known for the invention of his eponymous analogue noise reduction technology and played a key role in the development of the first commercial video tape recorders. “To be an inventor, you have to be willing to live with a sense of uncertainty, to work in this darkness and grope towards an answer, to put up with anxiety…
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Sergei Pavlovich Korolev – the Father of Practical Astronautics

Sergei Pavlovich Korolev – the Father of Practical Astronautics

On January 12, 1907, lead Soviet rocket engineer and spacecraft designer during the Space Race Sergei Korolev was born. Korolev is regarded by many as the “father of practical astronautics“. He was involved in the development of the R-7 Rocket, Sputnik 1,[1] launching Laika, Belka and Strelka and the first human being, Yuri Gagarin,[2] into space. “Today we are witnesses to the fulfillment of the dream that occupied some outstanding people, among them…
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William Hedley – Puffing Billy and the Rise of Railway Transportation

William Hedley – Puffing Billy and the Rise of Railway Transportation

On January 9, 1843, British coal-mine official and inventor William Hedley passed away. Hedley was probably the first to build a commercially useful steam locomotive dependent on friction between wheels and rails as opposed to using a geared track. In 1813, he constructed the famous Puffing Billy, the world’s oldest surviving steam locomotive. Early Railways There have been ruts to guide carts on roads since prehistoric times. The development that led to the railway, however,…
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Christopher Polhem anticipating the Industrial Revolution

Christopher Polhem anticipating the Industrial Revolution

On December 18, 1661, Swedish scientist, inventor, and industrialist Christopher Polhem was born. He made significant contributions to the economic and industrial development of Sweden, particularly mining. He notable introduced a division of labour among manufacturing tasks, centuries before the production line methods pioneered by Henry Ford. Christopher Polhem – Early Years Christopher Polhem was the son of Christina Eriksdotter Schening from Vadstena, Sweden, and Wulf Christopher Polhammar, a German merchant who immigrated…
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Peter Carl Goldmark LP record, Color TV, and Video Recorder

Peter Carl Goldmark LP record, Color TV, and Video Recorder

On December 2, 1906, German-Hungarian engineer Peter Carl Goldmark was born. While working for Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS), he developed the first commercial color television system (1940), which used a rotating three-color disk. Goldmark also also developed the 33-1/3 LP phonograph that greatly increased the playing time of records, which revolutionized the recording industry. Peter Carl Goldmark – Early Years Peter Carl Goldmark was born in Budapest, Hungary, and little is known about…
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Ferdinand de Lesseps and the Suez Canal

Ferdinand de Lesseps and the Suez Canal

On November 19, 1805, French diplomat and later developer of the Suez Canal Ferdinand Marie, Vicomte de Lesseps was born. The Suez Canal that was constructed under de Lessep’s supervision in 1869 joined the Mediterranean and Red Seas, substantially reducing sailing distances and times between the West and the East. “Since 1849 I have studied incessantly, under all its aspects, a question which was already in my mind [since 1832. I confess that my scheme is still…
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The Dornier Do X – the World’s Largest Seaplane

The Dornier Do X – the World’s Largest Seaplane

On November 5, 1930, the Dornier Do X, the largest, heaviest, and most powerful flying boat in the world took off for a demonstration test flight to the Netherlands, England, France, Spain, and Portugal. After a delay due to technical problems, the Do X continued her journey to Cape Verde and Brazil to finally reach New York on August 27, 1931. The Largest Plane in the World The Do X was a…
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Vannoccio Biringuccio and the Art of Metalworking

Vannoccio Biringuccio and the Art of Metalworking

Probably on October 20, 1480, Italian matallurgist Vannoccio Biringuccio was born. He is best known for his manual on metalworking, De la pirotechnia, published posthumously in 1540. Biringuccio is considered by some as the father of the foundry industry. Vannoccio Biringuccio – Early Years Biringuccio was born in Siena to Paolo Biringuccio, thought to have been an architect and public servant, and his mother was Lucrezia di Bartolommeo Biringuccio. He was baptised…
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Karl Nessler and the Invention of Permanent Waves

Karl Nessler and the Invention of Permanent Waves

On October 8, 1906, German inventor Karl Ludwig Nessler presented his newly invented apparatus to produce permanent waves in his hairdresser salon in Oxford Street, London. Karl Nessler Education and Training Karl Nessler was the son of the shoemaker Bartholomäus Nessler and his wife Rosina (née Laitner) from the Black Forest town of Todtnau below the Feldberg. The idea for the permanent wave allegedly came to him already in his youth. It…
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Christiaan Huygens and the Development of the Pocket Watch

Christiaan Huygens and the Development of the Pocket Watch

On October 4, 1675, prominent Dutch mathematician, physicist, astronomer and inventor Christiaan Huygens patented a pocket watch. Huygens was a leading scientist of his time, who established the wave theory of light and made outstanding astronomical discoveries. He also patented the first pendulum clock in 1656, which he has developed to meet his need for exact time measurement while observing the heavens. “…the power of this line [the cycloid] to measure time.”  –…
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