engineering

Mary Had a Little Lamb – Edison and the Phonograph

Mary Had a Little Lamb – Edison and the Phonograph

On July 18, 1877 Thomas A. Edison conceived the first idea for his phonograph, the very first mechanical tool for recording and reproducing (replaying) sound. The phonograph also was the invention that first gained him public notice. Actually, the phonograph was intended as a byproduct of Edison’s efforts to “play back” recorded telegraph messages and to automate speech sounds for transmission by telephone. The recordings of the first phonograph generally consist of…
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The First Woman in Space – Valentina Tereshkova

The First Woman in Space – Valentina Tereshkova

On June 16th 1963 Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman went to space with Russian space mission Vostok 6. She was selected out of more than 400 applicants to pilot Vostok 6, becoming both the first woman and the first civilian to fly in space, as she was only honorarily inducted into the USSR‘s Air Force as a condition on joining the Cosmonaut Corps. On her three-day mission in space, she performed various tests…
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John A. Roebling – The Father of the Brooklyn Bridge

John A. Roebling – The Father of the Brooklyn Bridge

On June 12, 1806, engineer John Augustus Roebling was born. He was best known for the design of the Brooklyn Bridge. Sadly Roebling passed away 14 years before the famous bridge in New York City City was opened. John A. Roebling was born in Mühlhausen, he spent all his school life in Thuringia and later enrolled at the Bauakademie in Berlin. He studied architecture, bridge construction, dyke construction, hydraulics, engineering, and found…
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The Opening of The Golden Gate Bridge

The Opening of The Golden Gate Bridge

On May 27, 1937, the Golden Gate Bridge of San Francisco spanning over the opening of the San Francisco Bay and connecting the city with Marin County was opened for public traffic. When the planning for the bridge started back in 1916 many experts said that a bridge couldn’t be built across the 6,700 ft (2,042 m) strait. It had strong, swirling tides and currents, with water 372 ft (113 m) deep at the center of…
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Thomas Savery and the Invention of Steam Power

Thomas Savery and the Invention of Steam Power

At about 1650, English inventor and engineer Thomas Savery was born. Savery invented the first commercially used steam powered powered device, a steam pump which is often referred to as an “engine“. Savery‘s “engine” was a revolutionary method of pumping water, which solved the problem of mine drainage and made widespread public water supply practical. Thomas Savery became a military engineer and was promoted to Captain in 1702. He used to spend his…
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Karl Drais and the Mechanical Horse

Karl Drais and the Mechanical Horse

On April 29, 1785, German inventor Karl Drais was born, who invented the Laufmaschine (“running machine”), also later called the velocipede or draisine, also nicknamed the dandy horse. Karl Drais became a teacher in a small town near Heidelberg, Germany in 1805 and only six years later, he was released of his duty to focus on his ideas and inventions he already had in mind. To his many inventions belonged a recording machine…
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Designers Should Think Big – Isambard Kingdom Brunel

Designers Should Think Big – Isambard Kingdom Brunel

On April 9, 1806, English engineer and entrepreneur Isambard Kingdom Brunel was born, whose designs revolutionised public transport and modern engineering. He developed and constructed dockyards, the Great Western Railway, a series of steamships including the first propeller-driven transatlantic steamship and numerous important bridges and tunnels. I first heard of Isambard Kubgdom Brunel, when I saw this great photograph, where he was posing in front of these huge chains with his top hat and the…
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Apple 1 and the Homebrew Computer Club

Apple 1 and the Homebrew Computer Club

Apple I on Display at the Smithsonian (© Ed Uthman) On April 1, 1976, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ron Wayne (who dropped out shortly after) founded the Apple Computer Company. The company’s first product, the Apple I was demonstrated for the first time at the Homebrew Computer Club in Palo Alto, California. Wozniak met Steve Jobs became friends already in 1970, when Jobs worked for the summer at Hewlett-Packard (HP), where Wozniak…
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Colonel Drake and the Dawn of the Oil Business

Colonel Drake and the Dawn of the Oil Business

On March 29, 1819, Petroleum entrepreneur Edwin Laurentine Drake, also known as Colonel Drake, was born. He is popularly credited with being the first to drill for oil in the United States. His success launched an Oil Rush and brought the world a new energy source. Edwin Drake was born in Greenville, Greene County, New York, as son of Lyman and Laura Drake. He grew up on family farms around New York State…
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Rudolf Diesel and his famous Engine

Rudolf Diesel and his famous Engine

On March 18, 1858, German inventor and mechanical engineer Rudolf Diesel was born, who invented the eponymous Diesel engine that uses the heat of compression to initiate ignition to burn the fuel. Rudolf Diesel was born and grew up in Paris, known as an excellent student and awarded with a medal for his achievements at the age of only 12. Unfortunately, the Franco-Prussian War started in July 1870, wherefore all German citizens were…
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