engineering

Rube Goldberg’s complicated Machines

Rube Goldberg’s complicated Machines

On July 4, 1883, American cartoonist, sculptor, author, engineer and inventor Reuben Garrett Lucius “Rube” Goldberg was born. He is best known for a series of popular cartoons depicting complicated gadgets that perform simple tasks in indirect, convoluted ways. Goldberg received many honors in his lifetime, including a Pulitzer Prize for his political cartooning in 1948. From the Sewer Department to a Newspaper Reuben Lucius Goldberg was born July 4, 1883, in San…
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The Russian Dream to Land a Man on the Moon

The Russian Dream to Land a Man on the Moon

On July 3, 1969, the biggest explosion in the history of rocketry occurred when the Soviet N-1 rocket exploded and subsequently destroyed its launchpad. After four unsuccessful launch tries of the Soviet counterpart to the NASA Saturn V rocket the Russian Moon program was cancelled in May 1974. Sergei Korolev Sergei Pavlovich Korolev, the leading Soviet space craft designer and rocket engineer, also known as the father of practical astronautics started directing…
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Hermann Oberth’s Dream of Space Travel

Hermann Oberth’s Dream of Space Travel

On June 25, 1894, Austro-Hungarian-born German physicist and engineer Hermann Oberth was born. He was the first, who when thinking about the possibility of spaceships grabbed a slide-rule and presented mathematically analyzed concepts and designs. Hermann Oberth Background Maybe you have already heard of the ‘Oberth Effect‘. In interplanetary spaceflight, the Oberth effect is used in a powered flyby where the application of an impulse, typically from a rocket engine, close to a…
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Otto Lilienthal, the Glider King

Otto Lilienthal, the Glider King

On May 23, 1848, German aviation pioneer Otto Lilienthal was born, who was the first person to make well-documented, repeated, successful gliding flights. For his contributions to aviation he is often referred to as “The Father of Flight.” Otto Lilienthal – Early Years Otto Lilienthal received a good education at a grammar school in Anklam despite the sudden death of his father and the financial struggles of his family. Flight tests and experiments…
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Marc Seguin and the Wire-Cable Suspension Bridge

Marc Seguin and the Wire-Cable Suspension Bridge

On April 20, 1786, French engineer Marc Seguin was born. He is best known as being the inventor of the wire-cable suspension bridge and the multi-tubular steam-engine boiler. Marc Seguin – Early Years Marc Seguin was born in Annonay, a French commune in the north of the Ardèche department in the Rhône-Alpes region of southern France, to Marc François Seguin and Thérèse-Augustine de Montgolfier, a niece of Étienne and Joseph Montgolfier, the pioneer…
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The Kinetoscope and Edison’s Wrong Way to Invent the Cinema

The Kinetoscope and Edison’s Wrong Way to Invent the Cinema

On April 14, 1894, chief engineer William K. L. Dickson in the team of Thomas Alva Edison, presents the newly invented Kinetoscope, an early motion picture exhibition device designed for films to be viewed by one individual at a time through a peephole viewer window at the top of the device. Merely a Fairground Attraction Ok, according to Edison, the cinema would never have become the silver screen you know, but would have…
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The Broughton Suspension Bridge and the Resonance Disaster

The Broughton Suspension Bridge and the Resonance Disaster

On April 12, 1831, the Broughton Suspension bridge collapsed, reportedly due to mechanical resonance induced by troops marching in step. But, also wind can be the cause for mechanical resonance which leads to disaster, such as for the Tacoma Narrows Bridge in 1940. But, also buildings can be affected, such as the 39-story shopping mall called the “Techno-Mart” in Seoul, Korea, that had to be evacuated because of people synchronously exercising Tae Bo. The…
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Eadweard Muybridge and the Photography of Motion

Eadweard Muybridge and the Photography of Motion

On April 9, 1830, English photographer Eadweard James Muybridge was born. Muybridge is best known for his pioneering work on animal locomotion in 1877 and 1878, which used multiple cameras to capture motion in stop-motion photographs, and his zoopraxiscope, a device for projecting motion pictures that pre-dated the flexible perforated film strip used in cinematography. Eadweard Muybridge Background Eadweard Muybridge was born as Edward Muggeridge in in Kingston upon Thames. He emigrated to the…
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The Sydney Harbour Bridge

The Sydney Harbour Bridge

On March 19, 1932, the Sydney Harbour Bridge was opened, which connects the Sydney central business district and the North Shore. It is the sixth longest spanning-arch bridge in the world, and it is the tallest steel arch bridge, measuring 134 m from top to water level. “To get on in Australia, you must make two observations. Say, “You have the most beautiful bridge in the world” and “They tell me you trounced…
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Walter Bruch and the PAL Color Television System

Walter Bruch and the PAL Color Television System

On March 2, 1908, German electrical engineer and pioneer of German Television Walter Bruch was born. From the early 1930s Bruch was involved in the development of television technology. He is best known for the invention of the PAL color television system at Telefunken in the early 1960s. Walter Bruch – Early Years Walter Bruch was born in Neustadt an der Weinstraße, German Empire. At his father’s request he attended a business school, but…
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