engineering

George Baxter and the Color Printing Process

George Baxter and the Color Printing Process

On July 31, 1804, English artist and printer George Baxter was born. Baxter is credited with the invention of commercially viable colour printing. Though colour printing had been developed in China centuries before, it was not commercially viable. Baxter used wood and metal colour blocks in conjunction with steel key plates and using oil inks. George Baxter was born in 1804 in Lewes, Sussex, the second son of John Baxter (1781–1858), printer…
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Aviation Pioneer Sir Geoffrey De Havilland and the Era of Jet Passenger Flight

Aviation Pioneer Sir Geoffrey De Havilland and the Era of Jet Passenger Flight

On July 27, 1882, British aviation pioneer and aircraft engineer Sir Geoffrey De Havilland was born. In 1909, he constructed his first machine and through trial and error and taught himself to fly. His Mosquito has been considered the most versatile warplane ever built. In 1943, he was one of the first to make jet-propelled aircraft, producing the Vampire jet fighter. De Havilland led the world in entering the era of jet passenger…
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The Aswan High Dam – the Eighth Wonder of the World

The Aswan High Dam – the Eighth Wonder of the World

On July 21, 1970, the construction of the Egyptian Aswan High Dam was completed. A key objective of the Egyptian Government following the Egyptian Revolution of 1952, the dam has the ability to control floods, provide water for irrigation, and generate hydroelectricity were seen as pivotal to Egypt’s industrialization. The High Dam was constructed between 1960 and 1970, and has had a significant effect on the economy and culture of Egypt. Soviet leader…
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Alberto Santos-Dumont – the Brazilian Father of Aviation

Alberto Santos-Dumont – the Brazilian Father of Aviation

On July 20, 1873, Brazilian aviation pioneer Alberto Santos-Dumont was born. Santos-Dumont designed, built, and flew hot air balloons and early dirigibles, his rising fame in this field culminating in his winning of the Deutsch de la Meurthe prize on 19 October 1901 on a flight that rounded the Eiffel Tower. Santos-Dumont then constructed a heavier-than-air aircraft, the 14-bis, in which on 23 October 1906, he made the first powered heavier-than-air flight…
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Hideo Shima and the Bullet Train

Hideo Shima and the Bullet Train

On May 20, 1901, Japanese engineer Hideo Shima was born. Shima was the driving force behind the building of the first bullet train, the Shinkansen, linking Tokyo and Osaka in Oct 1964. Shima also led Japan‘s space development programme until 1977 at Japan’s National Space Development Agency. Shima was born in Osaka as the son of a prominent railway engineer and educated at the Tokyo Imperial University in 1925, where he studied…
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Betamax and the Video Format Wars

Betamax and the Video Format Wars

On May 10, 1975, Sony released a consumer-level analog videocassette magnetic tape recording format called Betamax. Today, the format is obsolete, having lost the videotape format war to VHS with Betamax recorders ceased production in 2002. The first efforts at video recording, using recorders similar to audio recorders with fixed heads, were unsuccessful. The problem was that a video signal has a much wider bandwidth than an audio signal (6 MHz vs…
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Andrew Meikle and the Threshing Machine

Andrew Meikle and the Threshing Machine

On May 5, 1719, Scottish mechanical engineer Andrew Meikle was born. Meikle is best known for inventing the threshing machine, a device used to remove the outer husks from grains of wheat. The mechanization of this process took much of the drudgery out of farm labour. Very early threshing machine types were hand-fed and horse-powered. In 1834, John Avery and Hiram Abial Pitts devised significant improvements to a machine that automatically threshes…
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Fritz von Opel and the Rocket Car

Fritz von Opel and the Rocket Car

On May 4, 1899, German automotive industrialist Fritz von Opel was born. Von Opel was the grandson of Adam Opel, founder of the Opel company. He was a pioneer in experiments with rocket propulsion for automobiles and aircraft. On 11 Apr 1928, at Berlin, together with Max Valier and Friedrich Wilhelm Sander, he tested the first manned rocket automobile, the Opel-RAK1. Fritz von Opel was the grandson of Adam Opel, founder of the famous…
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Leonardo Da Vinci – the Prototype of a Renaissance Man

Leonardo Da Vinci – the Prototype of a Renaissance Man

On May 2, 1519, Italian Renaissance polymath Leonardo da Vinci passed away. Leonardo’s areas of interest included invention, painting, sculpting, architecture, science, music, mathematics, engineering, literature, anatomy, geology, astronomy, botany, writing, history, and cartography. He has been variously called the father of paleontology, ichnology, and architecture, and is widely considered one of the greatest painters of all time. Not much is known about Leonardo Da Vinci’s early life. However, it is believed…
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The Ryan X-13 VertiJet – the first Jet powered VTOL Aircraft

The Ryan X-13 VertiJet – the first Jet powered VTOL Aircraft

On April 11, 1957, the Ryan X-13 VertiJet completed its first full-cycle flight at Edwards Air Force Base. The Ryan X-13 VertiJet was one of the first experimental vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircrafts powered by jet engines. The main objective of the project was to demonstrate the ability of a pure jet to vertically takeoff, hover, transition to horizontal forward flight, and vertically land. The Ryan Aeronautical Company was founded in…
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