engineering

The Windsurfer Sailboard

The Windsurfer Sailboard

On March 27, 1968, Hoyle Schweitzer and Jim Drake filed a patent application for a “Wind-Propelled Apparatus”, the first U.S. patent for the Windsurfer sailboard: a surf-board with a sail on a mast articulated by a universal joint to the board. The rider can thus hold the boom and adjust the angle of the sail to control acceleration, turning and tacking, without need of a rudder or steering mechanism. Windsurfing, as a…
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Leo Fender and the Electric Guitar

Leo Fender and the Electric Guitar

On March 21, 1991, American inventor  “Clarence Leonidas “Leo” Fender passed away. Fender developed the first solid-body electric guitar to be mass-produced: the Fender Broadcaster in 1948. His Stratocaster (1954) should become one of the most favored model of rock guitarists. Leo Fender was born on August 10, 1909. When he was approximately 13 years old, his uncle who ran an automotive-electric shop, sent him a box filled with discarded car radio parts, and…
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Ferdinand Berthoud and the Chronometer

Ferdinand Berthoud and the Chronometer

On March 19 1727, French horologist Ferdinand Berthoud was born. Together with his great rival, Pierre Le Roy, Berthoud contributed to the development of the chronometer in the attempt to solve the problem of determining longitude at sea. Berthoud‘s improvements to the chronometer have been largely retained in present-day designs. Becoming a Master Watch Maker Ferdinand Berthoud was born in in Plancemont, Val-de-Travers, in the Canton of Neuchâtel, Switzerland, into a distinguished…
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Robert Bosch – Inventor for Life

Robert Bosch – Inventor for Life

On March 12 1942, Robert Bosch passed away. Robert Bosch was a German industrialist, engineer and inventor, and founder of Robert Bosch GmbH. “I do not pay good wages because I have a lot of money; I have a lot of money because I pay good wages.” — Robert Bosch Early Years Robert Bosch was born among twelve siblings on September 23, 1861 near the city of Ulm, Germany. His parents Servatius…
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Tom Blake revolutionizes the Surf Sport

Tom Blake revolutionizes the Surf Sport

On March 8, 1902, American athlete, inventor, and writer Thomas Edward Blake was born. Blake widely considered to be one of the most influential surfers of all time and a key figure in transforming surfing from a regional Hawaiian specialty to a nationally popular sport. He was the first to experiment with making better surfboards, revolutionizing board design in the process with lightweight materials and the fin. He also was the first…
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Enzo Ferrari – Il Commendatore

Enzo Ferrari – Il Commendatore

On February 18, 1898, Italian motor racing driver and entrepreneur Enzo Ferrari was born. He is best known as the founder of the Scuderia Ferrari Grand Prix motor racing team, and subsequently of the Ferrari automobile marque. He was widely known as “il Commendatore” or “il Drake”. Enzo Ferrari was born in Modena, Italy. It is believed that he had his first significant encounter with race cars in 1908 when he witnessed…
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Auto Pioneer Wilhelm Maybach

Auto Pioneer Wilhelm Maybach

On February 9, 1846, German engine designer and industrialist Wilhelm Maybach was born. Wilhelm Maybach, together with Gottlieb Daimler, developed light, high-speed internal combustion engines suitable for land, water, and air use. [1] These were fitted to the world‘s first motorcycle, motorboat, and to a new automobile introduced in late 1902, the Mercedes model. Wilhelm Maybach was educated at a philanthropic institution at Reutlingen. His skills were detected early there and by…
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Robert Maillart and Structural Reinforced Concrete

Robert Maillart and Structural Reinforced Concrete

On February 6, 1872, Swiss civil engineer Robert Maillart was born. Maillart revolutionized the use of structural reinforced concrete with such designs as the three-hinged arch and the deck-stiffened arch for bridges, and the beamless floor slab and mushroom ceiling for industrial buildings. Early Years Robert Maillart went to grammar school in Bern, where he was born, until 1889. He attended the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich. He was not known to…
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The Chronometers of Thomas Earnshaw

The Chronometers of Thomas Earnshaw

On February 4, 1749, English watchmaker Thomas Earnshaw was born. Earnshaw further simplified the process of marine chronometer production, making them available to the general public. He is also known for his improvements to the transit clock at the Royal Greenwich Observatory in London and his invention of a chronometer escapement and a form of bimetallic compensation balance. Improving Marine Timekeepers Thomas Earnshaw was born at Ashton under Lyne, Lancashire. He became…
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Hugo Junkers and the all-metal monoplane

Hugo Junkers and the all-metal monoplane

On February 3, 1859, German engineer and aircraft designer Hugo Junkers was born. Junkers is generally credited with pioneering the design of all-metal airplanes and flying wings. As founder of the Junkers Flugzeug- und Motorenwerke AG, he was one of the mainstays of the German aircraft industry in the years between World War I and World War II. Amongst the highlight of his career were the Junkers J 1 of 1915, the…
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