engineering

Simon Lake and the Argonaut

Simon Lake and the Argonaut

  On September 4, 1866, American mechanical engineer and naval architect Simon Lake was born. Lake obtained over two hundred patents for advances in naval design and competed with John Philip Holland to build the first submarines for the United States Navy. His submarine, the Argonaut, was the first to make extensive open-sea operations and to salvage cargo from sunken vessels. Simon Lake was the grandson of Simon Lake, one of the…
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The Mainz Psalter and its Colophon

The Mainz Psalter and its Colophon

On August 14, 1457, the Mainz Psalter, the second major book printed with movable type in the West, was published according to its colophon, which was the very first to contain a date. Also it was the first important publication issued by Johann Fust and Peter Schoeffer following their split from Johannes Gutenberg. Johann Fust and Peter Schoeffer famously carried on a partnership after Fust sued and won a case against Johann Gutenberg in 1455…
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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. The Son of a Railway Engineer Hideo Shima was born in Osaka as the son of a prominent railway engineer and educated at the Tokyo…
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Betamax and the Legendary Video Format Wars

Betamax and the Legendary 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. A Brief History of Video Recording 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…
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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. A Brief History of the Threshing Machine Threshing refers to the mechanical process of separating the grains during the harvest of threshed crops. The straw (long…
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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. The Heir of an Automobile Company Fritz von Opel was the grandson of…
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