engineering

The Swiss Army Knife

The Swiss Army Knife

On June 12, 1897, the original Swiss Army knife was registered with the patent office as The Officer’s and Sports Knife. This knife featured a second smaller cutting blade, corkscrew, and wood fiber grips. Everybody knows the famous “Swiss Army knife”. But, what’s the history behind? The term “Swiss Army knife” was coined by American soldiers after World War II due to the difficulty they had in pronouncing “Offiziersmesser”, the…
The Aircraft of R. J. Mitchell

The Aircraft of R. J. Mitchell

On May 20, 1895, English aeronautical engineer and aircraft designer Reginald Joseph Mitchell was born. Mitchell worked for Supermarine Aviation. Between 1920 and 1936 he designed many aircraft and is best remembered for his racing seaplanes, which culminated in the Supermarine S.6B, and the iconic Second World War fighter, the Supermarine Spitfire. R.J. Mitchell joined the Supermarine Aviation Works at Southampton in 1917. Two years later, he was appointed Chief Designer,…
The Instruments of Jean-Charles de Borda

The Instruments of Jean-Charles de Borda

On May 4, 1733, French mathematician, physicist, political scientist, and sailor Jean-Charles de Borda was born. De Borda noted for his studies of fluid mechanics and his development of instruments for navigation and geodesy, the study of the size and shape of the Earth. He is one of 72 scientists commemorated by plaques on the Eiffel tower. Jean-Charles de Borda grew up in Dax, France as part of a noble family.…
Land Rover and the Series to remember

Land Rover and the Series to remember

On April 30, 1948, the Land Rover Series I was officially launched at the Amsterdam Motor Show. What started out solely as a farming vehicle became an icon of the automobile industry and stayed in production for 68 years. In 1992, Land Rover claimed that 70% of all the vehicles they had built were still in use. The Land Rover was conceived by the Rover Company in 1947 since Rover…
From Agriculture to Sport Cars – Ferruccio Lamborghini

From Agriculture to Sport Cars – Ferruccio Lamborghini

On April 28, 1916, Italian industrialist Ferruccio Lamborghini was born. Lamborghini entered the business of tractor manufacturing in 1948 and quickly became an important manufacturer of agricultural equipment. In 1963, he most famously created Automobili Lamborghini, a maker of high-end sports cars in Sant’Agata Bolognese. Ferruccio Lamborghini was born in Renazzo di Cento, in the Province of Ferrara, in the Emilia-Romagna region of Northern Italy, to viticulturists Antonio and Evelina…
Clarence Hungerford Mackay connected the World

Clarence Hungerford Mackay connected the World

On April 17, 1874, American financier Clarence Hungerford Mackay was born. Mackay was chairman of the board of the Postal Telegraph and Cable Corporation and president of the Mackay Radio and Telegraph Company. He supervised the completion of the first transpacific cable between the United States and the Far East in 1904. He laid a cable between New York and Cuba in 1907 and later established cable communication with southern Europe…
Harold Stephen Black and the Negative-Feedback Principle

Harold Stephen Black and the Negative-Feedback Principle

On April 14, 1898, American electrical engineer Harold Stephen Black was born. Black discovered and developed the negative-feedback principle, in which amplification output is fed back into the input, thus producing nearly distortionless and steady amplification. His invention is considered the most important breakthrough of the twentieth century in the field of electronics, since it has a wide area of application. “The answer scrawled on a blank page in a daily…
Physicist Sir John Leslie

Physicist Sir John Leslie

On April 10, 1766, Scottish mathematician and physicist Sir John Leslie was born. Leslie is best remembered for his research into heat. He gave the first modern account of capillary action in 1802 and froze water using an air-pump in 1810, the first artificial production of ice. John Leslie entered the University of St Andrews and studied Divinity at Edinburgh University starting from 1784. During the following years Leslie worked…
Sir Benjamin Baker and the Forth Bridge

Sir Benjamin Baker and the Forth Bridge

On March 31, 1840, British civil engineer Sir Benjamin Baker was born. Baker worked in mid to late Victorian era and helped develop the early underground railways in London with Sir John Fowler, but he is best known for his work on the Forth Bridge. He made many other notable contributions to civil engineering, including his work as an expert witness at the public inquiry into the Tay Rail Bridge disaster.…
Sir Joseph William Bazalgette and the Great Stink of 1858

Sir Joseph William Bazalgette and the Great Stink of 1858

On March 28, 1819, British civil engineer Joseph William Bazalgette was born. As chief engineer of London‘s Metropolitan Board of Works Bazalgette‘s major achievement was the creation in response to the Great Stink of 1858 of a sewer network for central London which was instrumental in relieving the city from cholera epidemics, while beginning the cleansing of the River Thames. Joseph William Bazalgette was mainly educated at home and was employed to…
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