engineering

How Reginald Fessenden sent the World’s First Radio Broadcast on Christmas Eve 1906

How Reginald Fessenden sent the World’s First Radio Broadcast on Christmas Eve 1906

It was on Christmas Evening in 1906, when Reginald Fessenden broadcasted the very first radio program in the United States including a speech by Fessenden, music from the phonograph, a violin solo, and a short reading of the bible heard on the US-Atlantic-Coasters. Reginald Fessenden Background Reginald Fessenden was educated at the Trinity College in Ontario followed by the Bishop’s College School in Quebec. During this period, he already taught mathematics to…
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Experimental Breeder Reactor I – The World’s First Nuclear Power Plant

Experimental Breeder Reactor I – The World’s First Nuclear Power Plant

On December 20, 1951, Experimental Breeder Reactor I (EBR-I) became the world’s first electricity-generating nuclear power plant when it produced sufficient electricity to illuminate four 200-watt light bulbs. From Manhattan Project to Atomic Energy Commission The reactor is located in the the state of Idaho between the Idaho Falls and Arco. The construction was designed by Walter Zinn and Enrico Fermi at the Argonne National Laboratory.[5] The famous Italian physicist Fermi became next…
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Konrad Zuse – The German Inventor of the Computer

Konrad Zuse – The German Inventor of the Computer

On December 18, 1995, German engineer and computer pioneer Konrad Zuse passed away. He is renowned to have constructed the very first functional program-controlled Turing-complete computer,which was freely programmable and provided binary floating point arithmetics: the Z3, which became operational in May 1941. “The belief in a certain idea gives to the researcher the support for his work. Without this belief he would be lost in a sea of doubts and insufficiently…
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Werner von Siemens – Inventor and International Entrepreneur

Werner von Siemens – Inventor and International Entrepreneur

On December 13, 1816, German inventor and industrialist Werner von Siemens was born. He was the pioneer of the electro industry and brought about a great technological advancement with many of his important discoveries. Moreover, he was co-inventor of an electroplating process and alone developed an electric dynamo. He laid the first telegraph line and built the first electric railway in Germany and, with his brother Sir William Siemens, developed a widely…
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Guglielmo Marconi and his Magic Machine

Guglielmo Marconi and his Magic Machine

On December 12, 1901, Italian born engineer Guglielmo Marconi succeeded with the very first radio transmission across the Atlantic, by receiving the first transatlantic radio signal at Signal Hill in St John’s, Newfoundland transmitted by the Marconi company’s new high-power station at Poldhu ,Cornwall. The distance between sender and receiver was about 3,500 kilometres (2,200 mi) and with this groundbreaking long distance record the era of wireless telecommunication started. Guglielmo Marconi –…
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John Boyd Dunlop and the Inflatable Tire

John Boyd Dunlop and the Inflatable Tire

On December 7, 1888, Scottish inventor John Boyd Dunlop patented the pneumatic or inflatable tire. His invention is considered one of the basic building blocks of the automobile manufacturing industry. Today, over 1 billion tires are produced annually in over 400 tire factories. John Dunlop Background John Boyd Dunlop was born in 1840 on a farm in Dreghorn, North Ayrshire, Scotland, what is now the eastern outskirts of the town of Irvine. Already…
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The Dream of the Largest Aircraft ever built – H-4 Hercules

The Dream of the Largest Aircraft ever built – H-4 Hercules

On November 2, 1947, business magnate, investor, aviator, aerospace engineer, film maker and philanthropist Howard Hughes performs the maiden (and only) flight of the Spruce Goose or H-4 Hercules; the largest fixed-wing aircraft ever built. Wait, this is not true anymore. In terms of wingspan, it was the largest aircraft ever flown until it was replaced by the Scaled Composites Stratolaunch on April 13, 2019. Since the only flight of the H-4 took place…
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The Birth of the Internet

The Birth of the Internet

On October 29, 1969, the very first message between two distant computer nodes, from the Network Measurement Center at the UCLA’s School of Engineering and Applied Science and SRI International (SRI) was sent. This is to be considered the birth of the ARPANET, which should become the Internet. Origins of the Internet What was the reason for the development of the Internet? Especially in the 1960s, when computers were absolutely not widespread…
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Chuck Yeager – Breaking the Sound Barrier

Chuck Yeager – Breaking the Sound Barrier

On October 14, 1947, US American test pilot Charles “Chuck” Yeager was the first to officially break the sound barrier with a rocket powered test aircraft Bell X-1, reaching a supersonic speed peak of Mach 1.06. Education and Military Career Charles Yaeger was born in 1923 and grew up as a curious child, hunting, fishing and hiking. Even though his overall achievements at school were only average, he excelled in everything that…
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John Vincent Atanasoff and the first Electronic Digital Computer

John Vincent Atanasoff and the first Electronic Digital Computer

On October 4, 1903, American physicist and inventor John Vincent Atanasoff was born. He is best known for being considered as one of the inventors of the electronic digital computer. Even computer scientists most probably haven’t heard anything of this computer pioneer. Of course you will have heard about Alan Turing [5] or John von Neumann,[6] who are traditionally referenced as being the fathers of modern computers. Maybe, in case you are German, then you might…
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