engineering

Ernst Abbe – Brilliant Engineer and Courageous Social Reformer

Ernst Abbe – Brilliant Engineer and Courageous Social Reformer

Ernst Abbe(1840 – 1905) On January 23, 1840, German physicist, optometrist, entrepreneur, and social reformer Ernst Abbe was born. Together with Otto Schott and Carl Zeiss, he laid the foundation of modern optics. As a co-owner of Carl Zeiss AG, a German manufacturer of research microscopes, astronomical telescopes, planetariums and other optical systems, Abbe developed numerous optical instruments. Abbe was born in Eisenach in 1840 and was lucky to be…
James Watt and the Steam Age Revolution

James Watt and the Steam Age Revolution

James Watt (1736 – 1819) Painting by Carl Frederik von Breda On January 5, 1769, James Watt finally received the patent for his steam engine: patent 913 A method of lessening the consumption of steam in steam engines-the separate condenser. Before James Watt was able to revolutionize Europe’s industries, folks had to find different ways to generate power. While the Romans during the first century BC used undershot water wheels,…
How the ARPANET became the Internet

How the ARPANET became the Internet

Visualization of the Routing Paths in the Internet On January 1, 1983, the ARPANET as predecessor of today’s internet is switched from NCP (Network Control Protocol) to the TCP/IP protocol, and thus became the internet. As you might know, some consider the origins of the Internet in the times of Cold War, when the Soviets shot their very first artificial satellite Sputnik 1 into orbit and to catch up the…
Konrad Zuse – The Inventor of the Computer

Konrad Zuse – The Inventor of the Computer

Konrad Zuse (1910 – 1995) 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, the Z3, which became operational in May 1941. Konrad Zuse developed the ability to build various kinds of machines in his early high school years, and he began his engineering-career at Berlin’s Technical University, where he earned his degree…
The Wright Brothers Invented the Aviation Age

The Wright Brothers Invented the Aviation Age

The first flight of the Wright Brothers on December 17, 1903 On December 17, 1903, the brothers Orville and Wilbur Wright wrote history with the first flight of their Flyer One, the very first successful powered aircraft in the sands south of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, U.S. Although the brothers Montgolfier had ascended in their first hot air balloon already in the late 18th century, the problem of imitating or adapting the…
Oscar Niemeyer – The Visionary Architect

Oscar Niemeyer – The Visionary Architect

Niterói Contemporary Art Museum On December 15, 1907, famous Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer, who is considered to be one of the key figures in the development of modern architecture was born. Niemeyer was best known for his design of civic buildings for Brasília, a planned city which became Brazil’s capital in 1960, as well as his collaboration with other architects on the United Nations Headquarters in New York City. Oscar…
Guglielmo Marconi and his Magic Machine

Guglielmo Marconi and his Magic Machine

Guglielmo Marconi (1874-1937) 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…
Hedy Lamarr – a Hollywood Star Invents Secure Communication Technology

Hedy Lamarr – a Hollywood Star Invents Secure Communication Technology

Hedy Lamarr (1913-2000) On November 9, 1913, Hollywood movie star Hedy Lamarr was born, co-inventor of an early form of the spread spectrum communications and frequency hopping, necessary for wireless communication from the pre-computer age to the present day. Ok, I assume that you are not necessarelly familiar with spread spectrum communications technology. But, maybe you are wondering even more about a Hollywood movie star diva, who should be responsible for…
Johann Philipp Reis Demonstrates the first Telephone

Johann Philipp Reis Demonstrates the first Telephone

Johan Philipp Reis’ Telephone  On October 26, 1861, German teacher and inventor Johann Philipp Reis, presented his telephone system at the ‘Physikalischen Verein zu Frankfurt am Main‘. Although it did not convince his contemporaries, his invention marks a milestone in telecommunications. Philipp Reis was born on January 7, 1834 in Gelnhausen, Germany in a Jewish family as son of a baker. Reis’s mother died while he was an infant, and…
Stephenson’s Rocket wins the Rainhill Trials

Stephenson’s Rocket wins the Rainhill Trials

On October 8, 1829, George Stephenson‘s steam locomotive ‘The Rocket‘ won The Rainhill Trials, an important competition in the early days of steam locomotive railways, run in Rainhill, Lancashire (now Merseyside) for the nearly completed Liverpool and Manchester Railway. The Liverpool and Manchester Railway was about to get finished, it was the first twin-track inter city passenger railway and the operators did not know whether to use steam engines or…
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