engineering

The Russian Dream to Land a Man on the Moon

The Russian Dream to Land a Man on the Moon

N1 Rocket compared with Saturn V Image: Ebs08 On July 3, 1969, the biggest explosion in the history of rocketry occurred when the Soviet N-1 rocket exploded and subsequently destroyed its launchpad. After four unsuccessful launch tries of the Soviet counterpart to the NASA Saturn V rocket the Russian Moon program was cancelled in May 1974. Sergei Pavlovich Korolev, the leading Soviet space craft designer and rocket engineer, also known as the…
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John Gorrie and the Wonders of Air Condition

John Gorrie and the Wonders of Air Condition

John Gorrie (1803-1855), Courtesy State Library and Archives of Florida, Florida Photographic Collection, RC12666. On June 29, 1855, American physician, scientist, inventor, and humanitarian John Gorrie passed away. He is considered the father of refrigeration and air conditioning. Today, refrigeration as well as air condition has become a commodity. But, the importance of refrigeration to modern civilization as a means for conservation of food cannot be overestimated. Actually, even already in prehistoric…
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Black Vinyl at 33⅓ RPM

Black Vinyl at 33⅓ RPM

Neumann Record Cutting MachineImage: JacoTen On June 21, 1948, Columbia Records introduced the long-playing record album, in short the LP, in a public demonstration at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York, New York, which soon was adopted as a new standard by the entire record industry. Apart from relatively minor refinements and the important later addition of stereophonic sound capability, it has remained the standard format for vinyl “albums”. To take a…
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Carl Bechstein and his famous Pianos

Carl Bechstein and his famous Pianos

On June 1, 1826, Carl Bechstein was born, who became widely known for his German piano manufacture. His pianos met the demands mostly of Romantic Era musicians such as Franz Liszt or Hans von Bülow at first, which made the company famous globally. Carl Bechstein was the stepson of the teacher, cantor and plant breeder Johann Michael Aght. At the age of 14, Carl Bechstein was apprenticed at a piano manufacturer in…
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Otto Lilienthal, the Glider King

Otto Lilienthal, the Glider King

On May 23, 1848, German aviation pioneer Otto Lilienthal was born, who was the first person to make well-documented, repeated, successful gliding flights. For his contributions to aviation he is often referred to as “The Father of Flight.” Otto Lilienthal received a good education at a grammar school in Anklam despite the sudden death of his father and the financial struggles of his family. Flight tests and experiments as well as the study…
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Nikolaus Otto and the Four Stroke Engine

Nikolaus Otto and the Four Stroke Engine

On May 9, 1876, German inventor Nikolaus Otto working with Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach started the world’s first internal-combustion engine that efficiently burned fuel directly in a piston chamber.[1] However, German courts did not hold his patent to cover all in-cylinder compression engines or even the four-stroke cycle, and after this decision, in-cylinder compression became universal and the principle of Otto’s engine still is the general principle for engines today. Despite the…
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Ernst Ruska and the Electron Microscope

Ernst Ruska and the Electron Microscope

On March 3, 1931, German physicist Ernst Ruska together with his doctoral advisor Max Knoll presented the very first prototype electron microscope, capable of four-hundred-power magnification; the apparatus was the first demonstration of the principles of electron microscopy. “The light microscope opened the 1st gate to microcosm. The electron microscope opened the 2nd gate to microcosm.” What will we find opening the 3rd gate? (Ernst Ruska, 1985)[1] Ernst Ruska was born on…
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Nicéphore Niépce and the World’s First Photograph

Nicéphore Niépce and the World’s First Photograph

On March 7, 1765, French inventor Nicéphore Niépce was born, who is best known as one of the inventors of photography and a pioneer in the field. He developed heliography, a technique used to produce the world‘s first known photograph in 1825. Niépce was born in Chalon-sur-Saône, Saône-et-Loire, where his father Claude Niépce was a wealthy lawyer and the king’s counsellor, which caused the family to flee the French Revolution. His older…
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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 in 1935.…
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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 flight of…
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