engineering

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 started. Guglielmo…
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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 the development…
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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 he was…
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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 locomotives to…
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The Sputnik Shock

The Sputnik Shock

Dawn of the Space Age by Gregory R. Todd On October 4, 1957, the Soviet Union shocked the western world by announcing the first successful launch of an artificial satellite orbiting the earth – Sputnik 1. The 1950’s were politically difficult times for the United States and the Soviet Union. In 1952, the International Council of Scientific Unions declared the time lasting from July 1, 1957 to December 31, 1958 as the…
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The Opening of the Panama Canal

The Opening of the Panama Canal

On August 15, 1914, the very first ship, the cargo ship SS Ancon passed the newly built Panama Canal. Unfortunately, in the same month, World War I started fighting in Europe and the official opening ceremony had to be postponed until 1920. The Panama Canal is an 82 km long ship canal in Panama that connects the Atlantic Ocean (via the Caribbean Sea) to the Pacific Ocean and therefore also a key…
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The Man Who Shrank the Globe – Frank Whittle

The Man Who Shrank the Globe – Frank Whittle

On August 9, 1996 the British Royal Air Force engineer officer Sir Frank Whittle passed away. He was best known for inventing the turbojet engine for which he received the knighthood in 1948. Thanks to Whittle’s father Moses, Frank was able to get an early insight in the field of engineering and mechanics. The family bought a company where Frank could get lots of practical experience. He early developed a huge enthusiasm…
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It’s a computer! – The fabulous Commodore Amiga

It’s a computer! – The fabulous Commodore Amiga

In 1985 Commodore revolutionized the home computer market by introducing the high end Commodore Amiga with a graphic power that was unheard of by that time in this market segment. Based on the Motorola 68000 microprocessor series the Amiga was most successful as a home computer, with a wide range of games and creative software, although early Commodore advertisements attempted to cast the computer as an all-purpose business machine. In addition, it was  also…
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Mary Had a Little Lamb – Edison and the Phonograph

Mary Had a Little Lamb – Edison and the Phonograph

Thomas Edison and his early phonograph (1877)@Library of Congress On July 18, 1877 Thomas A. Edison conceived the first idea for his phonograph, the very first mechanical tool for recording and reproducing (replaying) sound. The phonograph also was the invention that first gained him public notice. Actually, the phonograph was intended as a byproduct of Edison’s efforts to “play back” recorded telegraph messages and to automate speech sounds for transmission by telephone.…
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Standing up to Earthquakes

Standing up to Earthquakes

Earthquakes happen every day around the globe, only this year 7,156 quakes have been registered by seismometers, but most of them stay unnoticed for us humans. For many years now, seismologists are motivated to predict earthquakes, but precise forecasting according to the time and area of the quakes are still impossible. Due to the imprecise forecasts, American and Japanese scientists found a way to simulate earthquakes through designing a huge shake table…
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