engineering

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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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 Niemeyer began…
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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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