engineering

Emil Rathenau and the German Electrical Industry

Emil Rathenau and the German Electrical Industry

On December 11, 1838, German entrepreneur and industrialist, Emil Moritz Rathenau was born. Rathenau was a leading figure in the early European electrical industry. He founded the Allgemeine Elektrizitats Gesellschaft (AEG), the German General Electric Company, with a product range including power stations, railways as well as electrical machines and devices. Rathenau was also the first to produce aluminium in Germany for industrial use. Emil Rathnau studied mechanical engineering at the Polytechnic in Hanover…
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The ‘Trabbi’ – an Icon of the Fall of the Berlin Wall turns 60

The ‘Trabbi’ – an Icon of the Fall of the Berlin Wall turns 60

On November 7, 1957, the first Trabant left the factory of the former East German car manufacturer VEB Sachsenring Automobilwerke Zwickau. Although it is often seen as symbolic of the defunct East Germany and the collapse of the Eastern Bloc in general, it was a sought-after car in East Germany before the fall of the Berlin Wall. During the early 1950s, vehicle construction in the German Democratic Republic (GDR) was slow and…
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The Benz Patent-Motorwagen No.1

The Benz Patent-Motorwagen No.1

On November 2, 1886, the German imperial patent office granted Karl Benz the patent under the number 37435 for his automobile, the Benz Patent-Motorwagen No.1. Benz‘s automobile is widely regarded as the world’s first automobile, that is, a vehicle designed to be propelled by an internal combustion engine. After developing a successful gasoline-powered two-stroke piston engine in 1873, Benz focused on developing a motorized vehicle while maintaining a career as a designer…
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Albert Fink and his Railroad Bridges

Albert Fink and his Railroad Bridges

On October 27, 1827, German-American civil engineer Albert Fink was born. Fink is best known for his railroad bridge designs, which helped revolutionize the use of iron for American railroad bridge construction. He devised the Fink truss and many truss bridges, especially the Fink-Type Truss Bridge. Albert Fink was born in Lauterbach, a town located in the Grand Duchy of Hesse-Darmstadt, Germany, the son of architect and builder Andres S. Fink and…
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Elias Howe and the Sewing Machine

Elias Howe and the Sewing Machine

On Oct 3, 1867, American inventor Elias Howe Jr. passed away. Howe is best known for his invention of a a sewing machine using a lockstitch design. Elias Howe Jr. was apprentice in a textile factory and after mill closings due to the Panic of 1837, he moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts. There, Howe started working with carding machinery, apprenticing along with his cousin Nathaniel P. Banks. In 1838, Howe apprenticed in the…
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Richard March Hoe and the Rotary Printing Press

Richard March Hoe and the Rotary Printing Press

On September 12, 1812, American inventor Richard March Hoe was born. Hoe designed a rotary printing press and related advancements, including the “Hoe web perfecting press” in 1871, which used a continuous roll of paper and revolutionized newspaper publishing. Richard March Hoe was born in New York City, the son of Robert Hoe, an English-born American mechanic from Leicestershire, who with brothers-in-law Peter and Matthew Smith had established a steam-powered manufactory of printing…
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David Packard and Hewlett-Packard

David Packard and Hewlett-Packard

On September 7, 1912, American electrical engineer and co-founder of Hewlett-Packard, David Packard was born. Packard is noted for many technological innovations and philanthropic endeavors. In 1939, he formed a partnership known as Hewlett-Packard Company with William R. Hewlett, a friend and Stanford classmate. Hewlett-Packard Co. has become a leading manufacturer computers, computer printers, and analytic and measuring equipment. David Packard joined Stanford University where he met his future business partner William Hewlett.…
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Carl Auer von Welsbach enlightened the Streets of Europe

Carl Auer von Welsbach enlightened the Streets of Europe

On September 1, 1858, Austrian inventor Carl Auer von Welsbach was born. Von Weisbach is particularly well known for his work on rare earth elements, which led to the development of the flint used in modern lighters, the gas mantle which brought light to the streets of Europe in the late 19th century, and for the development of the metal filament light bulb. Carl Auer von Welsbach joined the Austro-Hungarian Army and became Second…
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André Blondel and the Oscillograph

André Blondel and the Oscillograph

On August 28, 1863, French engineer and physicist André-Eugène Blondel was born. Blondel is the inventor of the electromechanical oscillograph, a device that allowed electrical researchers to observe the intensity of alternating currents, and a system of photometric units of measurement, such as the lumen and other new photometric units for use in photometry, based on the metre and the Violle candle. André Blondel was employed as an engineer by the Lighthouses and Beacons…
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Hertha Ayrton and the Arc Lights

Hertha Ayrton and the Arc Lights

On August 26, 1923, British engineer, mathematician, physicist and inventor Hertha Ayrton died of blood poisoning resulting from an insect bite. Known in adult life as Hertha Ayrton, born Phoebe Sarah Marks, she was awarded the Hughes Medal by the Royal Society for her work on electric arcs and ripples in sand and water. She invented a sphygmograph (a device that charts pulse beats, but was not the first to do so), and…
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