engineering

Ernst Abbe – Brilliant Engineer and Courageous Social Reformer

Ernst Abbe – Brilliant Engineer and Courageous Social Reformer

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 financially supported by his father’s boss,…
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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,  Scottish inventor, mechanical engineer, and chemist 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…
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George W. Fuller and the Purification of Water

George W. Fuller and the Purification of Water

On December 21, 1868, American sanitary engineer George Warren Fuller was born. Fuller was also trained in bacteriology and chemistry. His career extended from 1890 to 1934 and he was responsible for important innovations in water and wastewater treatment. He designed and built the first modern water filtration plant, and he designed and built the first chlorination system that disinfected a U.S. drinking water supply. George W. Fuller was born in Franklin,…
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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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