engineering

The Opening of The Golden Gate Bridge

The Opening of The Golden Gate Bridge

On May 27, 1937, the Golden Gate Bridge of San Francisco spanning over the opening of the San Francisco Bay and connecting the city with Marin County was opened for public traffic. When the planning for the bridge started back in 1916 many experts said that a bridge couldn’t be built across the 6,700 ft (2,042 m) strait. It had strong, swirling tides and currents, with water 372 ft (113 m) deep at the center of…
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Thomas Savery and the Invention of Steam Power

Thomas Savery and the Invention of Steam Power

At about 1650, English inventor and engineer Thomas Savery was born. Savery invented the first commercially used steam powered powered device, a steam pump which is often referred to as an “engine“. Savery‘s “engine” was a revolutionary method of pumping water, which solved the problem of mine drainage and made widespread public water supply practical. Rowing of ships with greater ease… Thomas Savery became a military engineer and was promoted to Captain in…
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Karl Drais and the Mechanical Horse

Karl Drais and the Mechanical Horse

On April 29, 1785, German inventor Karl Drais was born, who invented the Laufmaschine (“running machine”), also later called the velocipede or draisine, also nicknamed the dandy horse. Becoming an Inventor Karl Drais’ father was the Baden court and government councillor Karl Wilhelm Ludwig Friedrich von Drais von Sauerbronn, his mother Margarete Ernestine von Kaltenthal. Margrave Carl Friedrich von Baden took over his sponsorship. In 1790 the von Drais family moved from Sauerbronn to…
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Designers Should Think Big – Isambard Kingdom Brunel

Designers Should Think Big – Isambard Kingdom Brunel

On April 9, 1806, English engineer and entrepreneur Isambard Kingdom Brunel was born, whose designs revolutionised public transport and modern engineering. He developed and constructed dockyards, the Great Western Railway, a series of steamships including the first propeller-driven transatlantic steamship and numerous important bridges and tunnels. “If the Commission is to enquire into the conditions “to be observed,” it is to be presumed that they will give the result of their enquiries; or, in other…
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Apple 1 and the Homebrew Computer Club

Apple 1 and the Homebrew Computer Club

On April 1, 1976, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ron Wayne (who dropped out shortly after) founded the Apple Computer Company. The company’s first product, the Apple I was demonstrated for the first time at the Homebrew Computer Club in Palo Alto, California. When Jobs Met Wozniak Steve Wozniak met Steve Jobs became friends already in 1970, when Jobs worked for the summer of 1975 at Hewlett-Packard (HP), where Wozniak was working on a…
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Colonel Drake and the Dawn of the Oil Business

Colonel Drake and the Dawn of the Oil Business

On March 29, 1819, Petroleum entrepreneur Edwin Laurentine Drake, also known as Colonel Drake, was born. He is popularly credited with being the first to drill for oil in the United States. His success launched an Oil Rush and brought the world a new energy source. Titusville, Pennsylvania Edwin Drake was born in Greenville, Greene County, New York, as son of Lyman and Laura Drake. He grew up on family farms around New…
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Rudolf Diesel and his famous Engine

Rudolf Diesel and his famous Engine

On March 18, 1858, German inventor and mechanical engineer Rudolf Diesel was born, who invented the eponymous Diesel engine that uses the heat of compression to initiate ignition to burn the fuel. “The automobile engine will come, and then I will consider my life’s work complete.” – Rudolf Diesel Early Years Rudolf Diesel was born and grew up in Paris, known as an excellent student and awarded with a medal for his achievements…
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Karl Friedrich Schinkel and the Prussian City Scapes

Karl Friedrich Schinkel and the Prussian City Scapes

On March 13, 1781, Prussian architect, city planner, and painter Karl Friedrich Schinkel was born, who was one of the most prominent architects of Germany of the neoclassical and neogothic epoch. He shaped the city scapes of Berlin and Potsdam with his neoclassical buildings and palaces. “Phlegm, whether physical or mental, is a sinful state for the one who lives in times of education.” — Karl Friedrich Schinkel Early Years Karl Friedrich…
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Vannevar Bush and his Vision of the Memex Memory Extender

Vannevar Bush and his Vision of the Memex Memory Extender

On March 11, 1890, American engineer, inventor and science administrator Vannevar Bush was born. He is best known as as head of the U.S. Office of Scientific Research and Development (OSRD) during World War II, through which almost all wartime military research and development was carried out, including initiation of the Manhattan Project. In computer science we know Vannevar Bush as the father of the Memex, an adjustable microfilm viewer with a…
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Thomas Newcomen and the Steam Engine

Thomas Newcomen and the Steam Engine

On February 26 (or maybe also 24), 1664, English inventor Thomas Newcomen was born, who created the first practical steam engine for pumping water, the Newcomen steam engine. Steam Engines As we know from a previous article on James Watt and the Steam Age Revolution [5], Watt was the one improving Newcomen‘s engine in the 18th and 19th century. Since the knowledge about the power of working with steam had been around for…
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