engineering

Eli Whitney and the Cotton Gin

Eli Whitney and the Cotton Gin

  On December 8, 1765, American inventor Eli Whitney was born. Whitney is best known for inventing the cotton gin. This was one of the key inventions of the Industrial Revolution and shaped the economy of the Antebellum South. Whitney’s invention made upland short cotton into a profitable crop, which strengthened the economic foundation of slavery in the United States. Eli Whitney started operating a manufacturing operation in his father’s workshop…
Samuel Crompton and the Spinning Mule

Samuel Crompton and the Spinning Mule

On December 3, 1753, English inventor and pioneer of the spinning industry Samuel Crompton was born. Building on the work of James Hargreaves and Richard Arkwright he invented the spinning mule, a machine that revolutionised the industry worldwide. Samuel Crompton was born as the oldest son among three siblings in Bolton, Lancashire, UK to George Crompton, a caretaker at nearby Hall i’ th’ Wood, and his wife Betty. While he…
George Ferris and his Ferris Wheel

George Ferris and his Ferris Wheel

On November 22, 1898, American engineer George Ferris passed away. He is mostly known for creating the original Ferris Wheel for the 1893 Chicago World’s Columbian Exposition, created to rival the Eiffel Tower. George Ferris was the son of an agriculturalist/horticulturalist who is noteworthy for engaging in the development of Carson City, Nevada development during the 1870s. George Ferris attended the California Military Academy in Oakland, where he graduated in 1876. He…
The Cars of Alexandre Darracq

The Cars of Alexandre Darracq

On November 10, 1855, French investor, engineer, cycle manufacturer and automobile manufacturer Alexandre Darracq was born. By 1904, Darracq was producing more than ten percent of all automobiles in France. Producing 1600 vehicles, he was even the most successful car manufacturer in the world. Born Pierre Alexandre Darracq in Bordeaux, France, of Basque parents, he trained as a draftsman at the Arsenal in Tarbes, in the Hautes-Pyrénées département. He later…
Raymond Loewy – the Father of Streamlining

Raymond Loewy – the Father of Streamlining

On November 5, 1893, French-born American industrial designer Raymond Loewy was born. Loewy achieved fame for the magnitude of his design efforts across a variety of industries. He is known as the “Father of Streamlining.” Among his designs were the Shell, Exxon, TWA and the former BP logos, the Greyhound Scenicruiser bus, Coca-Cola vending machines, the Lucky Strike package, Coldspot refrigerators, the Studebaker Avanti and Champion, and the Air Force One…
Nathaniel Wyeth and the PET Bottle

Nathaniel Wyeth and the PET Bottle

On October 24, 1911, American mechanical engineer and inventor Nathaniel C. Wyeth was born. Wyeth is best known for creating polyethylene terephthalate that could withstand the pressure of carbonated liquids. Made of recyclable PET plastic, lighter than glass and virtually unbreakable, Wyeth’s invention is used widely today for both carbonated and non-carbonated drinks. Nathaniel Wyeth was the brother of the painters Andrew Wyeth and Henriette Wyeth Hurd as well as…
Eugen Sänger and Rocket Propulsion Engineering

Eugen Sänger and Rocket Propulsion Engineering

On September 22, 1905, Austrian rocket propulsion engineer Eugen Sänger was born. Sänger is best known for his contributions to lifting body and ramjet technology. Sänger also perfected a “regeneratively cooled” liquid-fueled rocket engine that used its own fuel, circulating around the combustion chamber, to control engine temperatures. Eugen Sänger studied civil engineering at the Technical Universities of Graz and Vienna. During his years of study, Sänger was inspired by Hermann Oberth’s book Die…
Chester Carlson and Xerography

Chester Carlson and Xerography

On September 19, 1968, American physicist, inventor, and patent attorney Chester F. Carlson passed away. He is best known for having invented the process of electrophotography, which produced a dry copy rather than a wet copy, as was produced by the mimeograph process. Carlson’s process was subsequently renamed xerography, a term that literally means “dry writing.” It is believed that when Chester Carlson was about ten years old, he created…
Oliver Evans – Pioneer of Automation

Oliver Evans – Pioneer of Automation

On September 13, 1755, American inventor, engineer and businessman Oliver Evans was born. A pioneer in the fields of automation, materials handling and steam power, Evans was one of the most prolific and influential inventors in the early years of the United States. He is known for designing and building the first fully automated industrial process; America’s first high-pressure steam engine; and the first (albeit crude) amphibious vehicle and American automobile. Oliver…
Simon Lake and the Argonaut

Simon Lake and the Argonaut

  On September 4, 1866, American mechanical engineer and naval architect Simon Lake was born. Lake obtained over two hundred patents for advances in naval design and competed with John Philip Holland to build the first submarines for the United States Navy. His submarine, the Argonaut, was the first to make extensive open-sea operations and to salvage cargo from sunken vessels. Simon Lake was the grandson of Simon Lake, one…
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