engineering

Elias Howe and the Invention of the Sewing Machine

Elias Howe and the Invention of the Sewing Machine

On October 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 Second Printing Revolution

Richard March Hoe and the Second Printing Revolution

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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Founded in a Sillicon Valley Garage – David Packard and Hewlett-Packard

Founded in a Sillicon Valley Garage – 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 was born in Pueblo, Colorado, and attended Centennial High School, where early…
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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 Welsbach 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. Family, Youth, and Education Carl Auer von Welsbach’s father Alois Auer…
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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 the only son of Hippolyte Blondel (1823-1918)3 and Noémie…
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Hertha Ayrton – Arc Lights and Ripples in the Sand

Hertha Ayrton – Arc Lights and Ripples in the Sand

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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How the Radio became a Mass Medium – The Volksempfänger VE301

How the Radio became a Mass Medium – The Volksempfänger VE301

On August 18, 1933, the original Volksempfänger VE 301 was presented at the 10. Große Deutsche Funkausstellung in Berlin. The purpose of the Volksempfänger-program was to make radio reception technology affordable to the general public. Nazi Propagandaminister Joseph Goebbels realized the great propaganda potential of this relatively new medium and thus considered widespread availability of receivers highly important. The first model, the Volksempfänger VE301 was developed by the company Dr. G. Seibt…
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Matthew Boulton and James Watt’s Steam Engines

Matthew Boulton and James Watt’s Steam Engines

On August 17, 1809, English manufacturer Matthew Boulton passed away. Boulton financed and introduced James Watt‘s steam engine. The partnership installed hundreds of Boulton & Watt steam engines, which were a great advance on the state of the art, making possible the mechanisation of factories and mills. Boulton applied modern techniques to the minting of coins, striking millions of pieces for Britain and other countries, and supplying the Royal Mint with up-to-date equipment.…
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Thomas Telford – the Colossus of Roads

Thomas Telford – the Colossus of Roads

On August 9, 1757, Scottish civil engineer, architect and stonemason Thomas Telford was born. After establishing himself as an engineer of road and canal projects in Shropshire, he designed numerous infrastructure projects in his native Scotland, as well as harbors and tunnels. Such was his reputation as a prolific designer of highways and related bridges, he was dubbed The Colossus of Roads (a pun on the Colossus of Rhodes), and, reflecting his…
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John Ericsson – Inventions in the Age of Steam Power

John Ericsson – Inventions in the Age of Steam Power

On July 31, 1803, Swedish-American inventor John Ericsson was born. Ericsson is regarded as one of the most influential mechanical engineers ever. Ericsson collaborated on the design of the steam locomotive Novelty, which competed in the Rainhill Trials on the Liverpool and Manchester Railway, won by George Stephenson‘s Rocket.[4] In America he designed the US Navy’s first screw-propelled steam-frigate USS Princeton, in partnership with Captain Robert Stockton as well as the first…
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