engineering

Jacques de Vaucanson and his Miraculous Automata

Jacques de Vaucanson and his Miraculous Automata

On February 24, 1709, French inventor and artist Jacques Vaucanson was born, who is best known for the creation of impressive and innovative automata and machines such as the first completely automated loom. “Without the voice of le Maure and Vaucanson’s duck, you would have nothing to remind you of the glory of France.” – Voltaire Early Years Jacques de Vaucanson was born in Grenoble, France. He grew up in a poor…
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Edwin Land – Father of the Polaroid Instant Camera

Edwin Land – Father of the Polaroid Instant Camera

On February 21, 1947, American scientist and inventor Edwin Land introduced the very first instant camera together with an associated film. Land‘s new camera would allow people to produce a black and white photograph in about sixty seconds. The new film already contained the necessary chemicals to develop and fix the image directly on the photographic paper. Early Years Edwin Land studied chemistry at Harvard University but dropped out in his freshman…
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Christopher Latham Sholes invented the QWERTY Typewriter

Christopher Latham Sholes invented the QWERTY Typewriter

On February 14, 1819,  American inventor Christopher Latham Sholes was born, who invented the first practical typewriter and is responsible for the  QWERTY keyboard layout still in use today. Printer, Editor, and Politician Born on a farm in Montour County, Pennsylvania, USA, Christopher Latham Sholes worked in Madison, Wisconsin, as a printer and later as editor of Bender’s Newspaper. In this city he was one of the co-founders of the Republican Party of…
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ENIAC – The First Computer Introduced Into Public

ENIAC – The First Computer Introduced Into Public

On February 13, 1946, J. Presper Eckert and John Mauchly introduced Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer, or ENIAC, the first general purpose, electronic computer. ENIAC was a giant step forward in computing technology. “Where a calculator like the ENIAC today is equipped with 18,000 vacuum tubes and weighs 30 tons, computers in the future may have only 1,000 vacuum tubes and perhaps weigh only 1½ tons.” – Andrew Hamilton, “Brains that Click”,…
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Carl Benz and the Invention of the Automobile

Carl Benz and the Invention of the Automobile

On January 29, 1886, German engineer and entrepreneur Carl Friedrich Benz patented the first successful gasoline-driven automobile,  the Benz Patent-Motorwagen 1. It was granted as DRP Nr. 37435 on November 12, 1886.  His patent motor car still reminds in many ways of bicycles and carriages. Youth and Education Carl Friedrich Benz was born as Carl Friedrich Michael Vaillant into a family of a locomotive driver and a maid – the couple married a few month after carl’s birth…
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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. “Whatever entrepreneurial income is received shall be returned to the public, it does not belong to those who…
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James Watt and the Steam Age Revolution

James Watt and the Steam Age Revolution

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. How to Generate Power 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 undershot water wheels, the Europeans of the…
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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. Youth and Education George W. Fuller was…
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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. Family and Early Life Emil Moritz Rathenau was born in…
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How the Trabant 601 became a German National Icon

How the Trabant 601 became a German National Icon

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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