engineering

Alan Griffith and the Theoretical Foundation of the Turbojet Engine

Alan Griffith and the Theoretical Foundation of the Turbojet Engine

On June 13, 1883, British engineer Alan Arnold Griffith was born. Griffith is best known for his work on stress and fracture in metals that is now known as metal fatigue, as well as being one of the first to develop a strong theoretical basis for the jet engine. Griffith‘s advanced axial-flow turbojet engine designs, were integral in the creation of Britain‘s first operational axial-flow turbojet engine in 1941. Alan Arnold Griffith earned his…
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The Legendary Swiss Army Knife

The Legendary Swiss Army Knife

On June 12, 1897, the original Swiss Army knife was registered with the patent office as The Officer’s and Sports Knife. This knife featured a second smaller cutting blade, corkscrew, and wood fiber grips. Everybody knows the famous “Swiss Army knife”. But, what’s the history behind? The term “Swiss Army knife” was coined by American soldiers after World War II due to the difficulty they had in pronouncing “Offiziersmesser”, the German name.…
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The Magnificent Aircraft of R. J. Mitchell

The Magnificent Aircraft of R. J. Mitchell

On May 20, 1895, English aeronautical engineer and aircraft designer Reginald Joseph Mitchell was born. Mitchell worked for Supermarine Aviation. Between 1920 and 1936 he designed many aircraft and is best remembered for his racing seaplanes, which culminated in the Supermarine S.6B, and the iconic Second World War fighter, the Supermarine Spitfire. R.J. Mitchell joined the Supermarine Aviation Works at Southampton in 1917. Two years later, he was appointed Chief Designer, then Chief…
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The Instruments of Jean-Charles de Borda

The Instruments of Jean-Charles de Borda

On May 4, 1733, French mathematician, physicist, political scientist, and sailor Jean-Charles de Borda was born. De Borda is noted for his studies of fluid mechanics and his development of instruments for navigation and geodesy, the study of the size and shape of the Earth. He is one of 72 scientists commemorated by plaques on the Eiffel tower. From Latin and Greek to Mathematics and Physics Jean-Charles de Borda grew up in Dax, France,…
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Land Rover and the Series to remember

Land Rover and the Series to remember

On April 30, 1948, the Land Rover Series I was officially launched at the Amsterdam Motor Show. What started out solely as a farming vehicle became an icon of the automobile industry and stayed in production for 68 years. In 1992, Land Rover claimed that 70% of all the vehicles they had built were still in use. The Land Rover was conceived by the Rover Company in 1947 since Rover produced luxury…
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From Agriculture to Sport Cars – Ferruccio Lamborghini

From Agriculture to Sport Cars – Ferruccio Lamborghini

On April 28, 1916, Italian industrialist Ferruccio Lamborghini was born. Lamborghini entered the business of tractor manufacturing in 1948 and quickly became an important manufacturer of agricultural equipment. In 1963, he most famously created Automobili Lamborghini, a maker of high-end sports cars in Sant’Agata Bolognese. Early Years and World War 2 Ferruccio Lamborghini was born in Renazzo di Cento, in the Province of Ferrara, in the Emilia-Romagna region of Northern Italy, to…
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Clarence Mackay connected the World

Clarence Mackay connected the World

On April 17, 1874, American financier Clarence Hungerford Mackay was born. Mackay was chairman of the board of the Postal Telegraph and Cable Corporation and president of the Mackay Radio and Telegraph Company. He supervised the completion of the first transpacific cable between the United States and the Far East in 1904. He laid a cable between New York and Cuba in 1907 and later established cable communication with southern Europe via the…
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Harold Stephen Black and the Negative-Feedback Principle

Harold Stephen Black and the Negative-Feedback Principle

On April 14, 1898, American electrical engineer Harold Stephen Black was born. Black discovered and developed the negative-feedback principle, in which amplification output is fed back into the input, thus producing nearly distortionless and steady amplification. His invention is considered the most important breakthrough of the twentieth century in the field of electronics, since it has a wide area of application. “The answer scrawled on a blank page in a daily newspaper, was…
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John Leslie’s Research in Heat and Capillary Action

John Leslie’s Research in Heat and Capillary Action

On April 10, 1766, Scottish mathematician and physicist Sir John Leslie was born. Leslie is best remembered for his research into heat. He gave the first modern account of capillary action in 1802 and froze water using an air-pump in 1810, the first artificial production of ice. “The true business of the philosopher, though not flattering to his vanity, is merely to ascertain, arrange and condense the facts. “ — Sir John…
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Sir Benjamin Baker and the Forth Bridge

Sir Benjamin Baker and the Forth Bridge

On March 31, 1840, British civil engineer Sir Benjamin Baker was born. Baker worked in mid to late Victorian era and helped develop the early underground railways in London with Sir John Fowler, but he is best known for his work on the Forth Bridge. He made many other notable contributions to civil engineering, including his work as an expert witness at the public inquiry into the Tay Rail Bridge disaster. Early Years…
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