engineering

The Seaplanes of Claude Dornier

The Seaplanes of Claude Dornier

On May 14, 1884, German airplane builder and entrepreneur Claudius Dornier was born. His legacy remains in the few aircraft named after him, including the Dornier Do 18 and the 12-engine Dornier Do X flying boat, for decades the world’s largest and most powerful airplane. Background Claudius Dornier Dornier studied engineering at the Technical University of Munich and began his career in Karlsruhe in 1907. Unfortunately, his father fell very ill and could not take…
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Igor Sikorsky and the Perfection of the Helicopter Design

Igor Sikorsky and the Perfection of the Helicopter Design

On May 13, 1940, Russian American aviation pioneer Igor Ivanovitsch Sikorsky made the maidenflight with his newly developed helicopter VS-300, which led to the R-4, the world’s first mass-produced helicopter in 1942. Sure we all know helicopters today. They have become an everyday object, although not everybody of us already had the chance to fly with a helicopter. Actually, I had the pleasure to fly as helicopter passenger during my time of…
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Marc Seguin and the Wire-Cable Suspension Bridge

Marc Seguin and the Wire-Cable Suspension Bridge

On April 20, 1786, French engineer Marc Seguin was born. He is best known as being the inventor of the wire-cable suspension bridge and the multi-tubular steam-engine boiler. Marc Seguin – Early Years Marc Seguin was born in Annonay, a French commune in the north of the Ardèche department in the Rhône-Alpes region of southern France, to Marc François Seguin and Thérèse-Augustine de Montgolfier, a niece of Étienne and Joseph Montgolfier, the pioneer…
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Walter Bruch and the PAL Color Television System

Walter Bruch and the PAL Color Television System

On March 2, 1908, German electrical engineer and pioneer of German Television Walter Bruch was born. From the early 1930s Bruch was involved in the development of television technology. He is best known for the invention of the PAL color television system at Telefunken in the early 1960s. Walter Bruch – Early Years Walter Bruch was born in Neustadt an der Weinstraße, German Empire. At his father’s request he attended a business school, but…
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The Miraculous World of Buckminster Fuller

The Miraculous World of Buckminster Fuller

On Juli 12, 1895, American architect, systems theorist, author, designer, inventor, and futurist Richard Buckminster “Bucky” Fuller was born. He is well known for numerous inventions, mainly architectural designs, including the widely known geodesic dome. “The difference between mind and brain is that brain deals only with memorized, subjective, special-case experiences and objective experiments, while mind extracts and employs the generalized principles and integrates and interrelates their effective employment.” – Buckminster Fuller (1963) Buckminster…
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Vauban or the Art of Fortress Construction

Vauban or the Art of Fortress Construction

On May 1 (or May 4), 1633, French military engineer Sébastien Le Prestre de Vauban was born. Considered the expert in his field, rivaled only by his Dutch contemporary, Menno van Coehoorn, his design principles served as the dominant model of fortification for nearly 100 years, while his offensive tactics remained in use until the early twentieth century. He made a number of innovations in the use of siege artillery and founded the Corps…
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Around the World with Steam Power – The HMS Driver

Around the World with Steam Power – The HMS Driver

On March 16, 1842, the HMS Driver started the first voyage around the Earth for a steamship, finally arriving back home in Portsmouth, England, again on Friday 14 May 1847. A Circumnavigation of the Globe The first single voyage of global circumnavigation was that of the ship Victoria, between 1519 and 1522, known as the Magellan–Elcano expedition. It was a Castilian (Spanish) voyage of discovery, led initially by the Portuguese Ferdinand Magellan between…
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The Man Who Shrank the Globe – Frank Whittle

The Man Who Shrank the Globe – Frank Whittle

On August 9, 1996 the British Royal Air Force engineer officer Sir Frank Whittle passed away. He was best known for inventing the turbojet engine for which he received the knighthood in 1948. “Well, that’s what it was bloody well designed to do, wasn’t it?” – Frank Whittle An Early Interest in Engineering Frank Whittle was born in Earlsdon, Coventry, UK. Thanks to Whittle’s father Moses, Frank was able to get an early…
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Dit dit dit da dit – The first Morse Telegram

Dit dit dit da dit – The first Morse Telegram

On May 24th 1844 the first Morse telegram went over the line. Samuel Morse and his colleague Alfred Vail knew that the very first phrase to be sent with the new telecommunication medium was to be remembered. So what should they transmit? Morse came up with a quote from the bible, certainly well chosen for an historic occasion like this: “What God had wrought” sent by Morse in Washington to Alfred Vail at…
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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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