engineering

Eli Whitney – The Invention of the Cotton Gin and the Antebellum South

Eli Whitney – The Invention of the Cotton Gin and the Antebellum South

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. “As Arkwright and Whitney were the demi-gods of cotton, so prolific Time will yet…
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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. Early Years 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…
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French Aviation Pioneer Robert Esnault-Pelterie

French Aviation Pioneer Robert Esnault-Pelterie

On November 8, 1881, French aviation pioneer Robert Albert Charles Esnault-Pelterie was born. Esnault-Pelterie improved the design of the Wright brothers 1902 glider and invented the aileron, a movable airfoil at the edge of the wing. In 1907, he built one of the first monoplanes, and proposed the idea of the ballistic missile for military bombardment. Robert Esnault-Pelterie – Background Robert Esnault-Pelterie was born on November 8, 1881 in Paris as the son…
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Karl Jansky and the Discovery of Cosmic Radio Waves

Karl Jansky and the Discovery of Cosmic Radio Waves

On October 22, 1905, American physicist and radio engineer Karl Guthe Jansky was born. In August 1931 Jansky first discovered radio waves emanating from the Milky Way. He is considered one of the founding figures of radio astronomy. Karl Jansky – Background Karl Jansky was born the third of six children in what was then the Territory of Oklahoma where his father, Cyril M. Jansky, the descendent of Czech immigrants, was Dean of…
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John William Mauchly and the Electronic Computer

John William Mauchly and the Electronic Computer

On August 30, 1907, US-American physicist John William Mauchly was born. Along with J. Presper Eckert, Mauchly designed ENIAC, the first general purpose electronic digital computer, as well as EDVAC, BINAC and UNIVAC I, the first commercial computer made in the United States. Together they started the first computer company, the Eckert-Mauchly Computer Corporation (EMCC), and pioneered fundamental computer concepts including the stored program, subroutines, and programming languages. Childhood and Education John…
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TGV V150 – The ‘Flying’ Train

TGV V150 – The ‘Flying’ Train

On April 3, 2007, the French V150, a specially configured TGV high-speed train, broke the world land speed record for conventional railed trains and reached a speed of 574.8 kilometres per hour (357.2 mph) on an unopened section of the LGV Est between Strasbourg and Paris, in France. A Brief History of Railway Speed Records A first speed record was set by the first really serviceable locomotive, the Rocket by George Stephenson,…
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The Chronometers of Thomas Earnshaw

The Chronometers of Thomas Earnshaw

On February 4, 1749, English watchmaker Thomas Earnshaw was born. Earnshaw further simplified the process of marine chronometer production, making them available to the general public. He is also known for his improvements to the transit clock at the Royal Greenwich Observatory in London and his invention of a chronometer escapement and a form of bimetallic compensation balance. Improving Marine Timekeepers Thomas Earnshaw was born at Ashton under Lyne, Lancashire. He became…
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