engineering

Matthew Boulton – Making the Steam Engine Business a Success

Matthew Boulton – Making the Steam Engine Business a Success

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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The Volkswagen Beetle – It’s Ugly But It Gets You There

The Volkswagen Beetle – It’s Ugly But It Gets You There

On July 30, 2003, the very last Volkswagen Beetle was produced, manufactured in Puebla, Mexico. With 21,529,464 produced from 1938 to 2003, the Beetle is the longest-running and most-manufactured car of a single platform ever made. Currently, German automobile industry and especially Volkswagen worldwide is in the focus of public attention due to manipulations of the emission control system on their Diesel cars. Potentially, the famous Volkswagen Beetle had produced much more…
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The Citroën 2CV – A Car like no Other

The Citroën 2CV – A Car like no Other

On July 27, 1990, the very last Citroën 2CV rolled off the Portuguese production line in Mangualde. From 1948 to 1990 more than 3.8 million of the air-cooled front-engine, front-wheel-drive economy car were produced. Michelin and Citroën During the 1930s, Michelin took over the Citroën company and the new management ordered a new market survey. It was found that France had a large rural population not able to afford cars. Therefore, a design for…
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Sir George Everest and his Trigonometric Survey of India

Sir George Everest and his Trigonometric Survey of India

On July 4, 1790, Welsh military engineer and geodesist Sir George Everest was born. Everest was the Surveyor General of India from 1830 through 1843, providing the accurate mapping of the subcontinent. For more than twenty-five years and despite numerous hardships, he surveyed the longest arc of the meridian ever accomplished at the time. In 1865, Mount Everest was named in his honour in the English language, despite his objections, by the…
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Hugh L. Dryden and High Speed Aerodynamics

Hugh L. Dryden and High Speed Aerodynamics

On July 2, 1898, physicist and deputy administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Hugh Latimer Dryden was born. Dryden made pioneering studies in the aerodynamics of high speed and some of the earliest studies of air flow around wing surfaces at the speed of sound. “I believe as a matter of faith that the extension of space travel to the limits of the solar system will probably be accomplished in several…
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Charles Momsen and the Momsen Lung

Charles Momsen and the Momsen Lung

On June 21, 1896, American inventor and navy officer Charles Bowers Momsen was born. Momsen was an American pioneer in submarine rescue for the United States Navy, and he invented the underwater escape device later called the “Momsen lung“. Charles Momsen – From Naval Academy to Submarine Captain Charles Momsen entered the U.S. Naval Academy in 1914 but was not able to complete his education there due to a cheating scandal. He then…
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The Rotary Plane of Engelbert Zaschka

The Rotary Plane of Engelbert Zaschka

On June 19, 1926, German engineer, designer aviation pioneer Engelbert Zaschka filed a patent on his “Hubschraubenflugzeug” (Zaschka Rotary-Wing Airplane), a predecessor of today’s helicopter. He also constructed a large human-powered aircraft and produced some interesting unorthodox designs for automobils and motorcycles. The Son of a Musician Born on September, 1,  1895 in Freiburg im Breisgau, Engelbert Zaschka grew up in a family of musicians. His father taught music and was part of…
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John Henry Pepper and Pepper’s Ghost

John Henry Pepper and Pepper’s Ghost

On June 17, 1821, British inventor John Henry Pepper was born. Pepper is primarily remembered for developing the projection technique known as Pepper’s ghost, building a large-scale version of the original concept invented by Henry Dircks, the Dircksian Phantasmagoria. Furthermore, he toured the English-speaking world with his scientific demonstrations. He also entertained the public, royalty, and fellow scientists with a wide range of technological innovations. John Henry Pepper – A Great Science…
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