engineering

Thomas Sopwith and his legendary Aircrafts

Thomas Sopwith and his legendary Aircrafts

On January 18, 1888, English aviation pioneer and yachtsman Thomas Octave Murdoch Sopwith was born. Sopwith’s pioneering firm was famous for British WWI military aircraft, including the legendary Sopwith Camel. Thomas Sopwith’s Early Years Thomas Sopwith was born in Kensington, London, UK, as the eighth child and only son of Thomas Sopwith, a civil engineer and managing director of the Spanish Lead Mines Company, Linares, Jaén, Spain, and his wife Lydia Gertrude née Messiter. When he…
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Robert Whitehead – Changing the Game of Naval Warfare with the Torpedo

Robert Whitehead – Changing the Game of Naval Warfare with the Torpedo

On January 3, 1823, English engineer Robert Whitehead was born. Whitehead is most famous for developing the first effective self-propelled naval torpedo. With this he created a weapon that decisively influenced both world wars. Robert Whitehead – Early Years Robert Whitehead was born in Bolton, England, the son of James Whitehead, a cotton-bleacher, and his wife Ellen Whitehead née Swift. He was trained as an engineer and draughtsman, and attended the Mechanics’ Institute, Manchester…
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Henri Busignies and the Development of the Huff-Duff System

Henri Busignies and the Development of the Huff-Duff System

On December 29, 1905, French engineer Henri Gaston Busignies was born. Busignies is best known for his contributions to radar, radio communication, and radio navigation. His invention (1936) of high-frequency direction finders (HF/DF, or “Huff-Duff“) permitted the U.S. Navy during World War II to detect enemy transmissions and quickly pinpoint the direction from which a radio transmission was coming. Early Years Henri Gaston Busignies was born in Sceaux, in suburban Paris, France, the…
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Edwin Armstrong and Frequency Modulation

Edwin Armstrong and Frequency Modulation

On December 18, 1890, American electrical engineer and inventor Edwin Howard Armstrong was born. Armstrong is best known for developing FM (frequency modulation) radio. He held 42 patents and received numerous awards, including the first Medal of Honor awarded by the Institute of Radio Engineers. Early Years Edwin Armstrong was the first of three children of John Armstrong and Emily Smith Armstrong. His father was a representative of the US branch of…
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Robert Noyce – the “Mayor of Silicon Valley”

Robert Noyce – the “Mayor of Silicon Valley”

On December 12, 1926, American engineer and inventor Robert Noyce was born. Nicknamed “the Mayor of Silicon Valley,” Noyce co-founded Fairchild Semiconductor in 1957 and Intel Corporation in 1968. He is credited along with Jack Kilby with the realization of the first integrated circuit or microchip that fueled the personal computer revolution. “Innovation is everything. When you’re on the forefront, you can see what the next innovation needs to be. When you’re behind, you…
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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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The Airplanes of Glenn Luther Martin

The Airplanes of Glenn Luther Martin

On December 5, 1955, American aviation pioneer Glenn Luther Martin passed away. Martin designed and built his own aircraft and was an active pilot. He founded his own aircraft company in 1912 which today through several mergers is amalgamated into the Lockheed Martin company. Early Years Glenn Luther Martin was born in Macksburg, Iowa, USA, on January 17, 1886 to Minta and Clarence Martin. At the age of two, Martin’s family moved to…
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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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George Ferris and the Invention of the Ferris Wheel

George Ferris and the Invention of the Ferris Wheel

On November 22, 1898, American engineer George Ferris passed away. He is mostly known for creating the original Ferris Wheel for the 1893 Chicago World’s Columbian Exposition, created to rival the Eiffel Tower. George Ferris – Early Years George Ferris was born in Carson City, Nevada, USA. His parents were George Washington Gale Ferris Sr. and Martha Edgerton Hyde Ferris. He had four sisters and two brothers. His grandfather Silvanus Ferris and Reverend George W.…
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Alexandre Darracq – An Automotive Pioneer who Didn’t Like to Drive

Alexandre Darracq – An Automotive Pioneer who Didn’t Like to Drive

On November 10, 1855, French investor, engineer, cycle manufacturer and automobile manufacturer Alexandre Darracq was born. By 1904, Darracq was producing more than ten percent of all automobiles in France. Producing 1600 vehicles, he was even the most successful car manufacturer in the world. Alexandre Darracq – From Sewing Machines to Automobiles Born Pierre Alexandre Darracq in Bordeaux, France, of Basque parents, he trained as a draftsman at the Arsenal in Tarbes,…
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