technology

The Opening of the Panama Canal

The Opening of the Panama Canal

On August 15, 1914, the very first ship, the cargo ship SS Ancon passed the newly built Panama Canal. Unfortunately, in the same month, World War I started fighting in Europe and the official opening ceremony had to be postponed until 1920. The Panama Canal is an 82 km long ship canal in Panama that connects the Atlantic Ocean (via the Caribbean Sea) to the Pacific Ocean and therefore also a key conduit…
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IBM and the Success Story of the Personal Computer

IBM and the Success Story of the Personal Computer

On August 12, 1981, IBM presented the IBM 5150, the very first IBM personal computer, commonly known as the IBM PC, is the original version and progenitor of the IBM PC compatible hardware platform. It was created by a team of engineers and designers under the direction of Philip Donald Estridge of the IBM Entry Systems Division in Boca Raton, Florida. Actually, it were his decisions that dramatically changed the computer industry,…
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On the Road with Bertha Benz

On the Road with Bertha Benz

On August 5, 1888, Bertha Benz, without her husband, engineer and inventor Carl Benz, knowing about it, took her two sons on the first long distance car-trip ever performed. In doing so, she brought the Benz Patent-Motorwagen worldwide attention and got the newly founded car company its first sales. Bertha Benz was the daughter of the master carpenter Karl Friedrich Ringer. Before Bertha and Carl Benz got married, she invested in his…
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The Eagle has Landed – The First Man on the Moon

The Eagle has Landed – The First Man on the Moon

On July 20, 1969 (for Western Europeans it was one day later, i.e. July 21, 3:56 MEZ) United States‘ space mission Apollo 11 reached the moon with the lunar module Eagle and the two astronauts Neil Armstrong [4] and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin about 76 hours after they left earth from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. “Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed.” (Neil Armstrong) What once was only science fiction had turned into reality. 6 hours…
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Mary Had a Little Lamb – Edison and the Phonograph

Mary Had a Little Lamb – Edison and the Phonograph

On July 18, 1877 Thomas A. Edison conceived the first idea for his phonograph, the very first mechanical tool for recording and reproducing (replaying) sound. The phonograph also was the invention that first gained him public notice. Actually, the phonograph was intended as a byproduct of Edison’s efforts to “play back” recorded telegraph messages and to automate speech sounds for transmission by telephone. The recordings of the first phonograph generally consist of…
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The misjudged Math Teacher – Georg Simon Ohm

The misjudged Math Teacher – Georg Simon Ohm

On July 6, 1854, the Bavarian physicist and mathematician Georg Simon Ohm passed away, he was best known for his research on electricity and it was him to initiate the subject of circuit theory. The SI unit of electrical resistance and Ohm’s law are named after this Bavarian ‘teacher’. Ohm’s intention was to develop a formula dealing with the effects of flowing electricity and its measurability in dependence on the material of wire. Doing this,…
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Have you played your Atari today?

Have you played your Atari today?

On June 27, 1972, Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney founded a company named Atari Inc. that should become a pioneer in arcade computer games, video game consoles, and home computers. The year before in 1971, they had designed and built the world‘s very first arcade video game – Computer Space for Nutting Associates. You might wonder, where the name of the company might come from. Actually, Bushnell wrote down several words from the Japanese strategy…
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The Universal Product Code (UPC)

The Universal Product Code (UPC)

On June 26, 1974, the Universal Product Code barcode was introduced to the public. A supermarket in Troy, Ohio scanned the first product, which was a pack of Wrigley‘s gum. The first impulse to creating barcodes was made by Bernard Silver and Norman Joseph Woodland. A food chain store owner turned to the Drexel Institute of Technology, which the two graduate students were attending. He asked for a system to automatically read…
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Jack Kilby – Inventor of the Integrated Circuit

Jack Kilby – Inventor of the Integrated Circuit

On June 20, 2005, physicist and inventor Jack St. Clair Kilby passed away. He was best known for creating the integrated circuit, the basis of almost all electronic devices operating today. “I’ve reached the age where young people frequently ask for my advice. All I can really say is that electronics is a fascinating field that I continue to find fulfilling. The field is still growing rapidly, and the opportunities that are…
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The First Woman in Space – Valentina Tereshkova

The First Woman in Space – Valentina Tereshkova

On June 16th 1963 Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman went to space with Russian space mission Vostok 6. She was selected out of more than 400 applicants to pilot Vostok 6, becoming both the first woman and the first civilian to fly in space, as she was only honorarily inducted into the USSR‘s Air Force as a condition on joining the Cosmonaut Corps. On her three-day mission in space, she performed various tests…
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