Thomas A. Edison

The Great Train Robbery and the Birth of the Western Movie

The Great Train Robbery and the Birth of the Western Movie

On December 1, 1903, the very first Western movie ‘The Great Train Robbery‘ premiered, directed by Edwin S. Porter, a former Edison Studios cameraman.[5] Although only 12 minutes long, it is considered a milestone in film making, expanding on Porter’s previous work ‘Life of an American Fireman’. Actually, it also was the first narrative movie, one that told a story. In this film, a number of by the time rather innovative techniques…
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Germany’s First Radio Program Goes Public

Germany’s First Radio Program Goes Public

On October 29, 1923 the very first radio program in Germany was broadcast from the Vox-Haus in Berlin, Tiergarten. Funk-Stunde AG Berlin was the first radio station in Germany. The station was operated by the broadcasting company of the same name and broadcast its program from Berlin in the then northern German broadcasting district. Technical Background and Key Figures The history of the radio is long and for many years it was not…
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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 Unfortunate Inventions of Charles Cros

The Unfortunate Inventions of Charles Cros

Charles Cros (1842-1888) On October 1, 1842, French poet and inventor Charles Cros was born. He developed various improved methods of photography including an early color photo process. He also invented improvements in telegraph and paleophone technology. But lacking financial resources, he was unable to patent his devices before Thomas Edison and others developed the idea and started production. Émile-Hortensius-Charles Cros was born in Fabrezan, Aude, France, 35km to the East of Carcassonne.…
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The Kinetoscope and Edison’s Wrong Way to Invent the Cinema

The Kinetoscope and Edison’s Wrong Way to Invent the Cinema

On April 14, 1894, chief engineer William K. L. Dickson in the team of Thomas Alva Edison, presents the newly invented Kinetoscope, an early motion picture exhibition device designed for films to be viewed by one individual at a time through a peephole viewer window at the top of the device. Ok, according to Edison, the cinema would never have become the silver screen you know, but would have remained a cheap fairground…
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America’s First Movie Studio – the Black Maria

America’s First Movie Studio – the Black Maria

On February 1, 1893, America’s First Movie Studio, Thomas Edison’s Black Maria was opened. The Black Maria movie production studio was located in West Orange, New Jersey. But, Black Maria did not produce for the big screen. It was still the times of the so-called kinetoscope, a one person viewing machine, where only one person was able to watch the movie through a peephole viewer window at the top of the device.[1] A…
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Nikola Tesla – The Master of Lightnings

Nikola Tesla – The Master of Lightnings

Nikola Tesla (1856 – 1943)at Colorado Springs On July 10, 1856, Serbian-American inventor, electrical engineer, mechanical engineer, physicist, and futurist Nikola Tesla was born. He is probably best known for his contributions to the design of the modern alternating current (AC) electricity supply system. Although his work fell into obscurity after his death, he experienced a renaissance in the popular culture of the late 1990s, becoming a center of many conspiracy theories…
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Black Vinyl at 33⅓ RPM

Black Vinyl at 33⅓ RPM

Neumann Record Cutting MachineImage: JacoTen On June 21, 1948, Columbia Records introduced the long-playing record album, in short the LP, in a public demonstration at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York, New York, which soon was adopted as a new standard by the entire record industry. Apart from relatively minor refinements and the important later addition of stereophonic sound capability, it has remained the standard format for vinyl “albums”. To take a…
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The Bug that wasn’t really a Bug – Computer Pioneer Grace Murray Hopper

The Bug that wasn’t really a Bug – Computer Pioneer Grace Murray Hopper

Most of you might think that computers is one of these men’s business things. Far from it! Not even that it was a girl who was the very first programmer in history – Ada Augusta King Countess of Lovelace [1] – it was also a woman in the early days of computers, who developed the very first compiler to translate high level language computer programs into low level machine commands. But besides her…
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