April 9th, 1860 – The Oldest Voice Recording

The phonautograph is the earliest known device for recording sound. Previously, tracings had been obtained of the sound-producing vibratory motions of tuning forks and other objects by physical contact with them, but not of actual sound waves as they propagated through air or other media. Invented by Frenchman Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville, it was patented […]

June 2nd, 1896 – The “Birth Certificate” of Radio

Guglielmo Marconi, 1st Marquis of Marconi was an Italian inventor and electrical engineer, known for his pioneering work on long-distance radio transmission and for his development of Marconi’s law and a radio telegraph system. He is often credited as the inventor of radio, and he shared the 1909 Nobel Prize in Physics with Karl Ferdinand Braun “in […]

May 22nd, 1849 – Lincoln the Inventor

Abraham Lincoln‘s patent is a patented invention to lift boats over shoals and obstructions in a river. It is the only United States patent ever registered to a President of the United States. Lincoln conceived the idea of inventing a mechanism that would lift a boat over shoals and obstructions when on two different occasions the boat […]

April 29th, 1882 – All Aboard the Electric Bus!

The Electromote was the world’s first vehicle run like a trolleybus, which was first presented to the public on April 29th, 1882, by its inventor Dr. Ernst Werner von Siemens in Halensee, a suburb of Berlin, Germany. The Elektromote operated from April 29th to June 13th, 1882, on a 540 m (591 yard) trail-track starting at […]

April 19th, 1919 – Man Survives Jumping Out of Airplane!

Leslie Leroy Irvin was born in Los Angeles and grew up to become a stunt-man for the fledgling Californian film industry; he had performed acrobatics on trapezes from balloons and then make descents using a parachute. Irvin made his first jump when aged fourteen. For a film called Sky High, he first jumped from an aircraft from […]

April 12th, 1937 – Britain Invents the Turbojet Engine

Air Commodore Sir Frank Whittle was an English Royal Air Force (RAF) engineer air officer. He is credited with single handedly inventing the turbojet engine. A patent was submitted by Maxime Guillaume in 1921 for a similar invention; however, this was technically unfeasible at the time. Whittle’s engines were developed some years earlier than those of […]

April 7th, 1827 – Striking Matches

The first successful friction match was invented in 1826 by English chemist John Walker, a chemist and druggist from Stockton-on-Tees. He developed a keen interest in trying to find a means of obtaining fire easily. Several chemical mixtures were already known which would ignite by a sudden explosion, but it had not been found possible […]

This Day in History – March 23rd, 1857

In 1852, Elisha Otis introduced the safety elevator, which prevented the fall of the cab if the cable broke. The design of the Otis safety elevator is somewhat similar to one type still used today. A governor device engages knurled roller(s), locking the elevator to its guides should the elevator descend at excessive speed. He […]

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