February 13th, 1880 – The Edison Effect

Thermionic emission is the thermally induced flow of charge carriers from a surface or over a potential-energy barrier. The effect was rediscovered by Thomas Edison on February 13th, 1880, while trying to discover the reason for breakage of lamp filaments and uneven blackening (darkest near the positive terminal of the filament) of the bulbs in […]

January 7th, 1894 – Victorian Peep Show Machines

As with most technologies throughout history, the forerunners of its development has been the pornography industry, and perhaps the most prominent of these was the invention of motion picture film. First patented on January 7th, 1894, it did not take long before Scottish inventor William Kennedy Dickson was producing highly profitable films for Peep Show […]

August 15th, 1915 – Edison Sells Explosives to Germany!

On August 15th, 1915, the New York World newspaper printed an exposé that the Imperial German government had purchased excess phenol from Thomas Edison that could be used to make explosives for the war effort.

May 16th, 1888 – Tesla Presents Alternating Currents

Nikola Tesla did not invent alternating currents, but he did make it a viable technology for the distribution of electricity. The first alternator to produce alternating current was a dynamo electric generator based on Michael Faraday‘s principles constructed by the French instrument maker Hippolyte Pixii in 1832. Pixii later added a commutator to his device to produce […]

Symposium Session – Victorian Spacecraft

Victorian Spacecraft Presented by Zebulon Vitruvius Pike The science and science fiction of space travel in the 19th Century. Jules Verne’s moon gun. H.G. Wells’ Cavorite sphere. Konstantin Tsiolkovsky’s space elevator. Erasmus Darwin’s rocket. Thomas Edison’s aether propeller. Tesla’s Venusian X-12. Where they got it right. Where they got it wrong. How you can incorporate in […]

This Day in History – February 1st, 1893

The world’s first film production studio, the Black Maria, or the Kinetographic Theater, was completed on February 1st, 1893. It stood upon the grounds of Edison’s laboratories at West Orange, New Jersey, for the purpose of making film strips for the Kinetoscope. Construction began in December 1892 and was completed the following year at a cost of […]

This Day in History – January 27th, 1880

Thomas Edison did not invent the first electric light bulb, but instead invented the first commercially practical incandescent light. Many earlier inventors had previously devised incandescent lamps, including Alessandro Volta‘s demonstration of a glowing wire in 1800 and inventions by Henry Woodward and Mathew Evans. Others who developed early and commercially impractical incandescent electric lamps included […]

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