Each day last year, I posted a Geek Fact for that day. A Geek Fact is something geeky that happened on that day in history. I have to say that it was a pretty interesting exercise. I learned many things that I ordinarily wouldn’t have. For the 366 days of 2012, 464 Geek Facts were posted. On average, that’s roughly one each day with an extra posted each 4th day.
With July 14th being the Geekiest Day and the week of July 8th through 14th being the Geekiest Week, it would stand to reason the July is the Geekiest Month, right? Wrong. Actually, the Geekiest Month was January with 58 Geek Facts.
Some of the highlights are:
- January 2, 1839 – The first photo of the Moon was by French photographer Louis Daguerre, one of the fathers of photography.
- January 4, 1959 – Luna 1 became the first spacecraft to reach the Moon. The spacecraft contained, among other things, five different sets of scientific devices for studying interplanetary space, including a magnetometer, Geiger counter, scintillation counter, and micrometeorite detector.
- January 6, 1838 – Samuel Morse made the first public demonstration of the telegraph. It took Congress five years to fund $30,000 to construct an experimental telegraph line from Washington to Baltimore.
- January 8, 1889 – Dr. Herman Hollerith, considered to be the father of modern automatic computation, received the first U.S. patent for a tabulating machine.
- January 15, 1907 – The 3-element vacuum tube, or audion, was patented by Lee De Forest. DeForest’s audion vacuum tube was the key component of all radio, telephone, radar, television, and computer systems before the invention of the transistor in 1947.
- January 22, 1984 – During Super Bowl XVIII, Apple’s iconic ‘1984’ commercial aired. It is widely regarded as one of the most memorable and successful American television commercials of all time.
- January 23, 1959 – Robert Noyce conceived of the idea of an integrated circuit or microchip. Noyce would later become a co-founder of Intel.
- January 25, 1915 – Alexander Graham Bell in New York spoke to his assistant, Thomas Watson, in San Francisco, inaugurating the first transcontinental telephone service. The charge for a three-minute call from New York to San Francisco started at $20.70, or $474 in today’s money.
Quite a diverse and interesting bunch of facts. The next topic in the series will be the Geekiest Decade.
To read earlier installments in the Geek Facts Retrospective series: