In 1992, the first smartphone, IBM Simon, was introduced at COMDEX in Las Vegas, Nevada. The IBM Simon Personal Communicator sported many of the features considered standard for smartphones today – a touchscreen (albeit monochrome), icons, email, calendar, predictive typing and even a game, Scramble. You could deliver more features, aka apps (camera, maps, and […]
In 1904 , the first U.S. direct current, electric motor patent was issued to Mathias Pfatischer. Alternating current (AC) machines largely replaced DC machines in most applications following the invention of the induction motor. Learn more at http://ecmweb.com/archive/direct-current-motor-basics.
In 1877 , Thomas Edison announced the invention of his “talking machine.” Later dubbed the phonograph, the “talking machine” recorded and played sound using a tin-foil cylinder. Learn more at http://lightandsound.net.au/HistoryOfTalkingMachine.htm .
In 1889, Edwin Powell Hubble was born. A pioneer in extragalactic research, he died on September 28th, 1953. Learn more at http://www.biography.com/people/edwin-hubble-9345936.
In 1981, Radio Corporation of America (RCA) launched the SATCOM 3-R satellite. This satellite was a replacement for SATCOM 3, which vanished upon firing of the apogee motor. SATCOM 3-R was the first of two RCA satellites to be exclusively dedicated for use by the cable television industry. Learn more about RCA at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RCA.
In 1962, Danish physicist Niels Bohr died at the age of 77. Neils Bohr is best known for his model of the atom. With his model, Bohr explained how electrons could jump from one orbit to another only by emitting or absorbing energy in fixed quanta. Learn more at http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aso/databank/entries/bpbohr.html.
In 1970, Douglas Engelbart received a patent for the first computer mouse. The patent, titled “X-Y Position Indicator for a Display System,” is for a simple hollowed-out wooden block with a single push button on top. Learn more at http://inventors.about.com/library/weekly/aa081898.htm.
In 1963, the touch-tone telephone was introduced. The Western Electric 1500 model featured 10 push buttons that replaced the standard rotary dial. The first commercial service was available in Carnegie and Greensburg, Pennsylvania, for an extra charge. Learn more about the history of the telephone at http://www.greatachievements.org/?id=3625.
The Soviet moon rover, Lunokhod 1, became the first roving remote-controlled robot to land on another celestial body, namely the Moon. At the time, Time magazine described the robot’s historic landing: Three hours after reaching the Moon aboard the latest unmanned Russian Moon probe, Luna 17, Lunokhod I (literally “moonwalker”) lumbered down one of two […]
In 1908 , Albert Einstein presented his quantum theory of light. Einstein developed a theory that light carries energy in quanta, known as photons, and showed that light consists of particles. Learn more at http://www.ehow.com/facts_5731774_albert-einstein_s-quantum-theory-light.html.
In 1980, U.S. spacecraft Voyager I sent back the first close-up pictures of Saturn. Voyager 1 found that about seven percent of the volume of Saturn’s upper atmosphere is helium while almost all the rest is hydrogen. Learn more at http://voyager.jpl.nasa.gov/science/saturn.html.
In 1981, for the first time, a spacecraft was launched twice. The second Space Shuttle mission was STS-2. Its mission objectives included safe re-launch and return of the crew as well as verification of the performance of the Space Shuttle vehicle. Learn more at http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/shuttle/shuttlemissions/archives/sts-2.html. Image: NASA