Mon, December 15th 2014
"Alternating current is like a torrent rushing violently over a precipice."
Thomas Edison, inventor
When Serbian immigrant Nikola Tesla (1856-1943) began work at Edison's DC (direct current) power plant in the United States, his new employer was not interested in his ideas for a new type of power—AC (alternating current). At the time DC was the only electrical supply, but it could onlyMore.
Thu, December 11th 2014
"Fifty years after the first synthetic polarizers, we find them the essential layer in digital liquid crystal."
Edwin Land, scientist
In 1854, an English doctor called William Bird Herapath recounted how unusual crystals formed when iodine was dropped into the urine of a dog that had been fed quinine. The crystals (later called herapathite) appeared dark alone, but light when they overlappedMore.
Wed, December 10th 2014
"[In] the history of fluid beds, the... Speed of certain developments signal their intrinsic rightness."
A. M. Squires, M. Kwauk, and A. A. Avidan
In 1925 Fritz Winkler (1888-1950) patented a chemical reactor in which large particles could be "fluidized" by forcing an upward current of gas through the solid. Winkler used his reactor to extract gas from lignite, which was then piped directly More.
Mon, December 8th 2014
"The... Evinrude rowboat motor ... had a wooden 'knuckle buster' starting knob on the flywheel"
The Practical Encyclopedia of Boating
Ole Evinrude (1877-1934) did not invent the first outboard motor. However, his was the first to achieve great commercial success. He built his first motor in 1907, received a patent for the device in 1911, and by 1913 the Evinrude Detachable Row Boat Company wMore.
Sun, December 7th 2014
The basic process of typesetting using movable type—handpicking metal letters to mount them in a rack or plate for printing—developed little in the 400 years following Gutenberg's printing press of 1436. In 1822, William Church of Boston, patented a machine that chose brass-reversed letters from a bank to create a continuous line of text, which had to be finished by hand with spacing, More.