Looking Back…

July 25, 2008

In case you were wondering about notable science events that occured the week following July 25…

On July 25, 1909, Louis Bleriot made the first airplane flight across a body of water, crossing the English Channel in 37 minutes. The Wright brothers had invented the plane only six years before. Bleriot is also credited with inventing the first working monoplane (the Wright brothers’ plane was a biplane.) The following is footage and photos of Bleriot testing his plane in 1907.
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On July 26, 1866, the first successful Transatlantic telegraph cable was completed. Although there had been five previous attempts to send telegraphs, (including a letter of congratulation in 1958 from Queen Victoria to President James Buchanan) the cable was destroyed when the operator used too much voltage in an effort to increase the speed at which messages were sent. The cable was finally repaired and put into use in July of 1866. While it would normally take ten days for a letter to travel across the ocean by ship, the telegraph cable cut this time down to mere minutes.

Arrowhead 6
Creative Commons License photo credit: ragesoss

On July 28, 1998, in Kennewick, Washington, a controversial fossil skeleton was discovered. Named after the location where it was found, the Kennewich Man was determined to have lived roughly 9,300 years ago. The fossil is about 68 inches tall, and the man it originally belonged to is thought to have died while in his fifties. Interestingly, the skeleton had part of a stone projectile lodged in its pelvic bone. This skeleton, and others like it, fuel the debate of whether people crossed into the Americas via the Bering Straight Land Bridge or the watercraft migration theory.

Ony July 31, 1790, the U.S issued its first patent. Signed by George Washington, it was issued to Samuel Hopkins for developing a new potash production method. There were only two other patents that were approved that first year – one for a new candle-making process and one for a flour-milling machine.

Authored By Steven Cowan

Steven never dreamed his first job out of college would be in public relations, and on top of that working for one of the top museums in the country. After all, he majored in History at Vassar College. Within three months of graduation, he landed a spot in the PR department and has not looked back since. He is fast becoming a communications fanatic, spending a tremendous amount of his time promoting the museum and all it has to offer.

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