Looking Back…

In case you were wondering about notable events that happened the weekend of August 29…

Metropolis
Creative Commons License photo credit: eflon

On August 29, 1885, German inventor Gottlieb Daimler patented the world’s first motorcycle. Although an earlier bike had been introduced as early as 1867, the previous model ran on steam. Daimler’s model ran on petroleum, and was essentially a motorized bicycle. The bike was never marketed and sold – it was developed for experimental purposes only.

On August 30, 1836, the city of Houston was founded by Augustus Chapman Allen and John Kirby Allen. They purchased 6,600 acres along the Buffalo Bayou. They named the city after Texas hero, General Sam Houston.

Kodak Six-20 Flash Brownie
Another early Kodak camera.
Creative Commons License photo credit: John Kratz

On September 1, 1969, the first automatic teller machine was installed in New York. Currently, the most northerly ATM is located in Longyearbyen, Svalbard, Norway, while the southern most ATM is located at McMurdo Station in Antarctica.

On September 4, 1888, George Eastman registers the trademark Kodak and receives a patent for his camera, which uses roll film. However, nobody in his first photograph said the word “cheese.” The roll film also was used by Louis Le Prince, Leon Bouly, Thomas Edison and the Lumiere Brothers to make movies. He sold 100 cameras by 1896; the first sold for $25.

Looking back…

In case you were wondering about notable science events that occurred the week of July 11th…

On July 11th, 1811, the Italian scientist Amedeo Avogadro published his theory on the molecular content of gases, also known as Avogadro’s law. His theory states that “Equal volumes of ideal or perfect gases, at the same temperature and pressure, contain the same number of particles, or molecules.” For those of you who have taken chemistry before, the number of molecules in one mole – a figure your teachers always make you memorize – (6.022 x 1023 particles per mole) is known as Avogadro’s number.

Proyector
Creative Commons License photo credit: Roberto Garcia-S

On July 11th, 1895, the brothers Lumiere showed their new invention, which played short movies, to a group of scientists. The first time an audience paid to view one of their films was in December of that same year. Each of the original 10 films they made were 17 meters long, and lasted 46 seconds. Supposedly, their first movie of a train had the audience screaming as they thought a real train was crashing into the theater. Their first movie may have only been 46 seconds long, but I bet the previews still took 20 minutes.

On July 14th, 1965, the space probe Mariner 4 made a flyby and took the first close-up photos of Mars. After a seven month flight the probe flew by the planet, and sent back 22 television images covering about 1% of the planet’s surface. Fortunately, they remembered to remove the lens cap beforehand.

IMG_2593
Creative Commons License photo credit:
we must reinvent love

On July 15th, 1799, French Captain Pierre-Francois Bouchard found the Rosetta Stone in the Egyptian village known as Rosetta. The stone tells the same story in three different languages (Egyptian hieroglyphics, Egyptian Demotic, and classical Greek.) The discovery of the stone allowed later scientists to decipher the lanugage of Egyptian hieroglyphs. The Rosetta Stone is currently on display in The British Museum in London.

On July 16th, 1945, the world entered the “Atomic Age” as the United States successfully detonated a plutonium-based nuclear weapon during a test at the Trinity Site near Alamogordo, New Mexico. Less than a month later, the first atomic bomb Little Boy was dropped by the plane Enola Gay on Hiroshima, instantly killing an estimated 800,000 people.

The following video illustrates the power of an atomic bomb during a test – this was not a bomb used in combat.

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