Browsing: Inventions

A Brief History On March 29, 1911, the Colt M1911, a .45 caliber semi-automatic pistol, was adopted as the first semi-automatic service pistol for regular use by the U.S. military. Digging Deeper  Last year we first told you the tale of this great pistol, but today we will compare the relative merits of the semi-automatic pistol vs. the merits of the revolver that preceded it. (Semi-automatics are usually called “pistols” to differentiate them from revolvers.) Originally, revolvers were built with a “single-action” mechanism, which means that prior to firing the handgun, it had to be cocked by pulling back the hammer.  Those were later made obsolete…

A Brief History On March 12, 1891, Coca-Cola, the preeminent soft drink on the planet, was first bottled and sold in Vicksburg, Mississippi by Joseph Beidenharn, a soda fountain operator who owned a candy store.  Previously sold by its creator the pharmacist John Pemberton who lived in Atlanta, Georgia and others under various formulas and names since 1886, it was Beidenharn who first bottled Coca-Cola.  A few years later, the first Coca-Cola bottling plant for mass production was founded in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Digging Deeper At first made with alcohol, the drink was marketed as an elixir or medicine that could cure all sorts of ills such as impotence, headache and…

A Brief History On March 5, 1836, Samuel Colt formed the gun-manufacturing company that would produce the pistols “that won the West.”  We have already written about Mr. Colt and his innovative and successful revolver, but this time around, we are going to discuss the problems with it. Digging Deeper Colt created his invention when percussion caps were replacing flintlock ignition systems, and the percussion cap is what made a revolving cylinder firearm practical.  When relying on flintlock ignition, powder could easily fall out of the individual pan or chain fire, with all cylinders going off at once.  (This could…

A Brief History On January 31, 1930, the 3M Company (then going by the name of Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing) revealed Scotch Tape.  This product, consisting of clear cellophane tape with a pressure-sensitive adhesive on one side, would become a household and office necessity. Digging Deeper 3M has since ridden the success of Scotch Tape to produce many products bearing the Scotch brand that have nothing to do with the original product, one example being the stain repellent Scotchguard.  3M first began advertising with the familiar tartan plaid (Wallace type) in 1945.  Today, many manufacturers produce adhesive tape, but most folks generically call these products “Scotch Tape” as…

A Brief History On November 23, 1992, society took another giant step forward with the introduction of the IBM Simon Personal Communicator, the world’s first “smart phone.”   In 1994 and 1995, IBM sold 50,000 of these handheld mobile devices that combined a touchscreen cellular phone with a personal digital assistant (PDA). Digging Deeper Are you too young to remember a time without cell phones?  If you are, then this will not seem like such a big deal, but in reality, the first smart phone was an enormous leap toward what is so common today that it is taken for granted.  Like many so-called…

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