Browsing: Inventions

A Brief History On March 4, 2020, Nik Wallenda of the famous acrobat and daredevil family, became the first person to walk on a wire above the crater of the Masaya Volcano in Nicaragua.  Not to be outdone, his wife, Erendira, performed an aerial routine above the smoking crater! Digging Deeper The Wallenda family is famous for many of their death-defying firsts, with Nik personally holding 11 Guinness World Records, including being the first to walk across Niagara Falls on a high wire. Other daredevils have achieved epic firsts, including: Annie Edson Taylor, the first to survive going over Niagara…

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A Brief History On February 26, 1909, the Palace Theatre in London, England, boasted the first public showing of color motion picture film, a product called Kinemacolor invented by English hypnotist and magician, George Albert Smith in 1906. Digging Deeper Smith’s invention had been demonstrated to professionals prior to the public display, and the process used red/orange and blue/green filters with regular black and white motion picture film to give the colorized effect. Kinemacolor was used commercially from 1909 until 1915, because a rival, William Friese-Greene, sued for a patent of a process he called Biocolour and won his case…

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A Brief History On February 25, 1933, the USS Ranger was launched at Newport News, Virginia, as the first American aircraft carrier built for the purpose of carrying aircraft.  Smaller than later aircraft carrier types, Ranger nonetheless operated effectively throughout World War II, providing important naval air power, mostly in the Atlantic. Digging Deeper The fourth US ship designated as an aircraft carrier, Ranger followed ships converted from a collier and the unfinished hulls of two battlecruisers.  Lexington and Saratoga were more than 100 feet longer than Ranger, and Langley much smaller. Ranger was impressive for its day, 769 feet…

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A Brief History On February 20, 1959, the government of Canada cancelled the Avro Arrow supersonic jet fighter program, creating conjecture and controversy that continues to this day.  Within two months of the cancellation, the government ordered all plans, tools, and all five existing prototypes to be destroyed. Digging Deeper Designed to fly at Mach 2 and at 53,000 feet, the Arrow would have been cutting edge technology to protect Canada.  Avro was the third largest company in Canada, one of the 100 largest in the world, but the Arrow fiasco basically ruined the company, and it went out of…

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A Brief History On February 17, 1996, Chess champion Garry Kasparov bested the IBM Deep Blue supercomputer in an historic chess game between man and machine.  The battle between organic and electronic brains went far beyond a single match, as Kasparov beat the special-built chess playing machine three games to one and two ties. Digging Deeper Not content with beating the Grand Master once, IBM reworked their computer, doubling its computing speed, and a rematch was held in 1997, this time resulting in a win for Deep Blue.  An irate Kasparov demanded a rematch, but IBM had taken the computer…

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