Browsing: Inventions

A Brief History On February 16, 1968, the first emergency 9-1-1 (we prefer 911) system was put into service in Haleyville, Alabama, a town of about 4100 people. Part of the North American Numbering Plan (NANP) of telephone numbering systems, 911 is a rapid way for people to dial the police or emergency rescue services such as fire fighting or ambulance service. Covering the United States and Canada, 911 service is available in about 98% of all locations in these 2 countries. Digging Deeper In addition to connecting the caller with an emergency dispatcher, about 96% of the United States…

A Brief History On February 8, 1879, Scottish Canadian inventor and engineer Sandford Fleming proposed the adoption of Universal Standard Time at The Royal Canadian Institute. Fleming proposed that the world be divided into 24 time zones, each 15 degrees of longitude in breadth and sequentially one hour behind the preceding time zone. All land within each time zone would be set to the same time. Up until this time, clocks in every city and town had been set to local time based on each location’s position on the Earth, creating no standards of keeping time and mass confusion when…

A Brief History On February 2, 1935, Leonarde “Nard” Keeler testified about polygraph evidence in a Wisconsin courtroom at a trial of 2 men for assault, the first use of the polygraph, often simply called “the lie detector,” in court. Then, as now, debate about the efficacy of the polygraph was fiercely defended on both sides. Digging Deeper Keeler was the co-inventor of the polygraph, a machine that measures bodily functions in response to questions being asked the subject of the test, the reaction of those functions supposedly indicating whether the subject is telling the truth or a lie. Bodily…

A Brief History On January 25, 1915, telephone inventor Alexander Graham Bell made the first telephone call spanning the continental United States, placing a call from New York to his assistant, Thomas Watson in San Francisco. This man was the same Thomas Watson that Bell had placed the first telephone call to back in 1876. Digging Deeper The famous words of the first phone call, “Watson, come here! I want to see you.” may or may not be the actual words, but they are the words History remembers. Bell was not the only person working on inventing a telephone, as…

A Brief History On September 7, 1776, American revolutionary Ezra Lee attempted to use his invention, a submarine he called the Turtle, in combat.  The hand powered little one man sub did not perform as expected, and Lee was unable to attach his offensive explosive charge to a British warship.  Twice in the past we have used this example and the B-32 Dominator to make a list of 10 Underperforming Weapons and 5 More Underperforming Weapons. Today we take this opportunity to list another 5 weapons that disappointed the people meant to use them.  What weapons or weapon systems would…

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