Miscellaneous Technology

First Night Baseball Game

First Night BaseballMay 24, 1935

The first night major league baseball game is played in Cincinnati. The hometown Reds defeated the visiting Philadelphia Phillies 2-1. Night baseball caught on around the league very quickly – except for the Chicago Cubs, who didn’t play a home night game until 1988. Why am I not surprised?

The Wright Patent

Wright FlyerMay 22, 1906

Orville and Wilbur Wright are granted the first airplane patent in the U.S. for their “new and useful improvements in Flying Machines.” (US No. 821,393)

The Empire Strikes Back

The Empire Strikes BackMay 21, 1980

The sequel to the the smash success Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back is released on this day, almost exactly 3 years after the release of the original film. The pioneering use of special effects technology in the Star Wars Trilogy transformed the movie industry.

First Female to Fly Solo Across Atlantic

Amelia EarhartMay 20, 1932

Five years to the day after Charles Lindbergh took off on his historic first solo flight across the Atlantic, Amelia Earhart takes off from Newfoundland. While her original destination was France, weather and mechanical problems force her to land in Ireland nearly 15 hours after she took off. She become the first woman and second person to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean.

First Solo Flight Across the Atlantic

Spirit of St. LouisMay 20, 1927

Aboard the “Spirit of St. Louis” monoplane, Charles Lindbergh takes off from Roosevelt Field in New York on his historic first solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean. He will arrive in France 33.5 hours later.

First Laser Created

Ted Maiman Holding First LaserMay 16, 1960

Physicist Theodore Maiman creates the first laser light, using a synthetic-ruby crystal device. He was not the first to develop the theories behind lasers nor first to apply for patents, but he was the first to create an operating laser device. The light produced by this device was not a true beam as we think of most lasers today, but rather a pulse. Other researchers would create the first laser beam soon after.

Money For Nothing?

Money For Nothing VideoMay 13, 1985

The British rock band Dire Straits releases their fifth album, Brothers in Arms, which will become the first CD to sell over a million copies. It was the most successful album release on compact disc for over two decades. I guess “Money for Nothing” was more than a song title.

The Birth of Wireless

Guglielmo MarconiMay 10, 1894

“Wireless” is born when Guglielmo Marconi sends a radio wave three-quarters of a mile. Three years later the Marconi Company will successfully communicate “ship to shore” over a distance of twelve miles. Marconi’s work leads to the commercialization and proliferation of most of the radio technologies we know today.

Germans Can Be So Dry

Gassner BatteryMay 8, 1886

German scientist, Dr. Carl Gassner, is issued a German patent for the first “dry” cell battery, which uses zinc as its primary component. A U.S. patent will be issued to Gassner in 1887. His battery is much like today’s carbon-zinc, “general purpose” batteries, although most people use alkalines.

GPS Gets Less Selective

GPSMay 1, 2000

The U.S. government removes Selective Availability from its Global Positioning System, improving the accuracy of civilian GPS devices from 100 meters to 20 meters.