Miscellaneous Technology

Radio Gets Controlled

Federal Radio Commission SealFebruary 23, 1927

The Radio Act of 1927 is signed into law. The Act creates the Federal Radio Commission (FRC), which will later be replaced by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Ironically, the act claims to recognize broadcasters’ right to free speech yet the Federal Radio Commission solely controls allocation of licensing, frequencies, transmitter power, and broadcasting hours. Doesn’t exactly sound like free speech to me, but hey I’m sort of prickly like that.

Holy Type!

The Gutenberg BibleFebruary 23, 1455

While maybe not exactly accurate, February 23rd, 1455 is generally accepted as the date that the Gutenberg Bible was first published. This was the first book on record to be printed on movable type. Until that point, books were copied by hand, which was obviously a slow, laborious process.

On a side note, I challenge anyone to come up with a historical date in technology earlier than this one! Good luck!

Dolly Unveiled

Dolly the SheepFebruary 22, 1997

In Roslin, Scotland, scientists announce that they have successfully cloned an adult sheep they named Dolly. The cell used in the cloning came from an adult sheep’s mammary gland, hence the name Dolly. As in Parton. No joke. Or I guess it was.

First Presidential Radio Address

Calvin CoolidgeFebruary 22, 1924

The first presidential radio address is delivered by Calvin Coolidge. Broadcast from the White House, the talk is carried on five stations with an estimated five million listeners.

First Burglar Alarm Installed

Edwin HolmesFebruary 21, 1858

The first electrical burglar alarm is installed by inventor Edwin T. Holmes in Boston, Massachusetts.

Edison Patents Light Switch, Sort Of

Thomas EdisonFebruary 21, 1893

Thomas Edison receives three US patents on this day, two of which are in essence the first light switches: “Cut Out for Incandescent Electric Lamps” (US Patent 491,992) and “Stop Device.” (US Patent 491,993).

HD DVD Surrenders

HD DVDFebruary 19, 2008

The “war” over the High Definition successor to the DVD ends when the supporters of the HD DVD format discontinue it. The Sony-backed Blu-ray format had garnered the support of many players in the industry, leading to the demise of HD DVD.

First Cable TV Test

1946 TVFebruary 18, 1946

Television signals are first successfully transmitted from Washington D.C. to New York City over an AT&T coaxial cable. And you thought cable TV was invented in the 1980s!

First Airmail Delivery

Henri PequetFebruary 18, 1911

Frenchman Henri Pequet makes the first official air mail delivery in Allahabad, British India, moving 6,500 letters to Naini, about 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) away. Ooh-la-la!

QuickTake 100 Launched

Apple QuickTake 100February 17, 1994

Apple launches their QuickTake 100 digital camera, one of the very first digital cameras aimed at the consumer market. Unfortunately for Apple, as was endemic for them at the time, they didn’t execute the marketing for this device very well, allowing other companies to take the lead in the digital camera market. Apple was out of the digital camera market by 1997.