Miscellaneous Technology

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.

Marcel Brown Technology Services Born

marcel-webApril 15, 2002

Budding entrepreneur Marcel Brown starts his first day as a full-time self-employed professional, after years of helping people and small businesses with their technology needs on the side. It was from this humble beginning that a technology empire of unprecedented scale was created, all built from the blood, sweat, and tears of Marcel and his wife Danelle.

Well, okay, maybe all of that’s not quite true yet, but with any luck, soon it will be!

GE Founded

GE LogoApril 15, 1892

The General Electric Company (GE) is founded. It was formed by the merger of Edison General Electric (started by Thomas Edison in 1890) and the Thomson-Houston Electric Company. GE was one of the original 12 companies listed on the Dow Jones Industrial Average and in 2010 was ranked by Forbes as the world’s second largest company.

 

The Titanic Could Have Been Worse

RMS TitanicApril 14, 1912

The RMS Titanic strikes an iceberg four days into its maiden voyage. Over 1,500 passengers drown when the ship sinks early the next morning. The Marconi wireless equipment on board is used to call for help, effectively saving 700 people. It was stated that, “Those who have been saved have been saved through one man, Mr. Marconi and his wonderful invention.”

 

Internal Combustion Engine Patented

Morey EngineApril 1, 1826

Samuel Morey patents the internal combustion engine. However, he didn’t have a car to rev it in to impress the chicks.

Free … Your … Mind

The Matrix PosterMarch 31, 1999

The hugely successful motion picture, The Matrix, is released on this day. Many call it a classic (ok, that’s me), many call it influential (ok, me again), but no one can deny that the impact it had on many aspects of our society from the emerging tech culture, to the movie industry, to science-fiction, to political thinking. The Matrix won 4 Oscars, on a budget of $63 million grossed over $463 million, and was the first DVD to sell over 3 million copies. And who could forget some of the great quotes from this movie, including “Free … your … mind”, “Dodge this”, “There is no spoon”, “Don’t think you are – know you are”, “Welcome … to the real world”, “I know kung fu”, and “You take the red pill – you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes.”

First Electrically Lighted City

Wabash, IndianaMarch 31, 1880

Wabash, Indiana becomes the first city in the world to be completely illuminated by electric lighting. And the light was good.

Twister First Movie on DVD

Twister MovieMarch 25, 1996

The movie Twister becomes the first featured film put on DVD. FYI, it sounds really good in surround sound!

 

Frickin’ Laser Beams Patented

LasersMarch 22, 1960

The first patent on a laser is issued to Arthur Leonard Schawlow and Charles Hard Townes, who assign it to Bell Telephone Laboratories. Still, no one has figured out how to attach these “lasers” to the heads of sharks. Throw me a frickin’ bone here!