Janaury 27, 1880
Thomas Edison patents the electric incandescent lamp. While other incandescent lamps were created before his, Edison’s version was able to outstrip the others because of a combination of three factors: an effective incandescent material, a higher vacuum than others were able to achieve (by use of the Sprengel pump) and a high resistance that made power distribution from a centralized source economically viable.
January 25, 1959
The first transcontinental commercial jet trip was made by an American Airlines Boeing 707, from Los Angeles to New York.
January 24, 1950
The original microwave oven patent was issued to Percy LeBaron Spencer under the title “Method of Treating Foodstuffs.” Five years earlier, Spencer accidentally discovered that microwave energy could heat food when a chocolate bar in his pocket melted while he was experimenting with a microwave tube. Microwave tubes were originally designed for RADAR systems.
January 21, 1976
Commercial service of the Concorde begins with the London-Bahrain and Paris-Rio routes. The only commercial supersonic jet, the Concorde could travel between New York and London in about 3.5 hours. The Concorde flew commercially for 27 years until being retired on November 26, 2003.
January 20, 1970
“The Super Fight“, a computerized, fictional boxing match between Muhammad Ali and Rocky Marciano “took place” today. The fictional fight was created by filming Ali and Marciano acting out every possible scenario in a fight and the result was then determined using probability formulas entered into a computer. The final fight was only shown once in 1500 cinemas around the world and later released as a DVD.
January 19, 1915
The neon-lighting tube was patented by Frenchman Georges Claude. In 1923, Georges Claude and his French company Claude Neon, introduced neon gas signs to the United States, by selling two to a Packard car dealership in Los Angeles for $1,250 apiece. Neon lighting quickly became a popular fixture in outdoor advertising.