The first hot-air balloon ascent flies unmanned for ten minutes. It was constructed by the French brothers Joseph-Michel and Jacques-Étienne Montgolfier at their home town of Annonay, France.
Ada Byron, who will later become the Countess Lovelace, meets computer pioneer Charles Babbage in England. Byron will later become known for writing a description of Charles Babbage’s early mechanical general-purpose computer, the analytical engine.
Ernst Alexanderson transmits the first facsimile message across the Atlantic Ocean.
The first machine in history to produce intelligible speech-like sounds is exhibited by Bell Telephone scientists Homer Dudley, Richard Riesz, and Stanley Watkins. Called “Pedro, the Voder,” it is put on display to the public at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In addition to human voices, it can imitate the sound of various farm animals. It is basically a spectrum-synthesis device operated from a finger keyboard and a foot pedal pitch control. Its operation requires a user to be very familiar with its use.
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