This Day in Geek History: August 28
The “Tom Thumb,” the first locomotive built in America, goes into service, running between Baltimore and Ellicotts Mill. It is the first railway service in the United States.
The Count of Monte Cristo is first published in the Journal des Débats in eighteen parts. Publication runs through January, 1846. Complete versions of the novel in the original French will be published throughout the nineteenth century. The most popular English translation will be published in 1846 by Chapman and Hall.
The first issue of Scientific American is published by Rufus Porter, a schoolmaster, inventor, and editor. While the paper is still just a small weekly journal with a circulation less than three hundred, he will sell it for US$800 in July 1846 to twenty year old Alfred Ely Beach and Orson Desaix Munn. Together, they will build its circulation to ten thousand by 1848, twenty thousand by 1852, and thirty thousand by 1853. Visit the journal’s current website.
The first British telephone exchange opens on Coleman Street in London, England.
The first controlled flight in a glider is made by John J. Montgomery at Wheeler Hill, California. He sails a distance of 603 feet at an altitude of about fifteen feet. Read more at the Smithsonian.
The first known photograph of a tornado is taken near Howard, South Dakota.
Station WEAF, New York, broadcasts a ten minute advertisement promoting a group of apartment buildings in Queens for Queensboro Realty Company, which cost the company US$100. It is the first radio commercial in history, and the beginning of what will later be known as as toll broadcasting.
Police use a broadcast appeal to to track down a wanted man for the first time in history. The broadcast goes out over the BBC.
CBS gives a public demonstration of a field sequential color television system, which was devised by Dr. Peter Goldmark, using Kodachrome films and slides. The scanning rate of the system is twenty frames per second (FPS) for each of the three primary colors (red, green, and blue), making a total rate of 60 fps, twice the rate of the 441-line 30fps monochrome system currently in use. Each frame comprises two interlaced fields. The scanning rate will be increased to 24 fps per color, making the system incompatible with the existing system.
Nippon Television broadcasts Japan’s first television show, as well as its first television advertisement.
Jack St. Clair Kilby, of Texas Instruments, Inc. (TI), demonstrates a mutivibrator circuit of discreet silicon elements to Willis Adcock. Although the demonstration is a success, the circuit isn’t integrated, and Kilby moves on to demonstrate an Integrated Circuit (IC) in September.