This Day in Geek History: February 11
The legendary founding of Japan by Emperor Jimmu is generally attributed to this date.
Streets are lit by coal gas for first time.
BBC Television produces the world’s first science fiction television program, an abridged adaptation of Karel Capek’s play R.U.R. ( Rossum ‘s Universal Robots ), the play from which the word “robot” was originally coined. Read more about R.U.R..
Lise Meitner and her nephew, Otto Fritsch, publish a theoretical paper which uses the term “nuclear fission” for the first time ever in the journal Nature.
The Lockheed P-38 makes a record-setting flight between California and New York in seven hours and two minutes.
The first gas turbine propeller-driven airplane is tested in Downey, California.
The largest light bulb in history, rated at 75,000 watts, is lit at the Rockefeller Center in New York to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Edison’s first light bulb. The bulb is 3½ feet high and about 2 feet in diameter. In January 1879, Edison built his first high resistance, incandescent electric light, with thin platinum filament in a glass vacuum bulb. It only burns for only a few hours before burning out. It was this initial success that starts him down the road of testing the thousands of substances that would eventually lead him to discovery of the carbon filament which would become standard for all incandescent light bulbs.
The International Business Machines (IBM) Data Processing Division (DPD) introduces the IBM 1130 computing system (Models A1, A2, B1 and B2). The system is IBM’s least-expensive computer to date, and it will specifically be marketed to educational institutions. It is also notable for being one of the first systems in IBM’s lines to give consumers a real sense of “personal computing” with its user-friendly operating system, removable storage disks, and high-level language support. Visit the official IBM website
The RAND Corporation takes the Johnniac Open Shop System (JOSS) out of service. JOSS is a conversational time-sharing service that eases the bottleneck experienced by programmers in a batch environment, in which long delays between sending information to the computer and receiving the results occur.
The University of Tokyo’s Institute of Space and Aeronautical Science launches the first Japanese satellite, Osumi 5, is launched aboard a Lambda-4 rocket from the Kagoshima Space Center on the Osumi peninsula, making Japan the fourth country to put a satellite into Earth orbit after France, the U.S.S.R., and the U.S.
The National Inventor’s Hall of Fame is founded on the anniversary of birth of the Thomas Edison in 1847. Visit the official National Inventor’s Hall of Fame website.