This Day in Geek History: February 23
Rudolf Diesel receives a German patent for the diesel engine. He will have produced an actual prototype of the engine for testing by July 1893. The engine is designed to be fueled by powdered coal injected with compressed air. Read more about diesel engines at How Stuff Works.
Read more about the history of diesel engines at Powerpedia. See Rudolph Diesel’s first engine on display at the Deutches Museum, Munich.
The Tootsie Roll is introduced to the US by Austrian immigrant Leo Hirshfield at a small store in New York City. He names the chewy chocolate candy after his five-year-old daughter, Clara, whose nickname is “Tootsie.” The Tootsie Roll is America’s first individually wrapped penny candy. By 1905, production will be moved to a four-story factory. During World War II, Tootsie Rolls will be added to the rations of American soldiers because of their ability to withstand severe weather conditions and give quick energy. Tootsie Rolls are made from a base of sugar, corn syrup, soy-bean oil, skim milk and cocoa. Read more about the history of the Tootsie Roll at the official Tootsie Roll website.
The first radio contest is held in Philadelphia, Philadelphia.
The sixty-ninth US Congress approves Public Law Number 632, “An Act for the regulation of radio communications, and for other purposes”, otherwise known as the Radio Act of 1927. The Act recognizes broadcasters’ right to free speech and creates the Federal Radio Commission (FRC), which will later be renamed the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The Federal Radio Commission is responsible for the allocation of frequencies, transmitter power, and broadcasting hours.
The first successful rocket mail delivery in the US is made in Greenwood Lake, New York from New Jersey, over a distance of three hundred meters. The rocket, dubbed the “Gloria,” is eleven feet long with a fifteen foot wing span, and it is fueled by an alcohol and liquid oxygen mixture. It carries 4,323 letters and 1,826 postcards, each of which carry a special rocket stamp in addition to its regular postage. The rocket was built by Willey Ley, Louis Goodman and Hugh Franklin Pierce with the sponsorship of Frido W. Kessler.
Plutonium is first produced and isolated by Dr. Glenn T. Seaborg. Historical records of the incident do not record whether or not Seaborg subsequently manifested superpowers.
The Star Trek episode “By Any Other Name” first airs. (No. 51) In it, the Enterprise is hijacked by aliens from the Andromeda Galaxy who attempt to use the ship to return home. Memory Alpha entry
In response to the energy crisis, daylight saving time begins nearly two months early in the United States.
According to Twin Galaxies, Bob Risley scores a record-setting 135,790 points playing the Namco arcade game Rally X at the Fun Spot arcade in Weirs Beach, New Hampshire. Visit the official Twin Galaxies website.
Supernova 1987A is seen in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) in the constellation Dorado. It is the brightest supernova of the twentieth century and the first supernova to be visible to the naked eye since 1604.
A US District Court rules that Microsoft’s DoubleSpace for DOS 6 violates data compression patents held by Stac Electronics. Microsoft is ordered to remove or replace the technology and to pay US$120 million in damages; however, the court also finds that Stac had illegally used access to Microsoft’s trade secrets to make Stacker compatible with DOS 6. Microsoft is awarded US$13.6 million in damages.
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