This Day in Geek History: July 3
John Couch Adams decides to determine the position of an unknown planet by the irregularities it causes in the motion of Uranus. He enters in his journal; “Formed a design in the beginning of this week in investigating, as soon as possible after taking my degree, the irregularities in the motion of Uranus… in order to find out whether they may be attributed to the action of an undiscovered planet beyond it…” In September 1845, he will give James Challis, director of the Cambridge Observatory, accurate information on where the new planet, as yet unobserved, can be found. Unfortunately, the planet won’t be recognized by Cambridge until much later, when it will discovery by the Berlin Observatory on September 23, 1846. The plant will eventually be named Neptune.
Karl Benz unveils and demonstrates the first purpose-built automobile in history, the Benz Patent Motorwagen, in Mannheim, Germany. The vehicle, first ever designed to be powered by a mechanical motor rather than simply being a converted horse carriage, is capable of reaching a top speed of 10mph.
The first U.S. newspaper page set by a linotype machine is published by the New York Daily Tribune for the day’s editorial page. The machine was originally called a “Blower,” but it will be renamed “Linotype” for “line of type,” which is the amount of text that could be set at one time. Within six years, one thousand Linotype machines will have been manufactured. By 1904, there will be ten thousand linotype machines in service.
The first cable laid across the Pacific Ocean is completed. It connects Hawaii, Midway, Guam, and Manila. The first official message will be sent over the line the next day. The message will be the first to travel around the world, and it will take only nine minutes. A cable across the Pacific Ocean between San Francisco and Hawaii was inaugurated January 1, 1903.
John Logie Baird demonstrates a color television system using sequential scanning through red, green and blue filters in London.
Foam rubber is invented at Dunlop Latex Development Laboratories by British scientist E.A. Murphy, who uses an ordinary kitchen mixer to create a froth in natural latex rubber. Within five years, the foam will be commercially distributed.
The world speed record for a steam railway locomotive is set in England, by the Mallard, which achieves a top speed of 126mph (203 km/h).
The first surgical operation in the U.S. to expose the heart’s mitral valve for a prolonged time is undertaken by Dr. Forest Dewey Dodrill at the Harper Hospital in Detroit, Michigan. The patient, a forty-one year old man, is provided with The Michigan Heart as a substitute for the lower left ventricle.
Three men become the first nuclear power plant fatalities in the U.S. when an experimental reactor explodes at the Stationary Low-Power Plant of the National Reactor Testing Station (NRTS), near Idaho Falls, Idaho. The explosion occurs when an eighty pound control rod was manually raised beyond a safe level, causing a core meltdown. The incident will never be wholly explained, and investigations were hindered by the extreme radioactivity contamination of the site. Later theories will speculate that one of the men sabotaged the system in order to commit suicide because of marital trouble.
The Independent Television News (ITN) at Ten with newscasters Alistair Burnett and Andrew Gardner becomes the first regular half-hour television news program in the UK.
The biggest explosion in the history of rocketry occurs when
The Soviet N1 rocket, which was intended to carry cosmonaut to the Moon, stalls and explodes twenty-three seconds later, triggering the largest explosion in the history of rocketry and destroying its launchpad.
British millionaire Richard Branson and Per Lindstrand become the first to cross the Atlantic in a hot-air balloon, which they name Virgin Atlantic Flyer. They traveled a distance of 2,900 miles from from Sugarloaf Mountain, Maine, in thirty-three hours to set a new record for hot air ballooning. The balloon is the largest ever flown, having 2.3 million cubic feet of capacity.
Following a secret demonstration of Apple’s new object-oriented operating system on April 12th, Jim Cannavino of International Business Machines (IBM) signs a technology sharing agreement with John Sculley of Apple Computers that will lead to the integration of the Mac into IBM’s enterprise systems. The agreement will allow future RISC-based Macs to use IBM’s Power PC chip, to work together on common multimedia standards, and to co-operatively produce a new object-oriented operating system, code-named Pink. Apple and IBM issue a press release, but the deal won’t be finalized until October 2nd.
Shared technologies are in areas of the Power PC, multimedia standards, and an object-orientated operating system (OS).
Tri-Star Pictures releases the action sci-fi film Terminator 2: Judgment Day, directed by James Cameron and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Edward Furlong, and Robert Patrick, in France and in 2,274 U.S. theaters. The film is the sequel to Cameron’s The Terminator. The film features the shape-shifting T-1000, the first wholly digitally generated major film character. The T-1000, along with the film’s long list of other special effects, make this a major breakthrough in the history of cg effects. Produced on a budget of US$102 million, the film will gross US$31,765,506 domestically in its opening weekend. IMDB listing (MPAA Rating: R) Running Time: 2 hrs 17 mins
Microsoft releases Microsoft Office for NT 4.2. The office suite includes: Word 6.0 [32-bit, i386 and Alpha], Excel 5.0 [32-bit, i386 and Alpha], PowerPoint 4.0 [16-bit], and the “Microsoft Office Manager.”
Pages: 1 2