This Day in Geek History: June 1
Thomas Edison of Boston, Massachusetts, is granted his first patent for an “electrographic vote recorder.” (US No. 90,646) The device will enable legislators to register their votes for or against an issue by dialing a switch to the left or right. Before his death, Edison will hold 1,093 U.S. patents, becoming widely known as one of the most prolific inventors in history.
The Connecticut Telephone Company installs the first public pay telephone booth in the United States at its offices in New Haven. To use the phone, customers need to pay a toll to the phone’s attendant.
Thomas A. Edison is issued a patent for a “System of Electrical Distribution.” (US No. 343,017)
CBS begisn daily colorcast field tests.
FM stereo broadcasts begin in the United States under the authorization of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), beginning with radio stations WEFM in Chicago, Illinois and WGFM in Schenectady, New York.
Arno Penzias and Robert Woodrow Wilson detect a three degree kelvin primordial background radiation using a horn reflector antenna built for radio astronomy. The Big Bang description of the origin of the universe took place 15 to 20 billion years ago in an explosion from a hot dense state. The high energy radiation produced when the universe was very young and very hot would have been absorbed and degraded as the universe expanded and cooled. The microwave background radiation first observed by Penzias and Wilson is thought to be a relic of this very early state, when the universe was only about a million years old. The uniformity of microwave background indicates that the universe was homogeneous until it was a few million years old.
Soyuz 9 is launched into Earth orbit on a mission to investigate the long-terms effects of weightlessness on crew member.
Intel introduces the 4.77MHz 8088 microprocessor, featuring 16-bit registers and an 8-bit external data bus. It contains twenty-nine thousand transistors using 3-micron technology, and it is able to directly address 1 MB of memory. Because the 8088 contains only an 8-bit data bus, rather than the 16-bit bus of the 8086, it is cheaper to implement in computers by allowing the use of fewer supporting logic chips.
The first pay telephone anywhere is installed in the Yale Bank Building in New Haven, Connecticut.
Paramount Pictures releases the science fiction film Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, directed by Leonard Nimoy and starring William Shatner, DeForest Kelley, James Doohan, George Takei, Walter Koenig, Nichelle Nichols, Grace Lee Whitney, and Mark Lenard, to 1,966 U.S. theaters. Produced on a budget of US$17 million, it will gross US$16,673,295 domestically in its opening weekend. IMDB listing (MPAA Rating: PG) Running Time: 1 hr 45 mins
British mobile phone operator Vodafone stages its first phone call on its analogue network. The actual first call won’t be made until the next day because of a network failure. Sir Christopher Gent founded the company using the name which is an amalgam combination of the words “voice” and “data.” Visit the official Vodafone website.