This Day in Geek History: June 12
The Swiss Army Knife is patented by Carl Elsener. Beginning in 1891, regular Swiss army soldiers received a version of the knife containing a thick knife blade, two screwdrivers, a can opener, and an awl, otherwise known as a punch. Officers will receive Swiss army knives also containing a corkscrew.
The concept of sound movies is patented by John Ballance. (US No. 823,022)
Pathé Frères studios releases the first animated cartoon made in the U.S. with modern techniques, Dachshund (also known as The Artist’s Dream). John Randolph Bray invented and patented the process while producing the film. In it, a dog eats sausages until it explodes. Bray began his career as an artist for a newspaper. He patented many of his improvements on the animation process, realizing early on the business potential of these developments. One of these innovations was the use of translucent paper to make it easier to position objects in successive drawings.
The first outdoor television transmission is made by John Logie Baird from the roof of his house at 133 Long Acre, London. The broadcast features actor Jack Buchanan.
The Soviet probe Venera 4 is successfully launched on a mission to the planet Venus. On October 18, 1967, it will its descent vehicle will entered the Venusian atmosphere where it will become the first space probe to successfully return data from another planet’s atmosphere.
The Gossamer Albatross, an airplane powered solely by human power, flies across the English Channel. Cyclist Bryan Allen used a pedaling mechanism.
MGM released the film Clash of the Titans, directed by Desmond Davis and starring Laurence Olivier, Harry Hamlin, Maggie Smith, and Ursula Andress, is released to U.S. theaters. The fantasy film is based on the myth of Perseus. The widely acclaimed film makes extensive use of stop motion animation for its many monsters. Produced on a budget of US$15 million, the film will be the eleventh highest grossing film of the year, ultimately grossing over US$41 million domestically. IMDB listing (MPAA Rating: PG) Running Time: 1 hr 58 mins
20th Century Fox releases the science fiction action film Predator, directed John McTiernan by and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Carl Weathers, Elpidia Carrillo, Bill Duke, Jesse Ventura, and Kevin Peter Hall, to 1,623 U.S. theaters. Produced on a budget of US$18 million, the film will gross $12,031,638 domestically in its opening weekend. IMDB listing (MPAA Rating: R) Running Time: 1 hr 47 mins
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