This Day in Geek History: June 17
Charles Goodyear obtains his first rubber-processing patent. (US No. 240) India rubber would become sticky in the summer heat. Goodyear resolved this problem by devising a process to treat the rubber with metallic solutions such as copper nitrate and strong acid for a few minutes, before washing it with water. His patent explains the method and the use of a water paste of quicklime to bleach the rubber for various purposes. He obtains additional patents as he continued to revise his process using sulfur and oil of turpentine.
The idea of a radio network, conceived of as a public service, is proposed in a letter from David Sarnoff to E.W. Rice Jr., Honorary Chairman of the Board ofGeneral Electric Company. Rather than a public service, the first network will evolve into the National Broadcasting Company (NBC).
Amelia Earhart embarks as a passenger on a trans-Atlantic flight from Newfoundland to Wales, becoming the first woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean. The flight is twenty hours and forty minutes in duration, during which Earhart assists in navigation. In 1932, she will became the first woman to cross the Atlantic ocean alone.
The first public demonstration of Phonovision, a coin-operated “video jukebox” developed by Sam Sax, former head of Warner in the U.K. and of the Vitaphone studio in Brooklyn, is given in New York. Initially using copies of old Vitaphone short films, the Phonovision Corporation intends to shoot new short-form musical material at the former Edison studio in the Bronx. The company claims to have received orders for forty thousand machines.
The first construction permit for a commercial TV station is granted to WNBT-TV in New York City.
The first commercially available mobile phone is released to consumers.
With a flight from New York City, Pan Am Airways launches the first worldwide passenger airline in history. The fare to circumnavigate the globe is US$1,700. Visit the official Pan Am Historical Foundation website..
China tests its first hydrogen bomb, a U-235 implosion fission device named “596,” 2,960 meters over the Lop Nur Testing Grounds. It is China’s first full-scale implosion weapon test, and its sixth nuclear test within thirty-two months, a record for the shortest development period of any nation’s nuclear weapons program.
Warner Bros. releases the horror film Exorcist II: The Heretic directed John Boorman by and starring Linda Blair, Richard Burton, Louise Fletcher, Max von Sydow, Kitty Winn, and Paul Henreid to 703 U.S. theaters. The film is the sequel to The Exorcist. Produced on a budget of US$17.5 million, the film will gross US$6,735,000 domestically in its opening weekend. IMDB listing (MPAA Rating: R) Running Time: 1 hr 57 mins