This Day in Geek History: June 20
The University of Oxford receives its chartered.
Samuel F.B. Morse receives a patent for his “Telegraph Symbols,” known as Morse code. (US No. 1,647) The patent is described as a “Mode of Communicating Information by Signals by the Application of Elctro-Magnetism.”
Alexander Graham Bell installs the world’s first commercial telephone service in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. In the first month, Bell will sell only six telephones. By September, 778 telephones will be in use.
Herr Schaetzle demonstrates a wireless phone for automobiles in Berlin, Germany.
Ernst Heinkel tests the world’s first aircraft to be propelled solely by a liquid-fueled rocket, the He-176 experimental rocket airplane, flies for first time in Peenemunde, Germany. It’s powered by an engine based on Hellmuth Walter’s hydrogen peroxide-based rocket and piloted by Erich Warsitz. It’s a small aircraft, without an enclosed canopy, built almost entirely out of wood with a fixed, tricycle undercarriage. The fifty second flight of the He-176 isn’t spectacular, but it does provide a “proof of concept” for rocket propulsion. Read more at Luft 46.
The National Bureau of Standards dedicates the Standards Eastern Automatic Computer (SEAC) in Washington as a laboratory for testing components and systems for setting computer standards. The SEAC is the first computer to use all-diode logic, a technology more reliable than vacuum tubes, and it’s the first stored-program computer completed in the United States. Magnetic tape in the external storage units stored programming information, coded subroutines, numerical data, and output. Read more the the Computer Museum.
According to Twin Galaxies, Ron Kussman, age 20, scores a record-setting 63,983,475 points on Missile Command by Atari Inc. after playing the game for fourty-five hours and thirty minutes at the Star Arcade in Upland, California. Visit the official Twin Galaxies website.