This Day in Geek History: June 23
The first American-made book, entitled Impenetrable Secret, is advertised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The book is printed and sold by Story and Humphreys. Their advertisement in the Pennsylvania Mercury announces that the book is “printed with types, paper and ink manufactured in this Province.”
Christopher Latham Sholes, Carlos Glidden, and Samuel W. Soule of Milwaukee, Wisconsin are granted a patent entitled “Improvement in Type-writing Machines.” (US No. 79,265) The “Sholes and Glidden type-writer” is only equipped with capital letters and typists can’t tell if they’re making errors because the paper can’t be seen as it is being typed upon. However, this is the first practical device of its kind, and it will go on to become the first commercially successful typewriter. The patent covers several new innovations, including “a better way of working the type-bars, of holding paper on the carriage, of holding, applying, and moving the inking-ribbon, a self-adjusting platen, and a rest or cushion for the type-bars to follow.” The device also features the QWERTY keyboard which will be used for typing for decades to follow. This patent will be credited with launching the typewriter industry.
The College Board administers the first SAT exam.
In Germany, a rocket-powered automobile built by Opel crashed during testing after reaching a speed of 156mph.
Sir Ian Jacob, Director-General of the BBC, announces development plans for the television service, including completion of the network to all UK regions. Television service will reach 97 per cent of the population, which is by far the highest proportion of any nation. The service will also add an extra two hours of programing to each day’s schedule. According to the plan, color television broadcasting can be introduced within ten years, subject to development of a backwards compatible system for monochrome sets.
Texas Instruments, Inc. (TI) dedicates its Semiconductor Building located along North Central Expressway in Dallas, Texas. The ceremonial opening is marked by cutting a red ribbon across the entrance with a high-voltage arc which was activated by a “beep” from the United States satellite Vanguard.
An X-15 jet airplane sets a new world speed record, traveling over 3,000mph at Edwards Air Force Base, California.
A patent is issued to Jack St. Clair Kilby for his “Miniaturized Electronic Circuits,” which will later become known as Integrated Circuits. (US No. 3,138,743) The patent application was originally filed on February 6, 1959, and he will assign it to his employer, Texas Instruments (TI). With it, he creates a new method of reducing the space taken up by an electronic circuit by which “all components of an entire electronic circuit are integrated into the body of semiconductor material.” Geoffrey W.A. Dummer had also conceived of such a device years earlier, but he never completed a working device. A few months after Kilby’s demonstration in 1964, an IC device in an improved form will be independently invented by Robert Noyce.