This Day in Geek History: June 6
The general public is admitted for the first time to the world’s first university museum, the Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology, in Oxford. It’s the first public museum to open in Britain and arguably anywhere in the entire world. The building serves several purposes. The basement contains a chemistry laboratory, the ground floor contains lecture halls, and the top floor houses a collection of curiosities acquired by Elias Ashmole and donated to the university. Visit the official Ashmolean website.
Thomas Edison is issued a patent for his “Filament for And Process of Incandescent Lamps.” (US No. 626,460) “I form a filament of highly-refractory non-conducting material which is preferably porous, and incorporate therein isolated particles of carbon, so as to produce spark gaps between the particles, whereby high-tension currents, either alternating, continuous, or intermittent, will be conducted from particle to particle of the carbon to raise the filament to incandescence. … The highly refractory material I prefer to use … is an oxid or oxids of the rare earths – such as the oxid of zirconium, thorium and others.”
Scottish chemist professor James Dewar exhibits air in the solid state and a jet of liquid air rising six feet above it with beautiful effects, before the Prince and Princess of Wales.
Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs is published as a hardcover. The story, which marks the debut of the character Tarzan, was originally published in the the pulp magazine All-Story Magazine in October 1912. It’s popularity merited standalone publication, however, and it will soon spawn one of the most popular media franchises in history. This is Burroughs’ first novel to be published as a hardcover. Read the original story at Project Gutenberg.
The first drive-in movie theater is opened on a ten acre site off Wilson Boulevard in Camden, New Jersey by garage owner Richard Hollingshead. The theater features a 40 foot by 30 foot screen and a four hundred car capacity arranged in semi-circular rows. The theater’s debut film is Wife Beware. Hollingshead had shown films on his gas station forecourt the previous year and received a patent on the idea of the “automobile theatre” just three weeks prior. Drive-ins will become popular after World War II as settings for family entertainment. In fact, Hollingshead’s original slogan will be “The whole family is welcome, regardless of how noisy the children are.”
Gemini 9 returns to Earth, landing at 13:59GMT, after a flight which included a two hour space walk, broadcast live on television. The crew remained with the spacecraft, which was hoisted aboard the primary recovery ship, the aircraft carrier Wasp fifty-three minutes after landing.
The first Internet connection is established when network control protocol packets are sent from the data port of one Interface Message Processor (IMP) to another.
The first space station flight, Soyuz 11 is launched on a mission to Salyut 1 by the USSR. Equipment aboard Salyut 1 includes a television, telescope, spectrometer, and electrophotometer. The crew checks improved on-board spacecraft systems in different conditions of flight and conducts medico-biological research. The main instrument, a large solar telescope, is rendered inoperative when it fails to jettison. A small fire and difficult working conditions will lead to a decision to return the station’s crew before the mission’s planned duration of thirty days.