This Day in Geek History: June 7
Thomas Edison is issued a patent for a “Printing Telegraph Instruments.” (US No. 103,924)
Thomas Edisonis granted patents for a “System of Electric Lighting,” an “Incandescent Electric Lamp,” a “System of Electrical Distribution,” an “Incandescent Electric Lamp,” an “Electric-Lighting System,” and an “Ore-Screening Apparatus.” (US No. 476,527-32)
The U.S. Army tests the possibility of mounting a machine gun on a plane for the first time.
Harley Iams and Albert Rose of Radio Corporation of America (RCA) introduce the orthicon television camera tube. The device uses a simple cylindrical tube four to five inches in diameter to focus the electron scanning beam with a magnetic coil.
AT&T and International Telephone and Telegraph signed a cross-licensing patent agreement that will lead to the complete standardization of the American telephone industry. The move results in interchangeable telephone hardware being used across North America.
English mathematician Alan Turing, who will later widely be recognized as the father of computer science, commits suicide by eating an apple soaked in cyanide at the age of forty-two. Turing’s suicide comes after his arrest and conviction for “Gross Indecency” arising from the discovery of his sexual affair with another man. Turing had spiraled deeper and deeper into depression after being forced to undergo a series of estrogen treatments that left him impotent and obese following the conviction.
Dwight D Eisenhower becomes the first U.S. president to appear in a color television broadcast during his commencement address at the West Point Military Academy.
The Sony Corporation introduces its first consumer 1/2-inch format helical scan black-and-white video tape recorder. Price: Under US$3,000
The first Legoland Park, featuring expansive cityscapes modeled in Lego bricks, is opened in Billund, Denmark. The theme park will attract 625,000 visitors within a year. Visit the official Lego website.
The Soviet Soyuz 11 capsule makes the first successful visit to Salyut 1, the world’s first space station. The crew makes the first personnel transfer to the orbiting station. However, the mission will end in catastrophe when the capsule depressurizes during re-entry.
Sony releases Betamax videocassette recorder, the first home video format, in Japan. Almost a year to the day later, JVC will introduce a competing format called the Video Home System (VHS). VHS will ultimately surpass the Betamax format in terms of popularity, partly due to its longer recording length and partly due to maneuvering on the part of Sony to corner the home video market. Read more at The Ultimate Betamax Info Guide.
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