This Day in Geek History: June 9
The Philadelphia Spelling Book by John Barry becomes the first book to be registered under the U.S. Copyright Act in the United States.
The first book in Beadle’s dime novel series, Malaeska: The Indian Wife of the White Hunter by Ann S. Stephens, is published by Beadle & Adams in New York City. The novel is a reprint of an earlier serialization of Stephens’s work that appeared in the Ladies’ Companion magazine in 1839. The format will rapidly grow in popularity.
The first commercial electric railway line goes into operation Chicago.
Thomas Edison is issued a patent for an additional innovation for his “Phonograph.” (US No. 453,741)
Joe Horn and Frank Hardart open the Horn & Hardart Automat Restaurant, the first restaurant with vending machine service, at 818 Chestnut Street in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It offers a combination of cafeteria, fast-food and vending machine style dining. Rather than ordering a meal at a counter or from a waiter, Automat customers place nickels into a slot next to a compartment containing the desired food selection and turn a knob. The food then revolves into place for the customer to take through a small glass door. Coffee and pie both cost a nickel, while turkey and gravy twenty-five cents. Other selections include chicken pot pie, macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, Salisbury steak, and a wide variety of desserts. In 1912, the resteraunt will open a second location in New York’s Time Square, and will eventually expand into America’s first major fast-food chain, with eighty-five locations at the height of its success. Read more at Automat.net.
Albert Einstein published his analysis of Planck’s quantum theory and its application to light in the journal Annalen der Physik (Annals of Physics). Though no experimental work was involved, it is for these insights that Einstein will later earn his Nobel Prize.
Thomas Edison is granted three patents related to a “Phonograph-Reproducer” and a patent for a “Method of Making Sound-Record Molds.” (US No. 1,099,346 -8, -9)
Joseph Tykocinski-Tykociner, a professor at the University of Illinois, demonstrates the earliest sound-on-film system. The track is positioned to the right of the emulsion and the film runs at speeds up to 162 feet a minute to capture music.
The first live radio broadcast from the House of Commons in the U.K. parliament is aired.
Intel introduces the 4.77MHz 8086 microprocessor, featuring 16-bit registers, a 16-bit data bus, and 29,000 transistors. It can access 1MB of memory. The processor uses a 3-micron technology. Price: US$360
Twentieth Century Fox releases the film Damien: Omen II directed by Don Taylor and starring William Holden, Lee Grant, Sylvia Sidney, Lew Ayres, Robert Foxworth, and Jonathan Scott-Taylor to 525 U.S. theaters. The film is the sequel to the classic horror film The Omen. Produced on a budget of US$4 million, it will gross US$3,880,880 domestically in its opening weekend. IMDB listing (MPAA Rating: R) Running Time: 1 hr 47 mins