This Day in Geek History: March 22
The Gutenberg Bible is printed by Johannes Gutenberg. While it isn’t the first book to be printed using Gutenberg’s movable type system, it will become the first popular work produced by the machine.
The first motion picture shown on a screen is presented by Auguste and Louis Lumière during a private screening for the Société d’Encouragement à l’Industrie Nationale. An invited audience at forty-four spectators at the Rue de Rennes in Paris, France, view the silent documentary film La Sortie des ouvriers de l’usine Lumière (“Employees Leaving the Lumière Factory and Exiting the Factory”), a film they shot especially for the occasion. The film is a recording of workers leaving the Lumières’ own factory in Lyon, which manufactures photographic products. The workers stream out, most on foot, some with their bicycles, followed by those with cars. Several more such screenings will follow before the first public exhibition at the Salon Indien du Grand Café at 14 Boulevard des Capucines in Paris on December 28. Though the “film” is only 46 seconds long, it will go down in history as the first true motion picture. The Lumières will soon begin opening cinemas in Berlin, Brussels, London, and New York to exhibit their films.
The first color photograph is published by the London Daily Illustrated Mirror.
Blood tests are first used as evidence in a court New York.
Television broadcasts begin in Berlin, Germany, with a low definition, 180 line system.
The BBC begins transmitting news bulletins in Morse code for the benefit of resistance fighters in mainland Europe.
The first rocket built in the United States, one of the WAC Corporals, leaves the Earth’s atmosphere, a year after Germany had launched a rocket. The U.S. rocket is launched from White Sands, New Mexico, and attains an altitude of fifty miles.
In the UK, television broadcasting hours for both BBC and forthcoming ITV services are fixed at a total of thirty-five hours on weekdays, with a daily maximum of eight hours. Broadcasts are not to be transmitted before 9am nor after 11pm, with a shutdown between 6pm and 7pm and no more than two hours before 1pm. The same restrictions apply on Saturday. On Sunday, the maximum is programming allotment is seven and three-quarter hours, with no more than a total of fifteen hours combined for the entire weekend. On Sunday, programs can be transmitted between 2pm and 11pm, with a shutdown from 6:15pm to 7:30pm. Religious services may be broadcast outside these boundaries, in addition to the total permitted hours. Broadcasts of special events are also excluded from the daily limits.
Dr. Thomas Stanley of RCA Laboratories applies for a patent for the Capacitance Electronic Disc (or CED), the vinyl equivalent of the DVD. (US No. 3,842,194) Stanley suggested in 1959 that video could be stored capacitively on a vinyl disc if a means could be found to mold sufficiently small signal elements into the surface of the vinyl. Formal research on this concept began at RCA Labs in 1964 and took off when the team of Jon Clemens and Eugene Keizer was put together shortly thereafter. Clemens, a recent graduate of MIT, was deeply involved with getting CED to market and can rightly be called “the father of the CED.”
Ralph Baer files yet another landmark patent in video game technology. This one is described as a “Television Gaming and Training Apparatus.” He will receive the patent (US No. 3,728,480) on April 17, 1973. This and other technologies invented by Baer and his colleagues will become the very foundation of video game technology. Read more about Ralph Baer at TalkSpot.com.