This Day in Geek History: November 14
The English physician Samuel Pepys makes a record in his diary describing the first documented blood transfusion, which is between dogs. “Dr. Croone told me … there was a pretty experiment of the blood of one dog let out, till he had died, into the body of another on one side, while all his own run out on the other side. The first died upon the place, and the other very well and likely to do well. This did give occasion to many pretty wishes, as of the blood of a Quaker to be let into an Archbishop and such like; but, as Dr. Croon says, may, if it takes, be of mighty use to man’s health, for the amending of bad blood by borrowing from a better body.”
Louis Timothee is hired in Philadelphia as the first professional librarian in the U.S.
The first shipment of new telephones designed by L.M. Ericsson of Sweden is delivered. Based on his experience repairing American made phones, Ericsson began manufacturing a “telephone with a trumpet” of his own design. The “trumpet” is an extension of the mouthpiece where a caller blows to initiate a call.
Albert Einstein presents his quantum theory of light.
An airplane takes off from a ship for the first time, piloted by Eugene Burton Ely. The ship is the light cruiser USS Birmingham, and the event takes place off the coast of Hampton Roads, Virginia. Ely pilots the plane, a Curtiss pusher, to a nearby beach, where he lands after only just keeping the plane above sea level. Following the flight, Ely will be made a lieutenant in the California National Guard in order to qualify for a $500 prize that had been offered for the first reservist to make such a flight. On January 18, 1911, Ely will land his airplane aboard the armored cruiser USS Pennsylvania in San Francisco Bay, using the first ever tailhook system.
The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) begins broadcastin the first daily radio broadcasts from Marconi House. The company was originally formed with a commercial purpose of selling radio sets, but general manager John Reith, will eventually repurpose the organization to educate and inform the whole nation, free from political interference.
Western Union introduces the first desktop facsimile on its New York – Buffalo line to more rapidly convey messages to its offices. The machine is made possible by an electrosensitive dry recording paper dubbed Teledeltos recently invented by engineer Raleigh G. Wise. A year later, the company will install a second machine between its New York and Chicago offices.
Theodore Maiman is issued a patent for “Ruby Laser Systems,” which he had applied for on April 13, 1961. (US No. 3,353,115)
Yale University announces plans to go co-ed. The school will introduce coeducation in 1969, when Amy Solomon becomes the first woman to register as a Yale undergraduate.
NASA launches Apollo 12, the second manned mission to the surface of the Moon from Cape Canaveral. Lightning strikes the space vehicle twice, at 36.5 seconds and 52 seconds into the mission; however it suffers no discernible damage. The first strike is even visible to spectators at the launch site. Except for special attention given to verifying the spacecraft’s systems, its activities during earth-orbit checkout. Its translunar injection and translunar coast will both be similar to those of Apollo 10 and Apollo 11.
The Fall COMDEX trade show is held in Las Vegas, Nevada, over three days.
At the COMDEX show, Sperry introduces the Sperry 5000 series of microcomputers, running the Unix operating system, and Kaypro introduces its first IBM PC compatible, the Kaypro 16, featuring 256KB RAM, a floppy drive, and hard drive. Price: US$3,295 Weight: 35lbs
At the COMDEX show, Texas Instruments (TI) introduces the TI Pro-Lite computer, with 25-line LCD screen. Price: US$2,995
The Fall COMDEX trade show is held Monday, November 14 through Friday, November 18 in Las Vegas, Nevada, over five days. During the event, a film crew captures footage for an upcoming film, “Above the Law” starring Steven Seagal, while disguised with press credentials. Due to scheduling conflicts, the crew was unable to attend The Summer Consumer Electronics Show (SCES) in Chicago, where the movie is actually set.
The Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “The Quality of Life” first airs. (No. 609) In it, Data considers risking human lives to preserve robotic life forms that he believes to have achieved sentience. Memory Alpha entry
Atari and the Time Warner Cable Full Service Network (FSN) cooperatively announce an agreement to offer Atari Jaguar 64-bit interactive video games to FSN customers. Select video games will be digitally compressed and stored on magnetic hard drives to be “downloaded” by FSN consumers on demand.
The Mosaic Communications Corporation becomes Netscape to avoid trademark conflicts with the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), where the initial Mosaic employees created the NCSA Mosaic web browser. While the Mosaic Netscape web browser is an evolutionary extension of NCSA Mosaic, it shares no code in common with its predecessor.
Nintendo hosts the annual Shoshinkai Show in Tokyo, Japan. At the event, Nintendo announces the Virtual Boy video game system, which uses a special virtual reality headset to display 3-D red images on a black background. It features a 32-bit RISC chip, two high-resolution mirror-scanning LED displays, stereo speakers, controller with dual directional controls and buttons. The unit will be released in the US in April. Price: US$200
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