This Day in Geek History: November 26
William Shakespeare publishes King Lear. Many later historians will believe it to be the first book for which a copyright claim is made in the Entry Book of Copies at the Stationers’ Company in London.
The first modern annual Thanksgiving holiday is held following an October 3rd proclamation by President Abraham Lincoln assigning the last Thursday in November for the purpose.
Charles Dodgson, who will later publish under the pen name Lewis Carroll, sends the handwritten manuscript of his fantasy novel Alice’s Adventures Underground to ten year-old Alice Liddell as an early Christmas gift. Dodgson had promised the girl that he would record the story after first told her and her two sisters the tale to pass the time while traveling via row boat from Folly Bridge, Oxford to Godstow on The Isis for a picnic outing. One year later, the manuscript would be published as Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
Macmillan and Co. publishes the juvenile fantasy novel Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Charles Lutwidge Dodgson under the pen name Lewis Carroll in England. The novel included forty-two illustrations drawn by John Tenniel, who will be long remembered for the contribution. The novel, which tells the story a young girl named Alice who falls down a rabbit hole into a magical world populated with bizarre characters. It would become enormously influential in the fantasy genre. Queen Victoria enjoyed the book so much that she would send Dodgson a letter saying that she would be “pleased to accept any other works by the same pen.”
The Western Electric Manufacturing Company abbreviates its name to “Western Electric” and acquires the only existing licenses to make Bell System telephone equipment through purchases and the expiration of existing contracts.
The first photo of a meteor trail is taken in Prague, Czechoslovakia during the Andromedid meteor shower.
Thomas Edison applies for a U.S. patent for an improved phonograph system that uses wax-coated cylinders and an electric motor-driven machine. (US No 386,974)
Archaeologist Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon become the first people to enter the tomb of Egyptian King Tutankhamun in over 3000 years. The find will be dubbed, “The greatest archaeological discovery of all time” by the media.
The film Toll of the Sea becomes the first widely released film to feature two-tone Technicolor. The film The Gulf Between, which used the same technology, was released over five years earlier, but it was never widely released and it wasn’t produced in Hollywood, as Toll of the Sea was. IMDB listing
France launches its first satellite, the 92-pound Astrix-1 capsule, aboard a Diamant-A rocket into orbit from Hammaguir, Algeria, becoming the world’s third nation to enter space after the Soviet Union and the United States.
President Charles de Gaulle inaugurates the world’s first tidal power station at Rance estuary, in Brittany. At high and low tide, the water builds up rapidly on one side of the dam. When the difference in the two sides’ levels is sufficient, the gates open and the water rushes into the dam, operating the turbines in either direction to generate up to five hundred million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of power a year.
The trade name Micro-Soft is registered with the Office of the Secretary of the State of New Mexico. The name was first used by Bill Gates in a letter written to Paul Allen on November 29, 1975. Just weeks later, Gates will drop out of Harvard.
According to Twin Galaxies, Dan Whitman, age 16, scores a record-setting 556,886 points on Atari’s Centipede after playing the game for one hour and five minutes at 2-Bit Bandit in Evansville, Indiana. Visit the official Twin Galaxies website.
In the Business Monday section of the San Jose Mercury News, technology editor Evelyn Richards, reports that Jack Tramiel was “making peace with retailers as soon as he arrived at Atari … That means Atari’s computers and video-game systems will be on retailers’ shelves in time for the Christmas shopping season.” The article also points out the difficult balance that Atari has had to find to optimize cash flow. “Tramiel’s challenge was to convince retailers to pay him what they owed, plus buy more goods.”
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