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It was make-or-break for the company at that moment, but fortunately the American people loved the car, and it went on to be a success. Who Owned the Very First Ford? New Thinking Made Ford Different After the Model A, the company produced a range of models, but they were expensive compared to some of the competition at the time. As Ford cars became more successful, Ford had to find a way to reduce the cost of production while increasing output. The secret to low cost was in the production method.
At the time, fewer than ten cars could be made per day by groups of two or three men at Ford. The small groups would finish the individual components of the car before assembling them. With the introduction of the Model T in , however, a new method of production was tried. Ford had looked at other industries, such as flour mills, bakeries, breweries, and meat- packing plants, and drawn inspiration from their continuous-flow methods of production.
Parts for the Model T were created in bulk and then brought into the manufacturing plant. The assembly process was broken up into eighty-four steps. Each worker would be trained on just one task within the process. Ford even hired a motion-study expert, Fredrick Taylor, to make sure the jobs were made as efficient as possible. In addition, there were machines built to stamp parts faster than human beings could.
Nothing was more revolutionary in the automobile industry than the introduction of the assembly line. In , Ford opened the Highland Park manufacturing plant in Michigan. In , the introduction of mechanically-driven belts that moved at a speed of 6 feet 1. To highlight how much of a revolution this was, consider that in , Ford produced , cars. This was more than all other manufacturers combined.
Assembly work, though monotonous, was not as bad a deal for the workers as one might think. The typical workday could be reduced from nine to eight hours due to the efficiency gains. The workers must have felt like rock stars as they tore up the street going 45 miles 72 km per hour. At this point, Ford had made the automobile available to the common man. The Model T and its mass-production techniques transformed American culture and economy.
Drive-in restaurants and movies began to appear, and motor hotels motels became a new concept. In fact, people could now drive anywhere the cars were designed to handle rough terrain, snow, and even river crossings , and, as a result, businesses started popping up in rural areas. Early cars and trucks impacted the steel, rubber, and glass industry, the food industry, and the entertainment industry.
By the s, the auto industry was already employing nine million Americans. Car horns usually had two tones: E-flat and G, for example. If we want music today, all we have to do is press a button, tap a screen, or even speak. To enjoy music at home was to be privileged enough to have family members who played instruments. Sing-alongs were also a favorite. What a revolution to listen to music whenever you liked, without going to a live show.
As the sound quality of records improved, they began to sell well. Along with this came mass production and effective marketing. Soon record prices dropped from two dollars to around 35 cents. It was distributed by Victor Records. A frozen image can act as a direct time portal, allowing us to look back into moments in history as they were. Prior to photography, this could only be done by a skilled artist.
It was bulky and complicated, and photographed subjects would have to stay perfectly still for six to eight seconds to take a single picture. If they moved, the image would blur. Imagine taking a photo with your friends under these conditions. A lost cause would be an understatement. To actually create a photo, a photographer would have to pour and mix layers of chemicals over a large glass plate to make it light-sensitive.
The plate would then have to be inserted into the back of the camera lens. Only a professional photographer could put up with using such a system. Even after professional lessons, he still battled with the uncooperative, messy chemicals. He knew there had to be a better way. Eastman did the logical thing and researched to see if there were any better techniques of photography. Each night, he would study international photography journals.
This turned out to be a good move, as it led to the uncovering of a new, simpler kind of photography. These plates were pre-coated with the chemicals, so the mess was eliminated. It was a hidden gem. There was no internet back then to spread this new trend in photography to America, so very few Americans knew that the British had invented a superior photographic method.
Eastman then thought of the next logical step—to create his own dry plates. Why not? He would soon get to work. Despite not having finished high school, Eastman had a day job as a bookkeeper at a bank. Eastman worked so hard that his mother would often find him asleep on the floor in the morning. One day, a local photographer saw the pictures and was curious.
The local photographer bought some dry plates and recommended them to the Anthony Company, a leader in photo supplies in New York. Anthony Company was in the business of finding new and innovative products, exactly the kind of stuff that Eastman had to offer.
Anthony Company offered the twenty-six-year-old Eastman a contract. By January of , Eastman had his own dry plate factory in New York, while still working his bank job. He mixed all the chemicals himself and worked late into the night. When he went to work at the bank the next morning, his fingers would often still be stained black from the chemicals. He was determined to succeed. Soon, Eastman could afford to employ a small staff. After a disagreement over a promotion, Eastman left the bank, a move which his co- workers saw as a big mistake, but it was Eastman who would soon be laughing.
Unfortunately for Eastman, other companies soon caught on and began selling their own versions of dry plates. Eastman had to think quickly. Soon he came up with chemically-coated, rollable paper film. Instead of replacing a dry glass plate with another one to take another photo, you simply had to wind the roll to get to the next frame of film. It was a forward-thinking idea, and Eastman was excited about it.
In , he demonstrated his invention. Although it won a few awards, film material limitations meant that the image quality was not up to the standards of professional photographers. As a result of the quality issues, the paper-roll film was a failure on the market. Eastman was devastated, but, in a stroke of genius, he decided to turn his attention to why he had started all of this in the first place.
It was to make photography so simple that anyone could do it. It was worth a shot. Bringing Photography to the Masses In , Eastman pivoted his plan from film production toward making an easy-to-use camera. It was to be the simplest possible design. Its name? The Kodak. The Kodak was small. No more complicated chemicals or glass plates, just a small box. The compact camera drew such interest, it was even mentioned in the novel Dracula, which was written in the same year.
To be a runaway success, Kodak just had to find out how to make the camera cheaper. His strategy was to aim the product at children who loved taking photos. Released in , the Brownie was small, cheap two dollars for the camera and one dollar for a roll of film , easy to use, and could take eight shots on one roll.
It was an instant smash hit, with , units sold in the first year. The Brownie changed the human experience. For the first time, anyone could capture moments in their own lives, something that had never been possible before in human history.
There were many times when George Eastman could have given up, but his determination truly changed the world. Today there are billions of cameras worldwide that fit in our pockets. Although they work by different methods, they give the same result—a way to preserve the special moments in our lives. Where Did Plastic Come From? Take a look around you. How many objects can you spot that are made of plastic? Who do we have to thank for this material that is so integral today? Leo Baekeland was a Belgian-American chemist born in He was an intelligent student and had a PhD at age twenty-one.
In , he was appointed associate professor of chemistry at Ghent University Belgium. In the same year, he was offered a scholarship to visit English and American universities. Baekeland had a keen interest in photography, and after two years of hard work, he invented Velox, a photographic paper that could be developed under artificial light.
With the money from Kodak, Baekeland was now a wealthy man and could afford to spend his time doing what he loved. In his case, that was performing chemical experiments. He built his own personal lab and made it his mission to find another area in the chemical sciences that could use his problem-solving talent.
Organic resins such as tree rubber existed but were not tough enough to have a wide array of applications. Chemists were using two chemicals to try to form this new synthetic material: phenol from coal and tar and formaldehyde from the combustion of methane. A point of note: Formaldehyde is now known to cause cancer and can be found in car exhaust fumes and tobacco smoke.
Painstakingly, he studied the experiments of Baeyer and others, slowly changing the variables until something useful emerged. By individually modifying the temperature, pressure, and amounts of each chemical used, he eventually struck gold…or plastic.
He called this new material Bakelite, and it was the very first plastic. In , he patented his invention and announced it to the American Chemical Society. It was an instant success. This new material also took colored dyes well, which could make for bright and attractive products.
Early uses included buttons, radios, telephone cases, lamps, chess sets, billiard balls, and plastic toys. Baekeland would receive many awards for his invention, and today Baekeland plastic products are considered a rare item for historical collectors. The French had been flying in their air balloons since In itself, the first Zeppelin flew in Germany.
However, floating, as these machines were doing, is a very different thing from flying like a bird in the way great minds like Leonardo da Vinci envisioned. The first machines built for serious flying attempts were more than bird-like inspirations. They were often a direct copy, with large, mechanical, flapping wings these machines are known as ornithopters. Early flying was a very risky business.
If you had an incorrect assumption about how a wing works, for example, it could lead to an early death. Franz Reichelt was a tailor who believed a wearable parachute was a step toward human flight. After some successful initial experiments involving dropping the parachute with test dummies from the fifth floor of his apartment building, Reichelt went on to test the technology on himself.
In , despite opposition from his friends and family, Reichelt jumped from the Eiffel Tower with his wearable parachute. The parachute failed to deploy, and he was killed instantly at the point of impact. Otto Lilienthal made over two thousand glides in a hang glider in Berlin.
His only form of control was to shift his body weight. Unfortunately, his glider plummeted to the ground after stalling during one of his test flights. He survived the initial crash but died from his injuries thirty-six hours later.
Others had more success. The machine mimicked a flying bat. His first flight covered 50 meters on October 9, Gustave Whitehead, a German immigrant to the United States, flew a steam-powered plane in By now, many uncontrolled glides and short powered flights had been made. What had not been achieved was a heavier-than-air controllable craft that could carry a person under its own power.
The American and European people were thinking: after all, automobiles were here, electric cars were here…surely a flying machine had to be next! In America, the humble bicycle was also taking over in a big way. In , two brothers, Orville and Wilbur Wright twenty-five and twenty-one years old, respectively decided to get into the bicycle business. They started up a small bicycle shop in Dayton, Ohio, where they manufactured products by hand. Wilbur, meanwhile, had been watching the aviation progress from a distance.
He decided that the brothers should give controlled flight a shot. Control was the hardest part of flying. How do you steer something that is already in the air? While thinking about the problem, Wilber was standing outside observing birds in flight. From careful observation, he thought that maybe birds managed to turn by slightly twisting their wings. The brothers made a small box kite to test their idea.
The string was attached to the wings in such a way that, when pulled from either end, the string would twist the wing structure one way or another. This was called wing warping and was a simple but substantial breakthrough in aviation control. The test kite worked perfectly, and the kite turned as expected when the wings were pulled and warped. In , the brothers went on to build a full-scale version with additions to the control mechanisms. They tested this full-scale model at Kitty Hawk—a beach in North Carolina.
They made several successful small glides down a hill, but disaster struck in One day, as Wilbur was gliding and performing a turn, his body began sliding down the side of the wing, and he quickly lost control. The aircraft slammed into the ground. Shaken but alive, a discouraged Wilbur admitted that man would not fly for another fifty years.
They resumed aviation experiments at their bike shop a few months later. In a flash of genius, Orville decided to build a small-scale wind tunnel in the shop, to validate their equations and test different wing shapes. The wind tunnel was a small wooden box with a horsepower fan at one end and a glass top for observing the wings that were placed inside. Incredibly, this entire process of testing was pretty close to the modern engineering method.
Impressive, especially considering Orville was a bike mechanic from with three years of high school education. With the wind tunnel set up, Orville was the first to realize that the behavior of a wing is the same regardless of size—it was only the shape that mattered. There was no need to jump off mounds to see if a wing design worked or not.
By , they had perfected their design and could now reliably control the glider. The next year, they were ready for the main show—powered flight. Using the skills of an in- house machinist from their bicycle shop, the brothers produced an engine and a pair of propellers. However, things were about to change. Some details about their glider had been leaked and published in a French journal, re-sparking an international interest in flying.
The French were also turning their eyes to the skies. The race to conquer the air was on! The engines and propellers had been fitted to the aircraft, and it was ready for its first secret test flight. The brothers shook hands somewhat solemnly, as though it was their final time seeing each other, and split—Orville to the plane, Wilbur to observe.
Orville started the engines. A loud noise could be heard as the engines began to rev. History was about to change. It flew for twelve seconds. They flew four times that day, the longest flight being fifty-seven seconds. Man had taken to the air. The brothers telegrammed the details to their father in Ohio. By , with further improvements, the Wright brothers were flying for thirty minutes.
However, the brothers had an issue. They were looking to sell their invention, but how? They were afraid that, if they demonstrated the technology publicly, it would be stolen, as they had not yet obtained a patent. Regardless of this fact, their first thought was to target the US government as a potential customer. The deal went something like this: Sign the contract and give us a list of things you would like our flying machine to do. The American government rejected the offer.
At this time, Germany and France were on the verge of war, so the pair thought that either party would be very interested in just such a flying machine. The asking price? Meanwhile, in Paris, powered flight had just been achieved by Alberto Santos Dumont. The French were catching up. Despite the plane only being able to fly in a straight line, the people of France were amazed and hailed Dumont as the father of aviation.
They feared their design secrets would be stolen by spying onlookers. The French were especially scornful and suspicious; they were fast becoming the perceived leaders in aviation, while the Wright brothers sat on their invention. By January , Frenchman Henri Farman was flying in a circle over a total distance of 1 kilometer. The control was crude, but it was control nonetheless. The Wright brothers were starting to look like fools on the world stage.
Fortunately, word reached President Roosevelt of the claims by the Wright brothers. The deal was as follows: Produce a plane capable of carrying two men miles km at 40 miles 64 km per hour for a flight time of one hour. The brothers agreed. Now, they could finally prove to the world that their machine flew. Their first targets were the skeptical Europeans, particularly the French.
With all eyes focused on him, he started up the engine and was flying a short time later. The crowd rose to its feet in simultaneous astonishment. As the plane made smooth, controlled turns, it was clear that the brothers had not been lying.
They had been vindicated! The French news outlets admitted that this aircraft was far beyond what their local engineers had achieved. Today, there are over , flights per day and over 37 million every year. Of course, there were many contributions to aviation after the Wright brothers, but the fact remains that the true origins of air travel were very humble: two bicycle makers with a high school education and a keen sense of intuition.
It was a piece of fabric from the left wing. And so, it went: By the year , humanity had mass-produced cars, personal music, aircraft, small personal cameras, and plastic. The opening decade was a sign that this century would be very different from the last.
Also, in , the Titanic sinks, and the first Olympic games with electronic timing and photo-finish technology take place in Stockholm, Sweden. The record for the meter sprint is set by Donald Lippincott with a time of The Royal Arms Munitions factory in London was having some difficulty with erosion inside their rifle barrels, causing poor accuracy. They invited Brearley, who was head of Brown Firth Labs a steel maker , to take a look at the situation.
After experimenting with adding more chromium to a mix of metals used to make standard steel, Sheffield stumbled across something peculiar—a steel that did not corrode or rust. A stainless steel. At the time, steel rusting over time was a fact of life—as sure as wood rotting.
Surprisingly, Harry was virtually alone in his vision of the endless applications for stainless steel. His superiors thought further applications were a waste of time and that he should leave his tinkering alone. Following World War I, the full potential of stainless steel was finally realized. Today, stainless steel is used in everything from cars and cutlery to buildings and electronics. Currently, almost 46 million metric tons of steel are produced globally. It was well received by audiences.
The film was a tongue-in-cheek commentary on the politics of Argentina. It featured the president ascending into the clouds before using thunderbolts to rid Buenos Aires of all corruption, leaving behind a burning, smoldering city. The film would literally be smoldering in when the film studio it was in was consumed by a fire.
There was only one copy, meaning it was unfortunately lost forever. Toast, Anyone? Long before millennials and their obsession with avocado toast, the first toasters prepared bread in front of a hot fire. It was a bit of a pain because you had to stand next to the toaster and turn it off when the toast looked done. It also only did one side at a time. The problem back then was that all bread was cut by hand, so slices were of different thicknesses, but over the next ten years, bread- slicing machines gained in popularity.
As this happened, slice sizes became standardized, enabling the widespread adoption of the electric pop-up toaster. Today, the toaster is the most common household appliance in the United States. The world would soon erupt in the worst war yet seen.
To fully understand the scope of technological progress at that time, we must understand the events surrounding the First World War. In , the eight-hundred-year-long monarchy ended in Portugal. In , Italy and Turkey were at war. All this while, alliances had slowly been forming in Europe. The situation was a powder keg ready to explode. With the industrialization of most of Western Europe, and the newly formed alliances, an arms race was underway.
A freshly emergent and unified Germany baffled Europe with its prosperity and technical abilities. Great Britain and France in particular were increasingly worried about this new German nation. Meanwhile, the second largest country in Europe, the fifty-year-old Austria-Hungary, was faced with growing dissatisfaction from its Serbian Slavic community, who made up a staggering 50 percent of the population.
The Slavic ethnic eastern European people felt they were not treated as equals with the Austrians and Hungarians in the region. The Austro-Hungarian empire was an industry powerhouse. It had the fourth-largest machine-building industry on the planet, behind the United States, Germany, and the UK. They were a technologically advanced nation for the day and a power to be reckoned with.
The leader of Austria-Hungary was eighty-one-year-old Franz Joseph I, who was unwilling to change his ways of governing, which involved marginalizing the Slavs. The successor to the throne was Archduke Franz Ferdinand. He was a radical departure from Joseph I and wanted to bring peace to the nation by giving the Slavs a fair chance.
June 18, While on a tour of Sarajevo, Bosnia, Ferdinand is greeted warmly by the people. That is, until a bomb bounces off his car and explodes behind him. Despite suggestions to cancel his tour, he continues down the road, only to be shot and killed by Gavrilo Princip, a nineteen-year-old Bosnian radical. The goal of the assassination was for the southern Slavic states to break free of Austria-Hungary and form their own state: Yugoslavia.
This declaration was all it took for the global alliances to click into place: The Russians, British, and French backed the Serbians, while the Germans and Ottoman Turks backed the Austro-Hungarians. This single bullet that killed Franz Ferdinand was the match that ignited the powder keg. By the end, they were fighting with tanks on the ground and planes in the air.
When your country is at stake, you must innovate to win or die trying. These factors led to World War I being the first industrial and scientific war. Although Austria-Hungary was technologically advanced, they were falling behind in the arms race due to economic troubles.
For example, the country was still attempting to use balloons for reconnaissance missions instead of planes. The Germans and Austro-Hungarians thought the battle with Serbia would only last four to five weeks, but the Serbian army one-tenth their size put up an incredible fight and actually defeated Austria-Hungary in three battles with great losses. The conflict was quickly shaping up to be more difficult than first thought. Meanwhile, Britain, the economic and military superpower of the world and undisputed leader of the sea, had a plan to bring down Germany.
Britain used its shipping might to block off food supplies to Germany to starve the nation into submission. In retaliation, the Germans used their ships to block off food and military supplies to Britain. A U-boat was basically a submarine. Although common today, this required an immense amount of engineering expertise with the technology available in the s to reliably work in combat.
The German U-boats could launch torpedoes at enemy ships without them ever seeing their destruction coming. Innovation at sea would only be outdone by innovation in the air. Not long after, the Germans gained air superiority on the Western front by designing one of the first planes able to fire a machine gun through its propellers. They did this with a mechanical device called a synchronization gear.
By , with the ship blockades still in effect, the citizens of most of the European powers were beginning to suffer food shortages; the war needed to be decisively won. As a result, aeronautical engineering—which began with the Wright brothers just a short time earlier— was advancing at a rapid pace. And soon, fierce dogfights were happening in the sky.
Large British biplane bombers were soon built; these planes were some of the largest aircraft in the world at the time. One day, in , he noticed an aluminum paperweight and an idea was sparked. What about replacing the heavy cast-iron pistons in cars with lighter aluminum ones?
During the war, these lightweight Bentley aluminum pistons would soon be used in the famous British Sopwith Camel aircraft engines. After the war, Walter used his experience to found Bentley Motors Ltd. Today, Bentley is arguably the most prestigious car brand on the planet.
The IIIa engines were good performers and fuel-efficient. The war effort meant that BMW could expand its operations quickly, if only in aeronautics. This first engine demolished the competition. Planes equipped with it could outmaneuver and outclimb anything else in the air. Along with speed records, this BMW engine helped power a biplane to a record 32, feet 9, km in The Birth of the Documentary As the war raged, there was great interest in the events.
Newspapers could tell the story, but the newly formed film industry could do a much better job. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but fifteen to thirty pictures every second can be worth much more. Some films of this period took on a different structure.
Their sole purpose was to document events. These types of films would be known as documentaries, and the war helped the format come to prominence. An End to Conflict? It was the lower ranks of the Russian army that rose first against their superiors. The army had lost 1. The Russian civilians were starving and there was revolution in the country.
The nation pulled out of the war in November In Russia, the war had caused economic destruction, allowing the perfect backdrop for one of the biggest revolutions the world had ever seen: the establishment of Communism. Exhausted, the French army also refused to fight, and the nation pulled out soon after. Now it seemed the Germans and Austro-Hungarians had the upper hand. When the dust finally settled, a total of 37 million military personnel and civilians had lost their lives.
Another era had ended, and a new one had just begun. In some cases, the demands and wider ramifications of the war actually served as a springboard for their success. Sharp Corporation: It all Started with a Pencil In , Tokuji Hayakawa, a Japanese businessman, received a contract to make metal fittings for use in a mechanical pencil.
After studying the design of the entire pencil, he noticed that it was fragile, and he thought he could do better. Seeing the business potential in a practical mechanical pencil, Hayakawa got to work, often neglecting eating or sleeping.
Eventually, he managed to improve the internal design, making it much more durable. With more tweaking, he made the device easy to use and reliable. Tokuji Hayakawa would team up with his brother Masaharu Hayakawa to sell the pencils, producing 1, a month. To get the ball rolling, the pair went to a number of stores to try to sell their product, but the stores were critical and showed little interest. They eventually came across a high-class stationery store that showed interest, though the store requested thirty-six revisions of the product from the brothers before finally accepting it.
Strangely, it would be World War I that was their savior. The breakout of war in made it difficult for the US and Europe to get hold of German-made mechanical pencils. The pencils began to gain popularity in the US and Europe as a consequence. This Ever-Sharp mechanical pencil is where the Sharp Corporation derived its name. Matsushita was the son of a wealthy businessman who lost all his money in rice speculation.
Interestingly, Toshio would go on to found Sanyo. Matsushita saw a gap in the market and went straight for it. Matsushita stayed up late at night refining his designs, ultimately choosing to manufacture two new products: an attachment plug for light bulbs, and a two-way socket also for light bulbs.
They proved popular, as they were of higher quality than other products on the market. With a small staff, Matsushita could keep his costs down. By the end of , the company was employing twenty people. CTR manufactured a wide range of products, including coffee grinders, automatic meat slicers, employee time-keeping systems, weighing scales, and punch-card equipment.
Back then, a computer was a person who calculated arithmetic sums. It was an actual profession—not hard to see where the modern computing machine first got its name. We will explore IBM further in the s chapter 11 when we look at computing. Today, IBM has , employees and is an emerging player in machine learning. William E. Boeing would become one of the biggest names in the industry.
Boeing had a background different from what you might expect. He was a lumber company executive from Michigan. In , Boeing saw his first plane at an exposition in Seattle and was fascinated. The result was an amphibian seaplane with impressive performance. Confident in their abilities, the pair decided to start their own company, Pacific Aero Products Co. In , America entered World War I and the nation needed planes. When World War I ended in , a surplus of cheap, used military planes flooded the commercial airplane market, preventing aircraft companies from selling any new planes and driving many out of business.
Boeing was forced to start manufacturing other products. Strangely, Boeing would build dressers, counters, and other furniture, just to stay afloat in this tough time! Gradually, as the market improved, Boeing went back to aircraft, concentrating on commercial aircraft this time. Boeing started with airmail carriers, which later led to passenger services. One of these ventures would directly result in United Airlines. Today, Boeing has , employees making commercial aircraft, military aircraft, and around five satellites per year.
The Boeing Factory The current Boeing Everett factory in Washington is so large that, when it was being built, there were clouds forming near its ceiling. The factory has over one million light bulbs, and there are 3. End of a Decade By the end of the s, the Great War had accelerated aircraft technology to what can be seen as the beginnings of the modern era. The world had been reshaped: People were tired of hardship and ready to move forward.
A time of peace and technological advances followed, bringing unprecedented economic growth for most of the world. In the United States, this period would be affectionately known as the Roaring Twenties, and more quaintly in France as the Crazy Times. While the automobile was changing culture, the s was also the beginning of mass adoption of electronic products like telephones, radio, and kitchen appliances.
Instant media broadcasts also changed culture for the first time. Celebrities were no longer scientists and philosophers, but sports stars and movie stars. Mass production through mechanization was the name of the game.
Higher profits were generated as new machinery and manufacturing methods were introduced, and an increase in living standards followed. At the same time, automation broke out from the automobile industry and became mainstream—everything from biscuits to fridges was now mass- produced.
This technology brought jobs: boilermakers, riveters, foundry men. The lingering grasp of steam power was finally set aside as it gave way to oil and electricity. By the end of the s, a lot of the middle class in the United States could enjoy a lifestyle never seen before. Technology became a part of everyday life, and the middle class had the extra money to afford it.
The vacuum cleaner replaced the carpet beater. Mass-produced electric fridges, sewing machines, and ovens now existed. Everything from the pop-up toaster to the food blender saved countless hours of work in the home. These were good times, with new forms of art and music seeping into culture. In Europe, however, things were very different. Germany After World War I The Treaty of Versailles a forced admission of guilt, and a set of economic and political punishments against Germany destroyed the German economy.
Out of clauses in the agreement, were aimed at punishing Germany. In , German inflation was out of control, and goods were rapidly getting more expensive. As soon as they were paid, employees would have to literally run to the store. By the time they got there, the prices would have risen. Prices doubled every two days at the peak of inflation. To give you an idea, in January of , a slice of bread cost marks.
By November of the same year, it cost million marks. The Rise of the Car One of the biggest drivers of the American manufacturing economy was the automotive industry. In this way, America was able to ride out its initial halt in prosperity in Sales of the Model T hit ten million in The car became one of the biggest businesses in the US. Even car scrapyards boomed. With employment at an all-time high, factory workers were even buying shares in the stock market. By the mids, one in five Americans owned a car.
It would take Britain forty years to match this rate of car ownership. Fiat in Italy was one of the first in Europe to copy Ford. Interestingly, their factory had a test track on the roof! A new technology that allowed anyone to hear information about the world rapidly—much faster than any other medium—was a big deal. In , radio exploded. There were five thousand home listeners at the start of the year, and eighteen months later, three million families had radio.
Four years later, this number would be fifty million families. In the evenings, families gathered around the radio, and seeing a crowd on the street listening to the latest news was not unusual. Broadcast plays, sports, and music were a great delight for the people of the day. It does make sense when you think about it. Eat Your Wheaties Advertisers soon also took advantage of this new medium. On Christmas Eve of , the cereal company Wheaties aired the first commercial jingle, and immediately became the best-selling cereal in the United States.
The potential of radio was immense, and by , two-thirds of radio programs carried advertising. Perhaps one of the most respected companies of the twentieth century that arose from radio was the BBC British Broadcasting Corporation. In , the first British radio broadcast was made. The public were enthralled, but broadcasts were soon banned, as it was thought to interfere with military communications. The public spoke out, and by there were petitions and many license requests to broadcast.
The licensing authority of Britain decided to issue only one license, to a single company owned by radio receiver manufacturers. This eventually became the BBC. Interestingly, it was originally financed by the sale of radio sets from the manufacturer members. On Halloween night in , a radio producer named Orson Welles told listeners that they would be listening to an audio adaptation of the science fiction novel on alien invasion, The War of the Worlds.
Sounds like a normal evening presentation, but there was one problem. Some listeners tuned in late and missed the disclaimer that the broadcast was just a performance. The latecomers thought it was a real news story and that cities were being attacked by aliens. It sounds funny today, but back then it was truly traumatic. Almost two million people believed the story to be true. Some listeners called loved ones to say goodbye or ran into the street armed with weapons to fight off the invading Martians.
Two Princeton University professors spent the night searching for the meteorite that had supposedly preceded the invasion. As calls came in to local police stations, officers explained that they were equally concerned. The predecessor of television goes back to the s with the Nipkow disk by Arthur Korn, but the technology at the time failed to yield any form of device for viewing meaningful images.
Enter John Logie Baird, a Scottish engineer. In , at thirty-five years of age, Baird rented a workshop in Hastings, England. He set out to solve the problem of television. With no corporate backing, he needed to get creative. Using only regular household items, such as the box packaging of a hat, a pair of scissors, some darning needles, a few bicycle-light lenses, a used tea chest, and glue, he created the first primitive television.
Two years later, in March of , Baird gave the first public demonstration of his system at a department store in London. At the time, it was only capable of displaying silhouettes. As the picture came up on the display, Baird was most pleased. I had got it! I could scarcely believe my eyes and felt myself shaking with excitement. Unable to tame his eagerness, Baird got hold of office worker William Taynton.
Taynton, wondering what all the fuss was about, would soon be the first person to be televised. Despite the breakthrough of being the first man on television, Taynton was less than impressed. Watch him—he may have a razor on him. Baird set up a branch of his company in France, making it the first French television company. More feats would follow, including the first televised drama show in and first outdoor broadcast in , through the BBC.
Notably, Baird had also invented a line imagining system more lines mean higher resolution. Back in , this was an incredible achievement! Baird, a Colorful Man Baird was a rather eccentric character, and some of his inventions mirrored this.
One day, during one of his unusual experiments, he burned and shocked himself on a 10,volt supply. Fortunately, it was only his hand that was burned. Unfortunately, this resulted in an eviction from his property. This opened the door for US films to take center stage. One of these films would change the world of cinema forever.
It was the first feature- length movie with sound. The soundtrack to the movie was played on a separate phonograph record in sync with the projector motor, a feat which had not been reliably achieved up until that moment. Hearing sound that corresponded to vision was nothing short of awe-inspiring for the audience.
The Jazz Singer smashed previous box-office records and established Warner Brothers as a major Hollywood player. Of the forty pilots flying on the initial postal route, thirty-one died in crashes. Although the Wright brothers had proved that controlled flight was possible, traveling reliably by air was far too dangerous and would never become a reality…or so the public perception went. This would all change in A twenty-four-year-old Charles Lindbergh, just one year out of army flight-training school, was one of those airmail pilots.
At the time, planes were viewed as too dangerous to complete such a feat, and six pilots had already lost their lives attempting this treacherous journey across the Atlantic. Lindbergh believed that he had the skills to do the impossible; he dreamed of changing history. The biggest challenge of the flight was deemed to be simply staying awake. To prepare for this, Lindbergh went fifty-five hours without sleep before the flight to test his endurance.
He was going to attempt the challenge. Lindbergh had packed a modest meal of five ham sandwiches for the thirty-three-and-a-half-hour journey. Despite this, Charles fought the sleep and pushed through. At the time and place Lindbergh was scheduled to land in Paris, there was an ecstatic crowd of , waiting for him. When he finally touched down, Lindbergh became an instant celebrity, and the most famous American in the world. When he was shipped back to New York, a crowd of four million awaited him.
The groundbreaking solo flight established flight as the future of travel. Lindbergh Got Hearts Pumping Ex-military pilots had little to do when the war was over. Before his airmail days, Lindbergh was perhaps one of the most daring of these pilots.
His adrenalin addiction led him to perform stunts such as killing the engine at low altitude, only to glide the rest of the way down, and even wing-walking standing on the wings of an airborne plane. Lindbergh survived four plane crashes by parachuting out just in time.
This event inspired him to invent a way of keeping organs alive outside the body. Lindbergh joined forces with Nobel Prize- winning French surgeon Alexis Carrel and spent much of the early s working on the project. By , Lindbergh had developed a special pump that was capable of providing air and fluids to external organs, keeping them working while staying infection-free. The pump was hailed as a medical breakthrough, paving the way for the first true artificial organs.
From organ experiments to air travel, Lindbergh had changed the medical field and aviation. While the air was being conquered, space, the next frontier, was about to see innovation. Robert H. Goddard, the Father of the Space Age Robert Hutchings Goddard is perhaps one of the most underrated dreamers of the early twentieth century.
As a young boy in the s, Goddard was obsessed with the skies and often studied the heavens with a telescope. Experiments would be conducted by the boy in- house. Amusingly, this included an attempt to jump higher by holding a statically charged zinc battery. His mother, probably fed up with the scene, told him that he might fly away and never return if he succeeded. This caused Robert to promptly stop jumping. After Goddard caused an explosion in the house while experimenting with chemicals, his father thought it might be a good idea to channel this passion in the direction of science.
At age sixteen, the young boy became interested in space after reading H. By , he had come up with two patents for multi-stage rockets. The publication included a thought experiment on what it would take to send a rocket to the moon, backed up by solid mathematics. However, this praise was only awarded in retrospect. At the time, sadly, most media outlets thought of his ideas as laughable.
This caused the public to view Goddard as somewhat of a madman, even though his calculations were sound. Another unfortunate reality was a lack of funding from third parties. Nobody wanted to give money to a lunatic. Despite the drawbacks, Goddard continued to work and, by , he had developed the first liquid-fuel rocket, which took flight on March 16 of that year. It only rose After some tweaks, such as a controllable thrust nozzle, the rocket was then able to be guided.
The advances in rocket technology that Goddard made, along with his impeccable vision, would later prove invaluable in the development of early missiles and space travel. Live for the moment. This mindset would bring forth the biggest financial disaster to date. In search of ever more wealth, the average Joe was getting involved in the stock market for the first time. Telegraph-powered ticker tapes found their way into beauty parlors, ocean liners, nightclubs, and railroad stations, so everyone could keep up with the latest stock prices.
By , around 90 percent of the price of stocks consisted of borrowed money, and 40 percent of all money loaned from banks was for stocks. Motor companies fell first; no one knows why. As financial analyst Jim Rickards put it, figuring out financial collapses is like trying to figure out which snowflake caused the avalanche.
We know the conditions surrounding why it happened—lots of snow, gravity, etc. But the exact snowflake that caused the chain reaction resulting in an avalanche? Impossible to know.
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Unfortunately, family life and moving home meant Howells forgot about the hard drive. Then, in mid, it was mistakenly thrown away during a clear-out. It was placed into a general waste bin at his local landfill site, where the drive ended up buried. Unlucky James Howells. Photo credit: The Telegraph. By the end of , the coins were worth a few million. Hopefully for him, the drive will still work.
A report from Chainanalysis last month estimated that nearly 4 million bitcoins could be lost forever, most of which come from coins mined in the technology's early days when they were almost worthless and people were less vigilant about keeping them, much like Howells. Load Comments User Comments: Recently commented stories Jump to forum mode. It had sat in a drawer for years and he had forgotten it contained the bitcoins, which he obtained in for almost nothing, when he threw it out.
A few years ago Mr Howells, who works in IT, had dismantled his computer after spilling a drink on it. I had been distracted by family life and moving house. Mr Howells later realised what was left on the hard drive. He added: "I had been hearing a few stories of a chap from Norway who had bought a number of coins for a very low price and had sold them for a high price and that's when I got back into checking the price and seeing what I'd done. Mr Howells checked all of his back up files but could not locate the coins so went to the landfill site in south Wales.
In a letter to the US Senate committee, the FBI said that it recognised virtual currencies offered "legitimate financial services" but added they could be "exploited by malicious actors". The machine allows users to exchange bitcoins for cash and vice-versa. The virtual currency has also been quickly adopted in China, where one exchange - BTC China - is said to be the most active globally. Bitcoin's use in China has been attributed to it being an effective way of reliably getting money out of the country.
TZ yearly http://wastecom/waste-reduction/gameday-recycling-challenge-diverts-moremillion-pounds-landfill TZ yearly. The cash value of the assets, in the form of a BP, check (worth ~$6 million today), was sent to Mohammad Reza Shah, who refused to share it with his. MOOCs are offering educational platform to millions of students all over the world. The research sought to determine the influence of Harmonic Mind Maps.