Invention and technology timelines
tell the history of famous
16th, 17th, 18th,
19th and 20th century events.
Technology Timeline: 1752-1990
Timeline of flight
Scientists edit DNA
in human embryos for the first time USA 2017
genetics baby with 3 genetic parents USA 2016
the New York-based reproductive
endocrinologist John Zhang
made headlines when he reported
the birth of the world's first "three-parent" baby
— a healthy boy carrying the blended DNA
of the birth mother, her husband
and an unrelated female donor.
called mitochondrial replacement therapy,
allowed the 36-year-old mother
to bypass a defect in her own genome
that had led, twice before,
to children born with Leigh syndrome,
a devastating neurological disorder
that typically culminates in death
before age 3.
While heralded in many circles
as a breakthrough,
the news triggered
numerous ethical and scientific questions,
many of which remained unanswered at the time.
Zhang and his colleagues
at the New Hope Fertility Center
provided some answers
— and raised yet more concerns.
Scientists Blast Antimatter Atoms
With A Laser For The First Time Dec. 19, 2016
galaxy known as GN-z11
is the farthest galaxy ever seen from Earth,
at 13.4 billion years in the past 2016
Hubble Team Breaks Cosmic Distance Record NASA 3 March 2016
This animation shows the location of galaxy GN-z11,
which is the farthest galaxy ever seen.
The video begins by locating the Big Dipper,
then showing the constellation Ursa Major.
It then zooms into the GOODS North field of galaxies,
and ends with a Hubble image of the young galaxy.
GN-z11 is shown as it existed 13.4 billion years in the past,
just 400 million years after the big bang,
when the universe was only three percent of its present age.
Biologist Explains One Concept in 5 Levels of Difficulty - CRISPR WIRED 24 May 2017
Biologist Explains One Concept in 5 Levels of Difficulty - CRISPR | WIRED 24 May 2017
which stands for
Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats,
is the basis for a revolutionary
that allows researchers to make
very precise modifications to DNA.
Nobel Prize in Medicine is Awarded for Discovery of Brain’s ‘Inner GPS’ 2014
A British-American scientist
and a pair of Norwegian researchers
were awarded this year’s
Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
on Monday for discovering
“an inner GPS, in the brain,”
that makes navigation possible
for virtually all creatures.
The three scientists’ discoveries
“have solved a problem
that has occupied philosophers
and scientists for centuries
— how does the brain create
a map of the space surrounding us
and how can we navigate our way
through a complex environment,”
the institute said in a news release.
The positioning system in the brain that they discovered
helps us know where we are, find our way from place to place
and store the information for the next time, said Goran K. Hansson,
secretary of the Karolinska’s Nobel Committee,
in announcing the laureates.
IBM Develops a New Chip That Functions Like a Brain 2014
Gravitational waves discovery 2014
the home of tomorrow / the home of the future 2014
solar-powered plane 2013
3-D Printing 2010s
hydrogen cars / hydrogen-powered cars 2010s
driverless car 2010s
Computing > HECToR
the UK's fastest machine 2008
Health > Britain's first beating heart transplant 2006
Genetics > Human code fully cracked 2003
Cambridge scientists in global consortium
spell out the 3bn letters of the genome,
50 years on from Crick and Watson's
model of DNA
Internet > the first ever webpage 1992
Genetics > Human Genome Project 1990s-2000s
The Human Genome Project
is an international research effort
to decode the human genome,
the complete genetic instructions for a human being.
Computing > Apple's Mac
Apple's original Mac computer
was released in January 1984.
Computing > IBM PC 5150 computer released September 1981
The IBM Personal Computer ("PC")
was not as powerful as many
of the other personal computers
it was competing against
at the time of its release.
The simplest configuration
has only 16K on-board RAM
and uses an audio cassette
to load and save data
- the floppy drive was optional,
and a hard drive
was not supported.
asymmetric digital subscriber line > DSL Internet Technology late 1980s
lithium-ion battery 1980
Medicine > revolutionary scientific advance
in vitro fertilisation (IVF) > test tube babies 1978
Computing > Apple II is unveiled,
the first personal computer
in a plastic case with color graphics 1977
German measles / rubella
causes only a mild illness in children,
with a rash and sometimes a fever.
But when pregnant women catch rubella,
their babies can develop serious birth defects,
like heart problems,
blindness and learning disabilities.
can also trigger miscarriages
early in a pregnancy. USA
In the 1964-1965 rubella pandemic,
an estimated 50,000 pregnant women
in the United States
were exposed to rubella in pregnancy,
resulting in miscarriages, stillbirths,
and 20,000 babies born
with congenital rubella syndrome,
which caused blindness, deafness,
brain and heart damage.
At the height of the pandemic,
an estimated 1 out of every 100 babies
born in Philadelphia was afflicted.
so parents no longer have to live in fear. USA
CBS Coverage of Apollo 11 Lunar Landing NASA July 20, 1969
CBS Coverage of Apollo 11 Lunar Landing 17 July 2014
CBS Television coverage of the July 20, 1969 Apollo 11 moon landing,
anchored by legendary newscaster Walter Cronkite.
YouTube > NASA
Moon Landing 1969
Internet > First internet message at 10.30pm on 29 October 1969
Space > Apollo 8 mission to the Moon:
the first human journey to another world
Christmas Eve, 1968.
As one of the most turbulent, tragic years
in American history drew to a close,
millions around the world
were watching and listening
as the Apollo 8 astronauts
- Frank Borman, Jim Lovell and Bill Anders -
became the first humans to orbit another world.
As their command module
floated above the lunar surface,
the astronauts beamed back
images of the moon and Earth
and took turns reading from the book of Genesis,
closing with a wish for everyone "on the good Earth."
Medicine > first birth through in vitro fertilization
in the United States USA 1966
When in 1964
Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson of Bell Laboratories
detected radio waves emitted by celestial objects,
they discovered that the universe began in a fiery Big Bang.
Space > Skylab
America's first space station
Skylab was conceived in 1963,
when the Office of Manned Space Flight
began to study options for programs
to follow Apollo.
Medicine > Measles vaccine 1963
when the vaccine
first came into existence,
measles virus infected
about three million people
a year in the United States,
hospitalized 48,000 and killed 500.
By the turn of the 21st century,
however, measles infections
had been virtually eliminated.
Medicine > Pacemaker late 1950s - early 1960s
Earl E. Bakken,
Pacemaker Inventor and Medtronic Founder (1924-2018)
Medicine > Heart
Wilson Greatbatch (1919-2013) > Pacemaker inventor 1956
was best known
for his pacemaker breakthrough,
an example of Pasteur’s observation
that “chance favors the prepared mind.”
crucial insight came in 1956,
when he was an assistant professor
in electrical engineering
at the University of Buffalo.
While building a heart rhythm recording device
for the Chronic Disease Research Institute there,
he reached into a box of parts for a resistor
to complete the circuitry.
The one he pulled out
was the wrong size,
and when he installed it,
the circuit it produced
emitted intermittent electrical pulses.
the timing and rhythm of the pulses
with a human heartbeat,
he wrote in a memoir,
“The Making of the Pacemaker,”
published in 2000.
Medicine > Polio vaccine 1955
announced they had discovered
an effective vaccine against polio
in April 1955.
It would save millions of children
from disability and death.
The doctor who led the research
was Jonas Salk.
Computing > Alan Turing's Pilot Ace computer
Built in the 1950s
and one of the Science Museum's
20th century icons,
The Pilot Ace "automatic computing engine"
was the world's first general purpose computer
– and for a while was the fastest computer in the world.
We now take the ability to carry out
a range of tasks on our computers for granted,
but it all started with the principles developed
by mathematician Alan Turing in the 1930s
and his design for the Ace.
In this film,
Professor Nick Braithwaite
of the Open University
discusses its significance with Tilly Blyth,
curator of Computing and Information
at the Science Museum
The first successful kidney transplant was conducted in 1954
maser USA 1953
by stimulated emission of radiation,
it would lead
to the building of the first laser,
which amplified light waves
instead of microwaves
and became essential to the birth
of a new technological age.
Lasers have found a wide range
of practical applications
from long-distance telephone calls
to eye surgery,
from missile guidance systems
to the checkout counter
at the supermarket.
Jonas Salk (1914-1955) produces polio vaccine 1952
Rosalind Elsie Franklin UK 1920-1958
the young British scientist
began one of the key
of the century.
produced an x-ray photograph
that helped show the structure of DNA,
the molecule that holds the genetic code
that underpins all life.
The discovery was integral
to the transformation
of modern medicine
and has been described
as one of the greatest
scientific achievements ever.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p04r7h7k - Mon. 6 February 2017
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p04r7h7k - Mon. 6 February 2017
construction of the ENIAC machine
at the University of Pennsylvania in 1943
digital computer 1939
Britain's most iconic steam engine > Flying Scotsman
The Flying Scotsman
— the first train to reach
100 miles per hour, back in 1934 —
was pulled out of service in 1963.
demonstrates the first television
for potential investors by broadcasting
the image of a dollar sign.
backing and applies for a patent,
but ongoing patent battles
with RCA will prevent Farnsworth
from earning his share
of the million-dollar industry
his invention will create.
London-New York transatlantic wireless telephone service 1927
tetanus and diptheria 1926
Guglielmo Marconi 1874-1937
Marconi > the first live radio broadcast, from Chelmsford in 1920
Marconi > the first live radio broadcast, from Chelmsford in 1920
USA > Thomas Alva Edison 1847-1931
Edison invented or refined devices
that made a profound impact
on how people lived.
The most famous of his inventions
was the incandescent light bulb (1878),
which would revolutionize indoor lighting
and forever separate light from fire.
He also developed the phonograph (1877),
the central power station (1881),
the motion-picture studio (1892)
and system for making
and showing motion pictures (1893),
and alkaline storage batteries (1901).
improved upon the original designs
of the stock ticker, the telegraph,
and Alexander Graham Bell's telephone.
He was one of the first to explore X-rays,
and in 1875, he announced his observation
of "etheric force" -- radio waves --
although his claim would be rejected
by the scientific community.
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=89148959 - March 27, 2008
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=3602592 - January 29, 1999
general relativity 1916
discovered a mathematical way
to explain gravity.
He called it
his general theory of relativity.
It relied on a set of coordinates
that described space and time together,
known as the space-time continuum.
Matter and energy
warp the space-time continuum
like heavy weight on a mattress.
creates the force of gravity.
are ripples in the space-time continuum
(instead of an ordinary mattress,
think of a waterbed).
It isn't all esoteric mathematics.
tells us how gravity affects time,
which must be taken into account
by your satnav
to tell you accurately
where you are.
car > Ford Model T 1908
origins of the airplane
from the early experiments
with gliders in the 1890s,
to the famous first powered flight
by the Wright brothers in December 1903
Wilbur and Orville Wright
make the world's first sustained,
powered, and controlled flight
in a heavier-than-air flying machine,
thereby realizing one of mankind's
oldest and most persistent aspirations
-- human flight.
December 17, 1903
Wilhelm Conrad Rontgen (1845-1923)
becomes the first person
to observe X-rays,
a significant scientific advancement
that would ultimately benefit
a variety of fields,
most of all medicine,
by making the invisible visible.
in his Wurzburg, Germany, lab,
where he was testing
whether cathode rays
could pass through glass
when he noticed a glow coming
from a nearby chemically
He dubbed the rays
that caused this glow X-rays
because of their unknown nature.
are electromagnetic energy waves
that act similarly to light rays,
but at wavelengths approximately
1,000 times shorter than those of light.
Rontgen holed up in his lab
and conducted a series of experiments
to better understand his discovery.
He learned that X-rays
penetrate human flesh
but not higher-density substances
such as bone or lead
and that they can be photographed.
Kodak Camera 1888
Thomas Edison > phonograph 1877
Alexander Graham Bell UK 1847-1922
On March 10, 1876,
Professor Alexander Graham Bell
stood in a Boston boarding house
holding a receiving device
connected to a series of wires
that ran into an adjacent room.
There, his assistant,
Thomas A. Watson, waited patiently,
clutching another receiver to his ear.
Bell spoke into his end of the contraption,
and Watson heard his voice in the receiver:
“Mr. Watson! Come here! I want—!”
Watson dashed into the adjoining room gasping:
“I heard you! I heard you!”
From that experiment using just a few feet of wire
would grow an industry that would transform the world.
Through the likes
of the American Bell Telephone Company
and its successor,
AT&T (known colloquially as Ma Bell),
what was once Bell’s “toy”
became a communications goliath
made up of billions of dollars’
worth of infrastructure
carrying tens of millions of calls every day.
USA > The Pacific Railway Act
signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln
on July 1, 1862.
This act provided Federal government
support for the building
of the first transcontinental railroad,
which was completed on May 10, 1869.
Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville
est un inventeur français
né en 1817 à Paris
où il est mort en 1879.
Typographe et correcteur d'épreuves,
il apprit la sténographie et,
critiquant toutes les méthodes existantes,
rechercha un moyen mécanique
d'enregistrer la parole.
Il inventa le phonautographe,
traçant sur le papier des courbes
représentant les ondes sonores ;
mais on ne pouvait pas extraire
de ces tracés un texte,
comme il l'avait espéré,
ni écouter le son.
une équipe utilisant l'image
d'un de ses enregistrements,
réalisé le 9 avril 1860,
a pu entendre une voix
chantant Au clair de la lune.
C'est la plus ancienne trace
du son d’une voix humaine
qui ait été préservée,
de dix-sept ans antérieure
au phonographe d’Edison.
the earliest known sound recording device,
— a device with a big funnel for catching sound
and a needle attached to parchment
that caught the vibrations
and tracked them on soot-coated glass.
France > Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre (1787-1851)
and the Invention of Photography
is a remarkably detailed,
one-of-a-kind photographic image
on a highly polished,
silver-plated sheet of copper,
sensitized with iodine vapors,
exposed in a large box camera,
developed in mercury fumes,
and stabilized (or fixed)
with salt water or "hypo"
Invented in 1851,
the wet collodion photographic process
produced a glass negative
and a beautifully detailed print.
Preferred for the quality of the prints
and the ease with which
they could be reproduced,
the new method thrived
from the 1850s until about 1880.
was first detailed
by Frederick Scott Archer in 1851,
less than three decades
after the dawn of photography,
and was known ominously as the "black art",
partly on account of the potential perils
- death from cyanide explosions
and blinding from silver among them.
While Brady's revelatory civil war images
documented the faces and realities of conflict,
Carleton Watkins and Eadweard Muybridge
produced stunning images of Yosemite National Park
by lugging mammoth wet-plate cameras
high into the mountains,
and Julia Margaret Cameron created ethereal shots
which promoted photography as an art form.
Production died swiftly, however,
as the insatiable desire for photographic innovation
saw the emergence of dry-plate technology
and collodion emulsion,
followed by handheld cameras and film.
Glass Plate Negatives: A Brief History
Glass plate negatives
comprise two formats:
collodion wet plate negatives
and gelatin dry plate negatives.
Both types have a light sensitive emulsion
with a binder thinly layered
on one side of a glass plate.
Frederick Scott Archer,
a British inventor and photographer,
made the first collodion wet plate negative
In order to prepare a negative,
a photographer coated
a clean sheet of glass with collodion,
a liquid with ingredients
that included cellulose nitrate and ether.
Then the plate was quickly put
into a silver nitrate bath
in order to sensitize it to light
and placed in the camera,
where the negative was exposed.
The photographer had to develop it
very quickly after exposure.
Because it was necessary to prepare,
expose and develop a negative while it was still wet,
this process of making photographs was complicated,
inconvenient, and not very portable.
Richard Leach Maddox,
a British physician and photographer,
produced the first practical dry glass plate negative
In his much more convenient process,
the glass plate was coated
with gelatin and sensitized with silver salts.
The negative did not need
to be developed immediately after exposure.
Maddox's method was so well-received
that dry plates replaced wet.
Within ten years
they were produced in factories
and became widely available,
especially for amateur photographers.
One no longer had to be skilled
in mixing potentially dangerous chemicals
and could store undeveloped images
for long periods of time.
Gelatin dry plate negatives
were widely used into the 1920s.
By then gelatin sliver paper negatives
and celluloid roll film
had become popular.
George Stephenson UK 1781-1848
George Stephenson was an engineer.
He built steam locomotives for the first railways.
Sometimes people call him
'the Father of the Railway'.
George Stephenson was born in 1781.
At this time Britain was starting to change
from a land of farms and small villages
to a land of factories and big cities.
We call this change the Industrial Revolution.
By the time George Stephenson died in 1848,
its new railways and factories had made Britain
the richest country in the world.
UK > rail-road
Liverpool and Manchester railway / Stephenson's locomotive engine, the Rocket 1830
First Public Railways
built the world's first public railways:
the Stockton and Darlington railway in 1825
and the Liverpool-Manchester railway in 1830.
Stephenson was the chief engineer
for several of the railways.
Nicéphore Niépce (1765-1833) The first photograph 1827
steam boat 1807
Thirty years after James Watt
invented the steam engine,
the first railway engine was constructed.
It was originally used
for pulling coal for short distances.
In 1829 there was a competition
to build something more useful.
was George Stephenson's Rocket,
which could pull passenger trains
at 50km per hour.
The UK became the centre
of the train-building industry,
sending engines all over the world.
Before the development
of the steam-train,
it took 12 days to travel
between Edinburgh and London
The Flying Scotsman
took just 8 hours
to travel the same distance.
steam engine > James Watt 1736-1819
James Watt's Improved Steam Engine
Powers the Industrial Revolution 1769
was a Scottish inventor
and mechanical engineer,
renowned for his improvements
in steam engine technology.
Industrial revolution in Britain
During the late 18th
and early 19th centuries,
Britain experienced change
in all aspects of life,
as a result of the Industrial Revolution.
and technological innovations
in agricultural and industrial production,
and changes in living conditions,
while at the same time there was a new sense
of national identity and civic pride.
The most dramatic changes
were witnessed in rural areas,
where the provincial landscape
often became urban and industrialized
following advances in agriculture,
industry and shipping.
Wealth accumulated in the regions
and there was soon a need for country banking.
When Galileo turned his telescope
toward Jupiter in 1609,
he observed moons orbiting the giant planet,
a discovery that destroyed the Aristotelian notion
that everything in heaven orbited the Earth.
Related > Anglonautes > Videos
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