Who Invented Modern-Day Handcuffs?

Who Invented Modern-Day Handcuffs?...

The modern history of handcuffs began with W. V. Adams’ invention in 1862. What set this device apart from others before it were the adjustable ratchets. Before the Handcuffs Emerged Records show that the earliest handcuffs were the one size fits all type. Basically it consisted of metal rings with locks. It could not be adjusted and this led to two main problems. It was too tight for people with large wrists. However it was too loose for people with thin wrists. This all in one handcuff or manacle was used widely during the Medieval Age. While the history of handcuffs may have started in the 1400s or thereabouts, ancient civilizations employed other means for securing prisoners. It’s very likely that rope was one of the earliest devices utilized. Eventually people learned how to manipulate metal and produced chains. The Assyrian and Babylonian civilizations used chains and shackles on war captives. It’s also very likely that many other civilizations used it. John Tower’s Handcuffs Adams’ invention solved the problem of loose fitting handcuffs. His design had notches and a square bow. These notches were used to adjust the locks to fit the wrist. A few years later, Orson Phelps produced another version. Phelps’ version put the ratchet notches in the inner part of the bow. A pivotal point in the history of handcuffs took place in 1865. Businessman John Tower utilized both Adams and Phelps’ inventions and began his handcuff company. The Tower Company would become one of the most successful pre World War II handcuff companies ever. Their cuff had the notches inside. It also came with a three link chain that joined the two cuffs. The other cuffs relocated the keyhole to the bottom area. Their cuffs...
Who Invented Charcoal Briquettes?

Who Invented Charcoal Briquettes?...

The history of charcoal briquettes began when Ellsworth B.A. Zwoyer of Pennsylvania applied for a patent in 1897. But it was Henry Ford who helped popularized its use in the 1920s. Early History It’s not clear as to how Zwoyer came upon the idea of a briquette. But by the end of World War I, the Zwoyer Fuel Company had begun construction of charcoal briquette plants around the US. One of the earliest plants was set up in Buffalo, New York. However it was Henry Ford (with some help from Thomas Edison) who put the briquettes to practical use in 1920. His briquettes were constructed from the wood debris and sawdust in his automobile factory. A close look at the history of charcoal briquettes will point out that E.G. Kingsford purchased these briquettes. Kingsford would commercialize the briquette and mass produce them. At first, briquettes were only available from Ford, but the Kingsford Company began manufacturing several of them. It just happened that Kingsford was Ford’s brother in law. Ford agreed to focus on the auto industry. Kingsford would get in the business of selling charcoal. Kingsford Company would change its name to Kingsford Charcoal. Zwoyer and Ford There are reports that Zwoyer was actually selling his charcoal briquettes years before Ford and Kingsford. It would appear that Ford actually stole Zwoyer’s invention, but Zwoyer didn’t take any action. If he did, there are no historical records to prove it. There are some reports that Zwoyer and Ford actually knew each other. So while some accounts of the history of charcoal briquettes point to Ford as the inventor, the patent records shows this is not the case. Ford did popularize it, and the Kingsford Charcoal would produce different types...
Who Invented the Spiral Notebook?

Who Invented the Spiral Notebook?...

The established facts about spiral notebooks show it was first mentioned in the October 1934 issue of Popular Science. However the magazine did not say who the inventor was. Early accounts also called it the memorandum notebook. The Binding Aside from spiral, there are many types of binding used. These include clasp, pressure, comb and padding. Some manufacturers combine these methods in one notebook. The binding affects the way a notebook is opened and how it is linked to the covers. In spiral notebooks for example, it is possible to remove the pages. In other binding methods you cannot remove the paper without damaging the notebook itself. One of the well known facts about spiral notebooks is that the covers are almost always thicker than the pages inside. The way the pages are held affect the cost of the notebook itself. Most of the time, the spiral types are cheaper. There are hard bound notebooks with a sewn spine. Some notebooks also have perforations that allow a user to take out the page more easily. Other designs allow for the pages to open in a flat manner, but others drape. Variations Some notebooks are fastened by disc or rods, and in these cases, the pages are modified to fit the binding. The ring bound types are fastened together using threads or curved prongs. The disc bound notebooks have teeth that grasp the raised border of each disc. One of the known facts about spiral notebooks is that their pages cannot be rearranged as easily as these other types. Appearance Spiral notebooks have lines on them where one can write on. However those used for drawing don’t have any. Other notebooks have designs on the pages themselves. The covers are...
Who Invented the Telephone?

Who Invented the Telephone?...

Alexander Graham Bell owns the patent for the electric telephone (1876). He also has the patent for the phone master patent. But as the history of the telephone will show, several inventors played pivotal roles in its development. From the 1840s to Mid 1870s The very first notion of a telephone occurred in 1844 when Innocenzo Manzetti brought up the idea of a speaking telegraph. But it was in 1849 when Antonio Meucci showed an apparatus capable of communication. However not much is known about this invention. In 1860 some claimed that a German inventor named Johann Reis utilized a device whereby voices were supposedly heard. A year later Reis was able to electrically relay a voice over 300 ft away. In 1874, Elisha Gray displayed an electrical apparatus that sent melodies via telegraph wire. A year later Alexander Graham Bell used an electronic device to relay sounds, which would prove crucial in the history of the telephone. The Gray / Graham Bell Issue This was a crucial point in the development of the telephone. In 1876 Gray sent a caveat to the Patent Office for the phone. That same day (Feb 14) but five hours later, Graham Bell applied for a patent for the phone. Because Gray did not turn his caveat into a patent, the patent was given to Graham Bell. On March 10, 1876, Graham Bell made the first call to his associate Watson. The words were ”Come here Watson, I want you.” In August of the same year Graham Bell conducted the first long distance call to Ontario, a first in the history of the telephone. That same year a Hungarian scientist named Tivadar Puskas created the phone switchboard. In October that year Graham Bell...
Who Invented Video Games?

Who Invented Video Games?...

No single individual can be credited with creating the first video game. But as this brief history of video games will show, several people played a prominent role in its growth and expansion. The Earliest Video Games The records show that in 1952, A.S. Douglas developed a graphical computer game. The game was Tic Tac Toe and it was created on the EDSAC vacuum tube computer. However it isn’t generally considered to be a video game. The first real video game is said to be William Higinbotham’s Tennis for Two. This game came out in 1958. The next innovation came in 1962 when Steve Russell came out with Spacewar! The game was played on a MIT PDP-1 mainframe computer. The history of video games would change in 1967 when Ralph Baer created a game called Chase. It was the first game to be played on a TV screen. The 1970s Arcade Games Several important developments took place in the 1970s. Nolan Bushnell and his associate Ted Dabney came out with Computer Space, and the video arcade was born. In 1972 the game Pong came out (Pong is often erroneously referred to as the first video game). Later that year Bushnell and Dabney would team up again and form Atari Computers. It was also in 1972 a home video game console became available. It was produced by Magnavox. Called the Odyssey, it came with a dozen games. Four years later, the Fairchild Video Entrainment System appeared. A study of the history of video games will show that a lot of the classic games came out during the 1970s. Following the success of Atari, Space Invaders came out in 1978, and was also well received. In 1979, colors began to be...
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