Who Invented the Machine Gun?

Who Invented the Machine Gun?...

The development and history of the machine is complex, but the fact is that Hiram Maxim was the first one to invent and use a machine gun that was self powered. The American inventor showed off his work to the British Army in 1885. He had invented it a year earlier in 1884. The Early Years of the Machine Gun Prior to Maxim’s invention, inventors had begun experimenting with the idea of a continuous rapid fire gun. In 1718, James Puckle came up with the Defence Gun. It consisted of a revolver mounted on a cylinder base. It could fire 60 shots in seven minutes, but the cylinder had to be adjusted manually. Other early designs included the Wilson Agar’s Coffee Mill gun and the Billinghurst–Requa. Both were widely used during the Civil War. These firearms were important in the early history of the machine gun as it gave inventors an idea of what the design had to be like. The Maxim Machine Gun and Others This rapid fire weapon was invented by the American Richard Gatling in 1861. It was first used by the US Army in 1865 and it would also become popular with European armies. Tests by the British Army showed it could fire 600 shots in two minutes. Maxim’s invention (the Maxim Machine Gun) became popular because of its efficiency. It was able to fire 500 rounds every minute. The key was using the recoil to remove the used cartridge and set the new one in place. The history of the machine gun reveals the Maxim gun was bought by the British in 1889. A year later, the Germans, Italians and Russians started ordering Maxim’s machine guns. The success of Hiram Maxim’s weapon inspired others...
Who Invented the Boom Box?

Who Invented the Boom Box?...

No one can say for certain who invented the boom box (also known as ghetto blaster). During the mid 1970s, the idea of a portable stereo became popular. A look at the history of the boom box reveals that Sanyo, Panasonic and Marantz were the pioneers. Cultural Impact The concept behind the boom box was that anyone could own a portable stereo system. While the idea first appeared in the 1970s, it really caught fire in the 1980s and early 1990s. During this period, young people could be seen carrying around boom boxes. Frequently one would see teenagers hanging around together with a boom box and dancing. This scenario would become even more widespread when breakdancing became popular. The emerging hip hp culture also contributed to the popularity of the boom box. There came a point when the boom box became a fashion statement as well. It wasn’t just the sound that mattered; it was the look, the buttons etc. But as an appraisal of the history of the boom box makes plain, the player would fade away in the 1990s. Technological innovations allowed for the invention of smaller audio players. The arrival of CD and mp3 players has greatly reduced the boom box’s popularity. Basic Features The boom box began its life as an extension for the radio cassette player. In the 1970s the cassette recorder became popular, but companies wanted to add AM/FM radio to it. Intense competition would lead to numerous innovations. The most basic features were a couple of speakers and an amplifier with radio tuner. The cassette player was also included. As the history of the boom box unfolded, the cassette player would be complemented (and replaced) by the CD component. The casing was...
Who Invented the Flash Drive?

Who Invented the Flash Drive?...

Introduction The USB flash drive is a tiny storage device that uses flash memory. It connects to a computer via a USB port. A flash drive is usually portable and rewritable. A single device can store anywhere from 64MB to 256GB and more depending on the model’s capacity. Because flash drives are so small and portable, they are ideal for carrying data while on the road. They can also be used to transfer data between two computers. Invention of the Flash Drive In the early days of the computer, things were much simpler. Files were small in size, so floppy disks were enough to store them in. But as computer technology advanced, so did the types of files used. Now floppy disks could only hold 1.44MB of data at a time and they were very slow. There was a need for a better portable storage device. It was IBM and Trek Technology who invented and sold the first USB flash drives in the year 2000. Trek Technology was a Singaporean company. They dubbed the new invention as a “thumb drive” because its size was roughly that of a thumb. In the US and Canada, IBM marketed a flash drive called “Disk On Key” which was made in Israel. The first flash drives had capacity of only 8MB. But this was already a huge leap from the 1.44MB capacity floppy disks in use at that time. Benefits of the Flash Drive The flash drive fulfills the same role as floppy disks, CD-RWs and other removable storage devices. They can be used to back up or transfer data. Floppy disks are now obsolete with new computers rarely carrying them. CD-RWs and other rewritable media are slower and more fragile. Flash drives...
Who Invented the White Board?

Who Invented the White Board?...

The history of whiteboards began in the mid 1960s. It’s still a mystery as to who actually invented it. Some think that it began in China, but there is no real way to be sure. The first company to mass produce porcelain on steel write on / wipe off whiteboard (called LCS) was Claridge Products. Whiteboards and Chalkboards The whiteboards evolved from the chalkboards (or blackboards). Although chalkboards were popular, some teachers and students were allergic to chalk. When material was wiped off from the boards, the dust would fly off. By the 1960s, early versions of the whiteboard began to appear. However the chalkboards were still popular. It was in the late 1980s that reports of chalk allergies became widely known, changing the history of whiteboards forever. The Evolution of the Whiteboard The early ones that came out were comprised of melamine. Not only was it costly, but excessive use left faint images of the material on it. Cleaning was also difficult. The enamel on steel write on / wipe off magnetic whiteboard was produced by Magiboards in Britain. In the United States, inventor Michael Boone helped popularized the Boone Board dry erase board. Improvements As the whiteboard became more popular, innovations and improvements from various companies emerged. Most important of these innovations was reducing the glossiness of the surface. This gloss resulted in glares which was distracting for students. The history of whiteboards shows that by the late 2000s, high quality paint coating was being used. This resulted in a very clear surface that was easy to write on. Whiteboard Surfaces Most whiteboards use any of the following types for their materials: melamine, painted steel, magnetic glass or porcelain. Melamine is the least costly and is also...
Who Invented the Wheelbarrow?

Who Invented the Wheelbarrow?...

The history of the wheelbarrow began in Greece circa 406 BC. However there are no records that indicate who actually made it. The Wheelbarrow in Ancient Civilizations The Greeks didn’t stay what they used the device for. In fact there is nothing that indicates it was utilized for farming. But most scholars assume that the device was employed in construction sites. The vehicle was very likely used to transport certain loads to the site. There is evidence of a one wheeled vehicle in 4th century AD Rome. However the ongoing research suggests that the wheelbarrow may have been used there too. The history of the wheelbarrow doesn’t provide information on its use in the Byzantine Empire. From the fall of Rome to the 11th century, use of the wheelbarrow stopped. There are no records indicating when or why this happened. It is possible that as Europe was plunged into chaos following Rome’s collapse, the vehicle was simply forgotten. The Wheelbarrow in Medieval Times Records show that the wheelbarrows reappeared around 1170 to 1250. Almost all of them had the same design. The wheel was set at the front area. This arrangement is still used in virtually all wheelbarrows. Research into the vehicle’s history is difficult. The main reason is the language. Countries used different terms to describe it. This makes it hard to determine if the vehicle referred to is a wheelbarrow or not. But studies on the history of the wheelbarrow has shed some light on the matter. There are at least four instances where the wheelbarrow was mentioned, from 1172 to 1222. But the terms used were different. The first time that the wheelbarrow was referred to dates from 1222. This was an English document involving the...
Who Invented Gunpowder?

Who Invented Gunpowder?

There is really no way to tell who invented gunpowder. Like a lot of the ancient inventions we enjoy today, gunpowder came about and was developed gradually through years of testing, use, and perfection. It is interesting that we can trace its origin several centuries into the past. In fact, you can trace the origin of gunpowder into the early days of ancient China. Early Origins Though we don’t know who invented gunpowder exactly we can find many people who have written about it and having it mentioned in their annals. One of the earliest records that mention anything like gunpowder dates back to 142 AD during China’s Han Dynasty. Wei Boyang is the first to have written something that described something like it. He wrote about a certain mixture that is made from three powders that dance and fly violently. Though he did not mention the word gunpowder what he describes is exactly what gunpowder is. We know that gunpowder is an explosive that does contain three foundational ingredients. We can thus surmise that the person who invented gunpowder lived prior to Boyang’s writing. Ge Hong, a scientist who lived during China’s Chin Dynasty around 300 AD wrote down the ingredients of gunpowder. Though having mentioned the ingredients he is not credited as the one who invented gunpowder. Ge Hong even went on to describe the explosion it makes. You mix the appropriate portions of sulfur, charcoal, and potassium nitrate to make it. People really began to put gunpowder to use in 700 AD during the T’ang Dynasty. The emperors during this dynasty used gunpowder in order to put up elaborate fireworks displays. But it was only in the year 904 AD when it was put to use...
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