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 Nintendo?

Who Invented Nintendo?

The history of Nintendo began in 1889. Its founder was Fusajiro Yamauchi. The company actually started by making gaming cards, but eventually made its mark in the electronic gaming industry. 1950s to the 1960s The card game Nintendo Koppai (as it was known then) was called Hanafuda. It would become a hit. However the company realized the limits of the playing card game business and decided to expand. From the 1950s to the early 1970s, the company tried other businesses besides selling cards. These included peddling rice, running a taxi and hotels. All these ventures failed and by the 1960s sales of playing cards went down. The Mid 1970s and 1980s The turning point in the history of Nintendo came when they ventured into the toy industry. Initially they weren’t successful but in 1974 obtained the right to sell the Odyssey video game console. Three years later, Nintendo started making its own small consoles. The company would achieve success when they moved into the emerging video arcade industry. The first game they released was EVR Race. However it was the 1981 game Donkey Kong that established Nintendo as a force to be reckoned with. Nintendo followed this up not just with more games but with other consoles and devices, such as the Game and Watch. The Family Computer The success of Game and Watch would be eclipsed by the Family Computer, which would change the history of Nintendo. The home video game console was released in America in 1985 as the Nintendo Entertainment System. This was followed by the Super FamiCom and the Game Boy in 1989. The Super FamiCom (or SNES) sold nearly 50 million units. For a while its biggest rival was the Sega Mega Drive (or...
Who Invented the Color Television?

Who Invented the Color Television?...

Early Traces of Color Television Well, early traces points to a German patent that was garnered in 1904. This was said to contain the first recorded proposal written for a color television. In 1928, Charles Jenkins receives the license for the first television station issued by the Federal Radio Commission. Another known patent was filed by Vladimir Zworykin in 1925 for a television system using all-electronic color. The transmission and television reception of the images was done with what was called a kinescope tube. However, both patents did not receive instant success for the color television system. Nevertheless, these were the earliest records in history for color television, and these early records of inventors were known to be the ones who invented the color television system. Other Attempts in Modifying the System With Peter Goldmark leading the group of CBS researchers, Goldmark invented a particular mechanical color TV system in 1940. This system was actually based on John Logie Baird’s designs in 1928. But this didn’t last long in the market. Rise to Commercial Success It was only during the year 1949 did televisions rose to commercial success with the monochrome television. Around ten million of these television sets were sold to a lot of people. And television programs were made available to the pleasure of the public. But color television systems can only be licensed if the broadcast signal for colored systems can be received as a monochrome signal on these television sets. Attempts at Making a National Standard System In 1950, FCC authorized CBS’s color televisions system as the standard system throughout the nation even though the system used was not actually compatible with early products of black and white monochrome TV sets. (CBS and RCA are...
Who Invented the Chinese Zodiac?

Who Invented the Chinese Zodiac?...

Who Invented the Chinese Zodiac? The Chinese Zodiac is not a “zodiac” at all since it is neither based on the constellations nor is it a division of the ecliptic. Rather it is a way to observe time in cycles. There are no written record so who invented the Chinese Zodiac. However there are many theories about its origin. One story relates that the ancient Chinese used to keep time by the use of ten “heavenly stems” and twelve “earthly branches.” Different combinations of these stems and branches were used to tell the month, year, day and hour. The calculations were too complicated for average folk, so they used common animals to symbolize the time divisions. The story tells us that the famous Yellow Emperor was the first to use the Chinese Zodiac. He introduced it in the year 2,600 B.C. to begin the Chinese Lunar Year. In ancient China, the emperors were well schooled in astrology. It was believed that one had to know the ways of the stars and the heavens to be a worthy ruler. Legendary Origin of the Chinese Zodiac A couple of legends exist telling why the Chinese Zodiac is ordered the way it is. According to one version, the Buddha summoned all the animals in the world to a meeting. Only the twelve animals – rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog and pig – heeded his call. The Buddha rewarded each animal by making it the ruler of one of the signs. He gave them each year according to their order of arrival. A second version narrates how the beasts argued over who should come first in the yearly cycle. So the Jade Emperor told them to race...
Who Invented the Hubble Telescope?

Who Invented the Hubble Telescope?...

A study of the history of the Hubble telescope will reveal it was named after the scientist Edwin Hubble. The telescope was created by numerous engineers, contractors and scientists at NASA. Work on the space telescope began in 1977. The Hubble was launched on April 25, 1990. Historical Background As early as the 1930s, scientists had been pointing out the benefits of having a telescope in space. It would provide a clear and more comprehensive view of space without being obstructed by the Earth’s atmosphere. As the US space program began in the 1950s the idea for the space telescope began gaining support. The history of the Hubble telescope shows that a number of proposals were sent to Congress. Finally on 1977, Congress approved funding for the program, 15 years after it was first proposed by NASA. Construction and Launch The Marshall Space Flight Center was tasked with the construction of the telescope. The Goddard Space Flight Center was employed to create the ground controls and the equipment to be used. Meanwhile the Perkin Elmer Corporation worked on the mirrors and other contractors were employed to work on the design and other components. It was also at this time that the Hubble name was chosen. Edwin Hubble was the scientist who discovered that the universe was expanding. The history of the Hubble telescope shows that it was supposed to be launched in 1986. But the Challenger disaster occurred and the space program was put on hold. The telescope was finally put into orbit in 1990. When Hubble sent back images, scientists discovered a flaw in the mirror. It was in 1993 that NASA was able to rectify the problem by installing a camera on the mirror. The component was...
Who Invented the Potato Clock?

Who Invented the Potato Clock?...

In these environmentally-conscious times, everyone’s been looking towards developing alternative sources of energy, from solar power to geothermal energy. On a much smaller scale, it has been proven that energy can also be drawn from the most unlikely of sources: a potato. The Potato Clock was invented in 1983 by one William A. Borst. The impetus for this unassuming but clever gadget started rather innocently, when Borst was assisting his stepdaughter on a science project. He was reminded of a physics demonstration that he had witnessed in high school, in which a battery was created by affixing 2 metal prods into a potato. Borst thought of replicating that experiment, but with the addition of an electric-powered device which could run on the small charge of energy that the potato battery would generate. Borst settled on a digital clock, but he realized that it would require a greater amount of energy than just one potato battery can generate in order to function. So to amplify the charge to be delivered to the clock, he decided to connect 2 potatoes in sequence. The move proved conclusive, and he was indeed able to power a digital clock by drawing electricity from a couple of potatoes. A further experiment was then made to find out how long the potato-powered clock would operate. The time-duration test was conducted in an auto-repair shop that Borst had co-owned at the time. A customer happened to walk into the shop and asked about the curious device that was being tested. As it turns out, the customer was working for the local newspaper, which would then run an article about Borst’s invention. Eventually, word about the potato clock would spread, and what started as a modest school project...
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