Who Invented the Compass?

Who Invented the Compass?...

Accounts of the history of the compass often points to 2nd century BC China as its place of origin. However there are researchers who say the Olmecs were using a compass around 1000 BC. However, the authenticity of this finding has yet to be fully verified. The Compass in Ancient China It is not possible to state with certainly who actually invented the first compass. But it may have been in use by the time of the Qin dynasty (221-206 BC). The earliest compasses were lodestones. This mineral is made of iron oxide which orients itself to a north and south axis. In 1117 Zhu Yu’s book Pingzhou Table Talks came out. It was the first time in the history of the compass that the device was mentioned as a tool for navigation. From the 800s to the 1040s, the Chinese referred to magnetism and magnetic needles in many of their books. Their exact use prior to the 1100s was for building edifices. During earlier times it was also probably used for fortune telling. The Magnetic Needles By the 8th century AD, magnetic needles had replaced the loadstones as navigational devices. From the 8th century to the 1050s the compass was reportedly being used by ships. Records show that Zheng He of Yunnan (1371-1435) used the device during his voyages. Based on the history of the compass, these voyages took place between 1405 to 1433. From China to Europe There is no consensus on how knowledge of the compass spread to Europe and other parts of the world. One theory is that Chinese traders made their way to the Middle East and then to Europe. Others think that the compass was developed in Europe without any Chinese influence. Another...
Who Invented the Hybrid Car?

Who Invented the Hybrid Car?...

The hybrid car is such a suitable mode of transportation in these times of environmental and economic concerns that we tend to think of it as a recent modern invention. Actually, these vehicles have been in development for several years now. In fact, it may surprise one to know that they have been in development as far back as even before the 20th century! It was in 1665 when Ferdinand Verbiest, a Jesuit priest and astronomer, began designing a four-wheeled self-moving wagon powered by steam. Verbiest is known to have toiled on the design well into 1680, but there is no known record that the machine ever worked or if it was even built in the first place. The first working steam-powered vehicle would be built by a Frenchman named Nicholas Cugnot in 1769. Capable of traveling at 6 miles per hour, the downside to Cugnot’s creation was that it could not produce sufficient steam to move any faster, as well as being unable to carry adequate amount of fuel to travel farther. In the succeeding years, there would be several more attempts to invent an alternatively-driven horseless carriage; most notably by employing a then-emerging new power source, electricity. A number of inventors emerged who might have laid claim to having been the first who invented the hybrid car, had it not been for certain flaws that would appear in their designs. A Scotsman named Robert Anderson developed the first electric-powered car in 1839, which was much acclaimed during its time but nonetheless suffered the problem of how its automotive batteries could maintain their charge. In 1870, a certain Sir David Salomon devised an electric-powered vehicle that had a light motor and a very heavy battery, but these innovations...
Who Invented Chevrolet?

Who Invented Chevrolet?

The history of Chevrolet (or Chevy) began in 1911. William Durant was removed from GM (General Motors) the year before. He hired Louis Chevrolet to design cars for his new company. The first Chevy they made was sold for $875. Over the years, the car and brand would become one of the most recognized in the country. The Rise of the Chevy The early Chevrolet models proved very popular and sold well. By 1917, Durant and GM entered into an agreement wherein Chevrolet would become part of GM. Under GM, the sales and popularity of the Chevrolet grew rapidly. By the 1920s it was only behind Ford and Dodge in terms of sales and recognition. In 1925 the company introduced the Superior. The Superior went on sale for only $650 and for the first time in the history of Chevrolet, it surpassed Ford in terms of sale. The Cast Iron Wonder in 1929 topped the 1 million sales mark in its first year. The 1930s to 1950s The 1930s saw the company introduce new features to their cars. Among the most important ones were the hydraulic brakes, column shifts and V grilles. In 1939 they came up with their first station wagon. 1940 saw the company release a convertible at reduced prices. From the 1950s to 60s, the Chevy would incorporate more elements to their models. 1950 saw the company produce the Powerglide transmission. It offered auto shifting at lower prices, which helped boost sales. The history of Chevrolet in 1953 is noted for the release of the Chevrolet Corvette. The sports car was the first to use a plastic body and would prove to be a big hit with buyers. A year later small V8 engines were being...
Who Invented the Airplane?

Who Invented the Airplane?...

The history of the airplane shows it was invented by Orville (1871-1948) and Wilbur (1867-1912) Wright. They got the patent 9 months prior to their flight in December 1903. The Early History of Flight There are pictures showing Orville Wright on the plane flying. The craft flew to a height of 10 ft. It traversed a total of 120 feet and lasted 12 seconds in the air. The story of airplanes is connected with man’s dream of flying. Man’s desire to fly goes back to ancient times. The ancient Greeks and Hindu tales feature stories of men flying around on animals or chariots. There are some reports that in 400 BC, the Greek philosopher and mathematician Archytas invented a flying device. The apparatus was powered by steam. According to some reports it flew a distance of 600 feet. This would rewrite the history of the airplane if true, but it has not been fully verified. Other Early Designs The records show that in the 11trh century the monk Eilmer of Malmesbery had experimented with gliders in an attempt to fly. Another one was the poet Abbas. Leonardo Da Vinci left behind aircraft designs on the Codex of the Flight of Birds. The 18th century saw Francoise Pilatre de Rozier soar on a balloon. In 1803, George Cayley (discoverer of the laws of aerodynamics) began experimenting with various gliders. An American scientist named John Montgomery was able to create a controlled glider in 1883. The history of the airplane shows that a lot of other scientists who designed gliders. But it was not until the Wright brothers in 1903 that engine powered aircraft came into being. After the Wright Brothers’ Flight The Wright brothers’ flight in 1903 was the first...
Who Invented the Car?

Who Invented the Car?

There is no straightforward and definite answer to who invented the car. In fact, the history of this modern day invention is quite rich with various inventors and innovators in between who made great strides in its development. The idea of developing or inventing a car dates way back during the renaissance era. Even then the thought of a horseless carriage wasn’t even thought possible by many. Early Origin of the Idea Though we can not say who invented the car we can give credit to the many inventors who put their ideas forward and contributed to the development of this modern invention. The idea of creating a car or automobile dates back to the 15th century. Leonardo da Vinci, other than painting the Mona Lisa, made many designs that were way too early for his day. One of the pioneer ideas of this renaissance icon is the design of a transport vehicle. The Idea Takes Form From this single design comes many types and further designs of our modern day automobile. There are countless types and styles to be found as the years rolled by and innovators came into the scene. Some of the types of cars you’ll find during the different stages of development include those that run on electricity, steam, or gasoline. Giving a definite answer to who invented the car will largely depend on the opinion of the person giving such a credit. Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot In the year 1769 Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot came in and made a self propelled vehicle for the French army. The vehicle ran on steam and was three-wheeled with a velocity of 2.5 mph. Robert Anderson In the years from 1832 to 1839 we find Robert Anderson of Scotland as having developed...
Who Invented the Hummer?

Who Invented the Hummer?...

The history of the Hummer began with the Humvee. The Humvee was a vehicle developed by AM General Corp. for the US military. It became very popular and General Motors would go on to cerate a model for civilians which came to be known as the Hummer. The vehicles were first sold in 1992. Background of the Hummer The original Humvees were constructed in the early 1980s by AM General Corporation. The earliest models were made in Mishawaka in Indiana. The Humvees were made at the behest of the US military. The earliest Humvee models were strictly for military use and were fitted with military equipment such as radar. The history of the Hummer was changed when the vehicle was made public. The design of the vehicle captured the media’s attention. The Hummer first got public attention when the vehicle was shown over ESPN. People marveled at how easily it was able to navigate the uneven terrain. However it was the Gulf War that really brought the Humvee into mainstream public consciousness. The Hummer Emerges Sensing the strong public demand, AM General decide to produce Humvees for civilian use. They started making the models in 1992 and change the name from Humvee to Hummer. The next important chapter in the history of the Hummer took place in the year 1998. That was when AM General sold the name rights to General Motors. AM General would continue to produce the vehicles but it was GM that handled the marketing. GM was also responsible for selling the products. The Hummer would prove to be such a hit that GM would later produce other models. The original Hummer was renamed H1 while the newer models were called H2 and H3 respectively. The...
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