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1892 – First telephone call

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Innovation: first telephone call
Location: New York
Year: 1892
By: Alexander Graham Bell

In 1874, telegraph messages were rapidly expanding, but many problems deemed the matter impractical and unintuitive. In March 1875, Alexander Graham Bell visited Joseph Henry, a famous scientist, asking about electrical advice to transmit the human voice by telegraph.  At the time, Bell did not have the equipment or the money try to create a working device. With much persistence, he later gained financial support where he was then able to hire Thomas Watson as his assistant to study acoustical telegraphy.  Bell was issued a patent on March 7, 1876 by the US Patent Office for “the method of transmitting vocal or other sounds telegraphically.” Three days after his patent was issued, Bell succeeded in getting his telephone to work, transmitting the famous sentence, “Mr. Watson – come here – I want to see you.”

Several successful voice transitions were performed over the next few years, however the public was concerned with whether long distance transitions were possible. The Bell Telephone Company was created in 1877, and by 1886, more than 150,000 people in the US owned telephones. Several important public demonstrations included Bell at the opening of the long distance line from New York to Chicago in 1892 and the first commercial transcontinental telephone call in 1915 from New York City to San Francisco.

In 1973, John F. Mitchell and Martin Cooper of Motorola, introduced the first hand-held wireless telephone for use on a cellular network. [3]

Articles: 1

Written by Nolan Rendon

October 5, 1892 at 6:45 pm

Posted in Communication

1891 – The Fair Store

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Innovation: The Fair Store
Location: Chicago, IL
Year: 1891
By: William Le Baron Jenney

The Fair Store was a large department store in the form of a skyscraper in the city of Chicago built in the 1890’s. The building stood eleven stories tall at 165 feet and cost $3 million to construct. The department store, built by William Le Baron Jenney and his business partner William B. Mundie, designed an engineering and construction advancement within the building. The Fair Store employed a concrete raft foundation strengthened with iron rails which supported iron columns, beams, and girders. Also employed were concrete floors and fireproof tile arches set between the floors.

Articles: 1

Written by Nolan Rendon

October 5, 1891 at 6:07 pm

1891 – Monadnock Building

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Innovation: Monadnock Building
Location: Chicago, IL
Year: 1891
By: Burnham and Root Architects / Holabird & Roche

The Monadnock Building was completed in 1893 and at the time was the world’s largest office building. The North half of the building was John Root’s last design as he died during its construction process. Due to complications, Root’s business partner Daniel Burnham was unable to complete the rest of the building. Instead the owners of the Monadnock hired Holabird & Roche to complete the south half of the building. The two halves are similar in size and scale, but are greatly different in design. The north half resembles modern architecture due to its clean faces and lack of exterior ornament. The south half is much more classical as seen from the facades and the structure surrounding the roof.

The Monadnock building stands as an important advancement in structural methods. Buildings that preceded it were mainly supported by their exterior walls. The north half is one of the few tall buildings ever built that is supported by brick walls, which are six feet thick at ground level. The south half of the Monadnock is built in the same fashion with the exception of the south quarter, which supported by a steel frame known as a curtain wall.

Articles: 1

Written by Nolan Rendon

October 5, 1891 at 5:16 pm

Posted in Architecture

1891 – First Motion Pictures

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Innovation: first motion picture
Location: N/A
Year: 1891
By: Thomas Edison and WKL Dickson

The development of celluloid film for still photography allowed motion to be captured in real time.  In 1878, English photographer Eadweard Muybridge used 24 cameras to produce a series of images which created the illusion of a galloping horse. This experiment was arguably the first motion picture, although it was not given this name and therefore was not the first official motion picture.

In 1888, Thomas Edison conceived of a device that could capture motion picture. The following year in 1889 he gave this motion picture device a name, the Kinetoscope. The person working under Thomas Edison given the responsibility of turning this idea into an actual model was William Kennedy Dickson. Dickson invented the first celluloid film to be used for this application. Dickson and his team worked for the next several years on this project and in May 1891 produced the first working prototype of the Kinetoscope.  The completed version of the Kinetoscope was officially unveiled on May 9, 1893. The Kinetoscope was not displayed on a projector; rather it was a machine with a viewing window for one person to look through.  The motion picture consisted of a continuous loop of still images lit by a light source created by Edison. The passing of transparent frames in sequential order over the light source created the illusion of movement.

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Written by Nolan Rendon

October 5, 1891 at 5:10 pm

Posted in Photography