Flying Machine

  • 2022年05月23日

#Inventions of the Day

Today, I would like to introduce an invention that is closely related to May 23rd. What I would like to Introduce this time is the “flying machine”(Flugapparat, Flying machine) invented by a German inventor born in Prussian and famous as a pioneer of aviation technology Otto Lilienthal (1848.5.23 ~ 1896.8.10). Otto Lilienthal was born 174 years ago today in Anklam, Pomerania, Kingdom of Prussia (current Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Federal Republic of Germany).
Otto, who became a design engineer, began researching manned flight in 1867 with his younger brother Gustav. Except when he served in the Franco-Prussian War, he energetically developed hang gliders. At the start of the experiment in 1891, the flight distance was about 25 m, but in 1893 the flight distance was extended to 250 m, and in 1894 it was patented in the United States. He has conducted more than 2,000 flight experiments in total, but in 1896 he suffered a crash and died of a cervical spine injury.

Lilienthal is known not only for conducting flight experiments, but also for developing steam engines. The steam engine was one of the safest small steam engines of the time, and the profits gained could be used to fund flight experiments. He has obtained 25 patents in his lifetime, four of which are related to flight technology.
Lilienthal’s flight experiments attracted public attention as they were widely reported not only in his native Germany but around the world. It can be said that he left various influences such as inspiring the Wright brothers and built the foundation for the current aviation technology.

Related Link:
Otto Lilienthal -Wikipedia

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TV Game

  • 2022年03月08日

#Inventions of the Day

Today, I would like to introduce an invention related to March 8th. Introducing this time is a home video game console invented by German-born American inventor Ralph Henry Baer (March 8, 1922-December 6, 2014). He was born exactly 100 years ago today in Pirmasens, in the southwestern Germany.

Being a Jew, he left Germany with his family in 1938, when the Nazi persecution of Jews became fierce. In the United States where he fled, he studied by himself and worked as a factory worker. In 1943, he was convened in World War II and served in the army. After the war, his took a bachelor’s degree in television engineering (1949) and began his life as an inventor.

In 1966, while working on airplane radar at the munitions company Sanders Associates (currently part of BAE Systems), he began prototyping game consoles such as the “Brown Box.” The licensed Magnavox was launched as the “Odyssey” in 1972, leading to the subsequent rise of the video game industry. However, even though it produced the most profitable business at that time, it was not recognized by Sanders. However, his willingness to invent was never lost, and it is said that he obtained more than 150 patents in his lifetime. (blink)

Related link:
Ralph H. Baer – Wikipedia

Radar

  • 2021年12月05日

#Inventions of the Day

I would like to introduce an invention that is closely related to today, December 5th. This time, I would like to introduce the air defense radar invented by Sir Robert Alexander Watson Watt (1892.4.13~1973.12.5), a British electronics engineer and inventor. Robert Watson-Watt died 48 years ago today in Inverness, Scotland.

After studying engineering at university, Robert Watson-Watt worked on radio communications for the British Meteorological Office and other organizations. In 1935, as Nazi Germany was on the rise, he proposed an electromagnetic aircraft detection system to the British Air Ministry, which he tested in February, patented in April, and by the end of the year had increased its range to 60 miles (97 km). For this achievement, he was awarded the title of Knight in 1942.
As a result of this technology and air defense radar equipment, the British won the Battle of Britain in 1940. Later, in 1941, he was dispatched to the United States to advise on air defense systems after the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Incidentally, there is a theory that Robert Watson-Watt is a descendant of James Watt, who improved the steam engine and sparked the Industrial Revolution (Japanese Wikipedia), but there seems to be no clear evidence (English Wikipedia).

Reference URL
Robert Watson-Watt – Wikipedia

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