This week has seen a number of great Geekdom events to celebrate!
How long has “better than sliced bread” been used to explain greatness? Well at least 86 years, because it was this week in 1928 when Otto Frederick Rohwedder released his bread slicer invention in Chillicothe, MO. Bakers had resisted Rohwedder’s idea, certain that their bread would fall apart and quickly go stale once it was sliced. Rohwedder addressed that concern by adding to his machine the capability to wrap the bread in wax paper once it was sliced.
Also from this week, the famed Nicola Tesla one of history’s most under-appreciated and under-acknowledged engineers, was born on July 10, 1856. Tesla is known to have worked on a radio before Marconi, an X-Ray machine before Roentgen, an induction motor around the same time Ferrari claimed his, and experimented to find “small charged particles” years before Thomson was credited with proving the existence of electrons. Tesla is perhaps best known within engineering circles for his work on AC (alternating current) and his “War of Currents” feud with Thomas Edison (side note: Edison, an employer of Tesla’s for some time, is known in some engineering circles as the man who copied and stole from Tesla). Even with such challenges and a lifetime of illnesses, Tesla accrued about 300 patents. He died penniless and in debt in his New York apartment on January 7, 1943, at the age of 86.
And if you were a STEM child of the mid-70’s, you were the last of our kind to buy a slide rule from a production operation. If you don’t know what a slide rule is, I suggest you look it up! In use for 3 centuries, they were continued to be used for nostalgia and you can still buy them, but 1976 marked their final volume production.
For these and more Geek history items, check out http://edn.com/electronics-blogs/4238441/EDN-Moments
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