The threshing machine Andrew Meikle, a Scottish mechanical engineer, was born on May 5, 1719. Meikle is most known for developing the threshing machine, which is used to remove the outer husks from wheat grains. The automation of this procedure eliminated much of the drudgery associated with farm labor.
He was also the first person to patent a steam engine. Meikle's steam engine worked by using the expansion of water vapor under pressure to drive a piston. It was not until nearly 100 years later that another scientist, Thomas Newcomen, built a working model of the atmospheric steam engine.
Andrew Meikle was born in Auchterarder, Scotland. He received his education at the local school before being employed as an apprentice in a printing office. At the age of 21, he went to London where he learned the trade of a printer and publisher. In 1747, he founded his own printing business in Edinburgh. Over the next few years, he invented several new types of printers' molds and castings. He also developed a threshing machine that was very successful with farmers all over Britain.
In 1768, Andrew Meikle filed a patent application for a "steam engine." The design of his engine was similar to Newcomen's machine but it used water vapor instead of air as its driving force. This was the first patent issued for a steam-powered engine!
Richard Pearse was a farmer, inventor, and engineer from South Canterbury. He is well-known for being one of the first individuals on the planet to fly in a motorized aircraft.
The aircraft that he designed and built himself was called "The New Zealand Flyer". It had two equal-size hydrogen gas cells which were used as its source of energy. These cells were attached to a steel tube frame with wood wings and a bamboo tail. The engine consisted of a four-cylinder, horizontally opposed machine powered by an electric motor. It has been estimated that the engine was capable of producing around 150 horsepower.
Pearse made his first flight in this aircraft on December 31, 1910. He also wrote a book about his experiences called "Flights Through Space and Time". This book has recently been reprinted by iUniverse.
Here are some other interesting facts about Richard Pearse:
He started work on the "New Zealand Flyer" when he was only 21 years old.
Before he developed his own aircraft, he spent several years learning from European engineers who came to New Zealand to teach our engineers how to build airplanes. One of these men was Edward Wilson who taught Pearse how to design and build engines.
In complete, Joseph Swan Sir Joseph Wilson Swan, (born October 31, 1828 in Sunderland, Durham, England—died May 27, 1914 in Warlingham, Surrey), was an English physicist and chemist who devised the dry photographic plate, a significant improvement in photography and a step forward in the development of...
He is also known for developing the first practical incandescent lamp in 1879 and popularizing the light bulb in Europe and America.
Swan made his discoveries while working for the Eastman Company in Rochester, New York. The company hired him after he demonstrated his inventions to them. He later came up with more innovations, including the electric typewriter, the electric stove, and the electric vacuum cleaner. All of these devices are still in use today.
Swan received many honors in his lifetime, including being knighted by King Edward VII in 1908.
After retiring from the industry in 1911, he stayed active in scientific research until two years before his death at the age of 85.
His ideas and inventions have had a major impact on our daily lives; the incandescent lamp, for example, has largely replaced the candle as the world's favorite light source. It is estimated that Swan's achievements have saved enough electricity to light up London for one hour every day for six months straight!
Thomas Alva Edison, one of the most renowned and prolific innovators of all time, had a huge impact on contemporary life, inventing the incandescent light bulb, the phonograph, and the motion picture camera, as well as enhancing the telegraph and telephone. He also is known for creating popular entertainment products such as recorded music and movies.
Edison's work has been credited with helping to shape the modern world through technologies such as electricity, radio, and film. He also is regarded as the father of the American economy because he brought industry back to America after it was developed overseas.
In addition to his many inventions, Edison also contributed greatly to the development of education by creating a system of school credit that is still used today. He also has been cited as an influence by many other scientists and inventors who have gone on to create their own innovations.
When Edison died in 1931, he had become one of the richest men in the world, having patented or licensed over 500 patents in his name. Today, those patents continue to be owned by various companies that specialize in licensing out new technology or implementing versions of existing technologies. Some examples include IBM, Apple, and Google.
In 1999, Edison was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for his contributions to the development of the phonograph.
Samuel F.B. Morse, full name Samuel Finley Breese Morse, was an American painter and inventor who invented the electric telegraph (1832–35). He was born on April 27, 1791 in Charlestown, Massachusetts, and died on April 2, 1872 in New York, New York. He and his buddy Alfred Vail invented the Morse Code in 1838. It is a way of transmitting letters, words, and sentences by using different lengths of electrical pulses transmitted through a wire. The first message sent over a telegraph line was "Tilghman announces his marriage to Harriet Lane."
Morse began his career as a painter but soon moved into engineering, working with Alexander Graham Bell on the phonograph. In 1844 he joined the United States Military Academy at West Point as professor of mathematics and engineer. There he developed an electric telegraph that was much better than anything else being used by the government at the time. This invention led directly to his becoming one of the first members of the National Institute of Science and Technology.
After Morse's death, his son Charles W. Morse continued to improve upon his father's invention. In 1876, two years after Charles W. Morse died, the federal government issued a patent for another electric telegraph system invented by Thomas Edison. This system was similar to the one invented by Charles W. Morse but used incandescent lamps instead of the muslin tape used by Charles W. Morse.