A pantograph is a device that collects electric current from overhead lines for electric trains or trams. The term stems from the resemblance to pantograph devices for copying writing and drawings. In 1904, the diamond-shaped roller pantograph was invented by John Q. Brown of the Key System shops for their commuter trains which ran between San Francisco and the East Bay section of the San Francisco Bay Area in California. A patent was issued on July 5, 1904.
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The traffic light, also known as traffic signal, is a signaling device positioned at a road intersection, pedestrian crossing, or other location. Its purpose is to indicate, using a series of colors, the correct moment to stop, drive, ride or walk, using a universal color code. The color of the traffic lights representing stop and go are likely derived from those used to identify port (red) and starboard (green) in maritime rules governing right of way, where the vessel on the left must stop for the one crossing on the right. In Salt Lake City, Utah, policeman Lester Wire invented the first red-green electric traffic lights.
Smoking in the United States
A banana split is an ice cream-based dessert. In its classic form it is served in a long dish called a boat. A banana is cut in half lengthwise (hence the split) and laid in the dish. There are many variations, but the classic banana split is made with scoops of vanilla, chocolate and strawberry ice cream served in a row between the split banana. Although the banana as an exotic fruit was introduced to the American public in the 1880s, it was later in 1904, that the banana split was invented in the town of Latrobe, Pennsylvania by 23-year-old pharmacy apprentice David Strickler, who was inspired to create a new sundae after seeing a soda jerk during a visit to Atlantic City. According to The Food Chronology, written in 1995 by James Trager, Strickler concocted his sundae to include three scoops of ice cream on a split banana, topped with chocolate syrup, marshmallow, nuts, whipped cream, and a cherry that sold for a dime. Other soda jerks soon imitated Strickler's banana split, albeit in other forms.
The liquid-fuel rocket is a rocket with an engine that uses propellants in liquid form. On March 16, 1926 in Auburn, Massachusetts, Dr. Robert H. Goddard, the "father of modern rocketry", launched the first liquid-fueled rocket in history, which used liquid oxygen and gasoline as propellants.
Politics of the United States
An iron lung is a large machine that enables a person to breathe when normal muscle control has been lost or the work of breathing exceeds the person's ability. It is a form of a medical ventilator. Philip Drinker invented the iron lung while working at Harvard University in 1928.
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Acrylic fibers are synthetic fibers made from a polymer Polyacrylonitrile with an average molecular weight of ~100,000, about 1900 monomer units. To be called acrylic in the United States, the polymer must contain at least 85% acrylonitrile monomer. Typical comonomers are vinyl acetate or methyl acrylate. The Dupont Corporation invented the first acrylic fibers in 1941 and trademarked them under the name "Orlon".
Candy apples, also known as toffee apples outside of North America, are whole apples covered in a hard sugar candy coating. While the topping varies from place to place, they are almost always served with a wooden stick of sorts in the middle making them easier to eat. Toffee apples are a common treat at autumn festivals in Western culture in the Northern Hemisphere, such as Halloween and Guy Fawkes Night because these festivals fall in the wake of the annual apple harvest. Dipping fruits into a sugar syrup is an ancient tradition. However, the origin of the red candy apple is attributed to Newark, New Jersey candymaker who conceived the idea of dipping apples into a red cinnamon candy mixture he had on hand. In addition, dipping apples in hot caramel a 1950s American invention attributed to Kraft salesman Dan Walker.
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A crystal oscillator is an electronic circuit that uses the mechanical resonance of a vibrating crystal of piezoelectric material to create an electrical signal with a very precise frequency. This frequency is commonly used to keep track of time as used in quartz wristwatches, to provide a stable clock signal for digital integrated circuits, and to stabilize frequencies for radio transmitters and receivers. The first crystal-controlled oscillator, using a crystal of Rochelle Salt, was invented by Alexander M. Nicholson. However, it is generally accepted that Dr. Walter Guyton Cady was the first to use a quartz to control the frequency of an oscillator circuit. Nevertheless, Nicholson is still regarded as the inventor of the crystal oscillator.
A Ferris wheel is a non-building structure, consisting of an upright wheel with passenger gondolas attached to the rim. Opened on June 21, 1893 at the Chicago World's Fair, the original Ferris Wheel was invented two years earlier by the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania bridge-builder George Washington Gale Ferris Jr. in 1891.
The automatic commercial bread slicer was invented in 1927 by Otto Frederick Rohwedder. His machine both sliced and wrapped a loaf of bread. In 1928, the bread slicer was improved by Gustav Papendick, a baker from St. Louis, Missouri.
A microwave oven cooks or heats food by dielectric heating. Cooking food with microwaves was discovered by Percy Spencer on October 8, 1945, while building magnetrons for radar sets at Raytheon. Spencer was working on an active radar set when he noticed a strange sensation, and saw that a peanut candy bar he had in his pocket started to melt. Although he was not the first to notice this phenomenon, as the holder of 120 patents, Spencer was no stranger to discovery and experiment, and realized what was happening. The radar had melted his candy bar with microwaves. The first food to be deliberately cooked with microwaves was popcorn, and the second was an egg. In 1947, Raytheon under Percy Spencer demonstrated the world's first microwave oven built at the company which was called the "Radarange".
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A garage door is a large door on a garage that can either be opened manually or by a garage door opener. Garage doors are necessarily large to allow passage of automobiles and/or trucks. In 1921, C. G. Johnson of Detroit, Michigan invented the "Overhead Door", the first upward-lifting garage door. To market the garage door, Johnson mounted a small prototype of his door on the back of his Model T Ford and drove around the United States signing up distributors.
The corn dog, pogo, dagwood dog, pluto pup or corny dog is a hot dog coated in cornbread batter and deep fried in hot oil, although some are baked. Almost all corn dogs are served on wooden sticks, though some early versions were stickless.
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Patent #684,204 for the nickel-zinc battery. It was issued on October 8, 1901.
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The garbage disposal was invented in 1927 by John W. Hammes. After eleven years of development, his InSinkErator company put his disposer on the market in 1968.
The Earth inductor compass is a device for determining aircraft direction using the magnetic field of the Earth. The operation of the compass is based on the principle of electromagnetic induction with the Earth's magnetic field acting as the induction field for an electric generator. A variation generated voltage, thus allows the Earth inductor compass to determine direction. The earth inductor compass is an American invention. It was designed in 1924 by Morris Titterington at the Pioneer Instrument Company. Designed to compensate for the weaknesses of the magnetic compass, the Earth inductor compass provided pilots with a more stable and reliable reference instrument.
Masking tape is a pressure-sensitive tape made with an easy-to-tear thin paper, and fly back and a removable pressure-sensitive adhesive. In 1925, Richard G. Drew, an employee of the Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company (3M), invented the first masking tape, a two-inch-wide tan paper strip backed with a light, pressure-sensitive adhesive.
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Xerography, which means "dry writing" in Greek, is a process of making copies. Xerography makes copies without using ink. In this process, static electricity charges a lighted plate; a plastic powder is applied to the areas of the page to remain white. The photocopier was invented in 1938 by Chester Floyd Carlson who marketed his revolutionary device to about 20 companies before he could interest any. The Haloid Company, later called the Xerox Corporation, marketed it, and xerography eventually became common and inexpensive.
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A flowchart is common type of chart, representing an algorithm or process, showing the steps as boxes of various kinds, and their order by connecting these with arrows. Flowcharts are used in analyzing, designing, documenting or managing a process or program in various fields. The second structured method for documenting process flow, the "flow process chart", was invented by Frank Gilbreth to members of ASME in 1921 as the presentation "Process Charts—First Steps in Finding the One Best Way".
A twist tie is a metal wire that is encased in a thin strip of paper or plastic and is used to tie the openings of bags, such as garbage bags or bread bags. A twist tie is used by wrapping it around the item to be fastened, then twisting the ends together. The original twist tie was invented by the California-based packaging company T and T Industries, Inc. It was patented in 1939 and marketed as the Twist-Ems.
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A radio direction finder (RDF) is a device for finding the direction to a radio source. Due to radio's ability to travel very long distances and "over the horizon", it makes a particularly good navigation system for ships, small boats, and aircraft that might be some distance from their destination. The radio direction finder is the earliest form of radio navigation. It was first patented by American physicist John Stone Stone.
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A fixed-wing aircraft, or airplane, is a heavier-than-air craft whose lift is generated by air pressure differential between the upper and lower wing surfaces. The Wright brothers, Wilbur and Orville Wright of Dayton, Ohio, made the first powered and sustained airplane flights under control of the pilot in the Wright Flyer I on December 17, 1903 in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. In the two years afterward, they developed their flying machine into the world's first practical fixed-wing aircraft. By October 1905, the Wright Flyer III was capable and proven to circle in the air 30 times in 39 minutes for a total distance of 24/5 miles. The brothers' fundamental breakthrough was their invention of "three-axis control", which enabled the pilot to steer the aircraft effectively and to maintain its equilibrium. This required method has become standard on all fixed-wing aircraft. From the beginning of their aeronautical work, the Wright brothers focused on unlocking the secrets of control to conquer "the flying problem", rather than on developing more powerful engines as some other experimenters did. Charles Edward Taylor built the first aircraft engine and was a vital contributor of mechanical aspects in the building and maintaining of early Wright engines and airplanes.
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Tapered roller bearings are bearings that can take large axial forces as well as being able to sustain large radial forces. They were co-invented by German-American Henry Timken and Reginald Heinzelman.
The electric razor has a rotating, vibrating or oscillating blade to remove unwanted hair. The electric razor does not require the use of shaving cream, soap, or water. The razor is powered by a small DC motor, and usually has rechargeable batteries, though early ones were powered directly by house current. The electric razor was invented in 1928 by Col.
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A radial arm saw has a circular saw mounted on a sliding horizontal arm. In addition to making length cuts a radial arm saw may be configured with a dado blade to create cuts for dado, rabbet or half lap joints. Some radial arm saws allow the blade to be turned parallel to the back fence allowing a rip cut to be performed. In 1922, Raymond De Walt of Bridgeton, New Jersey invented the radial arm saw. A patent was applied for in 1923 and awarded to De Walt in 1925.
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Locking pliers, Mole grips or Vise-Grips are pliers that can be locked into position, using an over-center action. One side of the handle includes a bolt that is used to adjust the spacing of the jaws, the other side of the handle, especially in larger models, often includes a lever to push the two sides of the handles apart to unlock the pliers. William Petersen of DeWitt, Nebraska, invented and patented a primitive version of a wrench in 1921. However, it wasn't until 1924 that the first locking pliers with a locking handle that Petersen called the Vise-Grip was patented.
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A solid body electric guitar, made up of hardwood with a lacquer coating, is an electric guitar that has no hollow internal cavity to accommodate vibration. There are no sound holes such as those used to amplify string vibrations in acoustic guitars. The sound that is audible in music featuring electric guitars is produced by pickups on the guitar that convert the string vibrations into an electrical signal, usually fed into an amplifier or a speaker. The solid body guitar was invented in 1941 by American recording artist Les Paul.
Also known as a Skinner box, an operant conditioning chamber is a laboratory apparatus used in the experimental analysis of behavior to study animal behavior. The operant conditioning chamber was invented in 1938 by B. F. Skinner.
Deodorants are substances applied to the body to reduce body odor caused by the bacterial breakdown of perspiration. Jules Montenier holds a number of patents. Arguably, his January 28, 1941 patent for Astringent Preparation is his most famous which dealt with solving the problem of the excessive acidity of aluminum chloride, then and now the best working antiperspirant, by adding a soluble nitrile or a similar compound. This innovation found its way into "Stopette" deodorant spray, which Time Magazine called "the best-selling deodorant of the early 1950s".
A strain gauge is a device used to measure the strain of an object. As the object is deformed, the foil is deformed, causing its electrical resistance to change. The strain gauge was invented in 1936 by Edward E. Simmons, a professor at the California Institute of Technology, and re-invented in 1938 by Arthur C. Ruge, an earthquake specialist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
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A cheesesteak, or a Philly cheesesteak, is a long, crusty roll filled with thinly sliced sautéed ribeye beef and melted cheese. Generally, the cheese of choice is Cheez Whiz, but American and provolone are common substitutions. The art of cheesesteak preparation lies in the balance of flavors, textures and what is often referred to as the "drip" factor. Other toppings may include fried onions, sautéed mushrooms, ketchup and hot or sweet peppers. The cheesesteak was invented in 1930 by Philadelphian hot dog vendor Pat Olivieri who one day decided to substitute beef instead of a hot dog in a hoagie bun. A taxicab driver noticed the alluring aroma and asked for his own sandwich. Through word of mouth, Olivieri's sandwiches the following day were highly sought after by taxi cab drivers around Philadelphia. Due to booming business, Olivieri soon opened up his own shop, Pat's King of Steaks on 9th Street and Passyunk Avenue. Eventually, according to legend, he added cheese to the steak. The cheesesteak is considered to be a cultural icon of the city of Philadelphia.
A thermistor is a type of resistor with electrical resistance inversely proportional to its temperature. The word is a portmanteau of thermal and resistor. The thermosistor was invented by Samuel Ruben in 1930.
The technique of heating and drawing glass into fine fibers has been used for millennia. The use of these fibers for textile applications is more recent. The first commercial production of fiberglass was in 1936. In 1938, fiberglass was invented by Russell Games Slayter of Owens-Corning.
The jungle gym, also known as monkey bars or climbing frame, is a piece of playground equipment made of many pieces of thin material, such as metal pipe or, in more current playgrounds, rope, on which children can climb, hang, or sit. The monkey bar designation was for the resemblance that playing children had to the rambunctious, climbing play of monkeys, though the term nowadays often refers specifically to a single row of overhead bars designed to be swung across. The jungle gym was invented and patented by Sebastian Hinton of Chicago in 1920.
The traditional jukebox is rather large with a rounded top and has colored lighting on the front of the machine on its vertical sides. The classic jukebox has buttons with letters and numbers on them that, when combined, are used to indicate a specific song from a particular record. The Automatic Music Instrument Company built and introduced the first electric automated musical instrument which later became known as the jukebox during the 1930s.
A muffler is a device for reducing the amount of noise emitted by a machine. On internal combustion engines, the engine exhaust blows out through the muffler. The internal combustion engine muffler was invented by Milton O. Reeves who received a patent in 1897.
Cruise control automatically controls the rate of motion of a motor vehicle. The driver sets the speed and the system will take over the throttle of the car to maintain the same speed. Cruise control was invented in 1945 by a blind inventor and mechanical engineer named Ralph Teetor. His idea was born out of the frustration of riding in a car driven by his lawyer, who kept speeding up and slowing down as he talked. The first car with Teetor's system was the Chrysler Imperial in 1958. This system calculated ground speed based on driveshaft rotations and used a solenoid to vary throttle position as needed.
A periscope is an instrument for observation from a concealed position, known for use in submarines. In a simple form, it is a tube in each end of which are mirrors set parallel to each other and at an angle of 45 with a line between them. Periscopes allow a submarine, submerged at a shallow depth, to search for targets and threats in the surrounding sea and air. When not in use, the periscope is retracted into the hull. A sub commander in tactical conditions must exercise discretion when using his periscope, since it creates an observable wake and may be detectable to radar, giving away the sub's position. The invention of the collapsible periscope for use in submarine warfare is credited to Simon Lake in 1902, who called his device the omniscope or skalomniscope. Later, it was made to be raised and turned by hand.
A paper towel has the same purposes as conventional towels such as drying hands, wiping windows, dusting, cleaning up spills. However, paper towels can only be used once after they blot wet surfaces. A school teacher in Ashland, Ohio, named Kurt Klier, gave students individual paper squares, so that the single towel in the bathroom would not be infected with germs. When Arthur Scott, head of the Scott Paper Company heard about it, he decided to try to sell a load of paper that had been made too thick to use as toilet paper.
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A vocoder, a portmanteau of the words voice and encoder, is an analysis and synthesis system, mostly used for speech. In the encoder, the input is passed through a multiband filter, each band is passed through an envelope follower, and the control signals from the envelope followers are communicated to the decoder. The decoder applies these control signals to corresponding filters in the (re)synthesizer. Research physicist Homer Dudley invented the Vocoder at Bell Labs in 1939 which served the purpose of improving the voice-carrying capabilities of his employer's telephone lines.
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A Reuben sandwich is a hot sandwich of layered meat, sauerkraut and Swiss cheese, with a dressing, usually Russian or Thousand Island dressing, that is grilled between slices of rye bread. The origins of the Reuben sandwich is disputed. The earliest claim of inventing the Reuben sandwich comes from Omaha, Nebraska, in 1925 when Ukrainian-American grocer Reuben Kulakofsky fed players in a late-night poker game at the Blackstone Hotel in downtown Omaha. The owner of the hotel was so taken with Reuben's sandwich that he put it on the hotel restaurant menu, designated by its inventor's name. It wasn't until 1956 when a waitress at the Blackstone named Fern Snider entered Reuben's sandwich in a national sandwich competition, one of the earliest documentations given to the name of the sandwich. Another story is that the Reuben sandwich hails from New York City.
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The Phillips-head screw is a crosshead screw design lying in its self-centering property, useful on automated production lines that use power screwdrivers. The Phillips-head screw was invented and patented by Henry F. Phillips in 1936.
Marshmallow creme, better known as marshmallow "fluff" in the United States, is a food item that is a sweet, spreadable, marshmallow-like confection. It is typically used with peanut butter on the fluffernutter sandwich. In addition, marshmallow creme and Nutella can be spread on graham crackers to emulate s'mores. Marshmallow creme is a New England creation invented in 1917 by Archibald Query of Somerville, Massachusetts.
An Aerosol bomb is a hand-held container or dispenser from which an aerosol is released. Developed in 1941 by Lyle D. Goodhue and William N. Sullivan and patented in 1943.
A batting helmet is the protective headgear worn by batters in the game of baseball or softball. It is meant to protect the batter's head from errant pitches thrown by the pitcher. A batter who is "hit by pitch", due to an inadvertent wild pitch or a pitcher's purposeful attempt to hit him, may be seriously, even fatally, injured.
A bulldozer is a crawler or a continuous tracked tractor, equipped with a substantial metal plate or blade, used to push large quantities of soil, sand, or rubble during construction work. In 1923, a farmer named James Cummings and a draftsman named J. Earl McLeod co-invented and created the first designs. A replica is on display at the city park in Morrowville, Kansas where the two built the first bulldozer.
The strobe light, commonly called a strobe, is a device used to produce regular flashes of light. Modern uses of strobe lights serve a purpose for safety warning, and motion detection. Strobes can be found atop most police cars, ambulances, and fire trucks. The origin of strobe lighting dates to 1931, when Harold Eugene Edgerton invented a flashing lamp to make an improved stroboscope for the study of moving objects, eventually resulting in dramatic photographs of objects such as bullets in flight.
A torque wrench is a tool used to precisely apply a specific torque to a fastener such as a nut or bolt. It is usually in the form of a socket wrench with special internal mechanisms. It was invented by Conrad Charles Bahr in 1918.
A bathysphere is a pressurized metal sphere that allows people to go deep in the ocean, to depths at which diving unaided is impossible. This hollow cast iron sphere with very thick walls is lowered and raised from a ship using a steel cable. The bathysphere was invented by William Beebe and Otis Barton in 1930. William Beebe, an American naturalist and undersea explorer, tested the bathysphere in 1930, going down to 1,426 feet (435 m) in a 4'9" (1/45 m) diameter bathysphere. Beebe and Otis Barton descended about 3,000 ft (914 m) in a larger bathysphere in 1934. They descended off the coast of Nonsuch Island, Bermuda in the Atlantic Ocean. During the dive, they communicated with the surface via telephone.
Dimmers are devices used to vary the brightness of a light. By decreasing or increasing the RMS voltage and hence the mean power to the lamp it is possible to vary the intensity of the light output. Although variable-voltage devices are used for various purposes, a dimmer is specifically those devices intended to control lighting. Dimmers are popularly used in venues such as movie theatres, stages, dining rooms, restaurants, and auditoriums where the need or absence of light during activities requires constant change. The dimmer was invented in 1892 by Granville Woods.
A suppressor or silencer is a device either attached to or part of the barrel of a firearm to reduce the amount of noise and flash generated by firing the weapon. It generally takes the form of a cylindrically shaped metal tube with various internal mechanisms to reduce the sound of firing by slowing the escaping propellant gas, and sometimes by reducing the velocity of the bullet. Hiram Percy Maxim, the son of famous machine gun inventor Hiram Stevens Maxim, is credited with inventing the suppressor in 1909.
An acrostic is a type of word puzzle, related somewhat to crossword puzzles, that uses an acrostic form with lettered clues and numbered blanks. The acrostic puzzle was invented in 1934 by Elizabeth Kingsley, first appearing in the March 31 edition of the Saturday Evening Post.
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A reed switch is an electrical switch consisting of two ferromagnetic and specially shaped contact blades (reeds) positioned in a hermetically sealed glass tube with a gap between them and in a protective atmosphere. Operated by an applied magnetic field, reed switches are used as reed relays, automotive sensors, robotics sensors, security sensors and are found in many toys and games. The reed switch was invented in 1936 by W. B. Elwood at Bell Telephone Laboratories.
An Erector Set is a toy construction set that consists of collections of small metal beams with regular holes for nuts, bolts, screws, and mechanical parts such as pulleys, gears, and small electric motors. Popular in the United States, the brand name is currently used for Meccano sets (themselves patented in 1901). The erector set was invented in 1911 by Alfred Carlton Gilbert and was manufactured by the A. C. Gilbert Company at the Erector Square factory in New Haven, Connecticut.
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An ice cube tray is a tray divided into compartments. It is designed to be filled with water, then placed in a freezer until the water freezes to ice, producing ice cubes. The first flexible ice cube tray was invented by Lloyd Groff Copeman in 1928.
A starting gate, also known as starting stalls, is a machine used in the sports of thoroughbred horse and dog racing to ensure a fair start in a race. The starting gate was invented by Clay Puett of Chillicothe, Texas when it was used at Lansdowne Park in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada for the first time on July 1, 1939.
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The windshield wiper is a bladed device used to wipe rain and dirt from a windshield. In 1903, Mary Anderson is credited with inventing the first operational windshield wiper. In Anderson's patent, she called her invention a window cleaning device for electric cars and other vehicles. Operated via a lever from inside a vehicle, her version of windshield wipers closely resembles the windshield wiper found on many early car models. Anderson had a model of her design manufactured.
In an automobile, the headrest or head restraint is a device attached to the top of the seat behind the occupant's head. Most headrests are cushioned for comfort, are height adjustable and most commonly finished in the same material as the rest of the seat. The automobile headrest was invented by Benjamin Katz, a resident of Oakland, California, in 1921.
The fifth wheel coupling provides a pivoting link between a semi-trailer and the towing truck, tractor unit, leading trailer or dolly. Some recreational vehicles have a fifth wheel configuration, requiring the coupling to be installed in the bed of a pickup truck as a towing vehicle. The coupling consists of a coupling pin (or kingpin) on the front of the semi-trailer, and a horseshoe-shaped coupling device called a fifth wheel on the rear of the towing vehicle. In 1911, Charles Martin invented the fifth wheel coupler consisting of a round plate with a hole in it, attached to a frame mounted on his tractor.
The Babcock test was the first inexpensive and practical test which were used to determine the fat content of milk. Invented by Stephen Moulton Babcock in 1890, the test was developed to prevent dishonest farmers who could, until the 1890s, water down their milk or remove some cream before selling it to the factories because milk was paid by volume.
Bubblegum is a type of chewing gum especially designed for blowing bubbles. Bubblegum was invented by Frank Henry Fleer in 1906, but was not successful; the formulation of Fleer's "Blibber-Blubber", was too sticky.
A liquid ring pump is a rotating positive displacement pump that is powered by an induction motor and is typically used as a vacuum pump or as a gas compressor. The liquid ring pump was invented in 1905 by Lewis H. Nash. Production soon began thereafter at the Nash Engineering Company.
An instant camera is a type of camera with self-developing film. The earliest instant camera, which consisted of a camera and portable darkroom in a single compartment, was invented in 1923 by Samuel Shlafrock. In 1947, Edwin H. Land invented a new camera that produced photographic images in 60 seconds. A colored photograph model would follow in the 1960s and eventually receive more than 500 patents for Land's innovations in light and plastic technologies.
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Lionel C. Sternberger is believed to have invented the "cheese hamburger" in the 1920s in the Northeast portion of Los Angeles County. The earliest year attributed to the invention of the cheeseburger by Sternberger is in 1924, while others claimed that he invented it as late as 1926. According to American Heritage, "a local restaurateur was identified as the inventor of the cheeseburger at his death in 1964.
Car audio/video (car AV) is a sound or video system fitted in an automobile. In 1930, the Galvin Corporation introduced the first commercial car radio, the Motorola model 5T71, which sold for between $110 and $130 and could be installed in most popular automobiles. Inventors Paul Galvin and Joe Galvin came up with the name Motorola when their company started manufacturing car radios.
The toaster is typically a small electric kitchen appliance designed to toast multiple types of bread products such as sliced bread, bagels, and English muffins. Although not the first to invent the toaster, the pop-up toaster was invented by Charles Strite in 1919, consisting of a variable timer and springs in order to prevent burnt toast. Strite received a patent for his invention on May 29, 1919.
A blender is an upright, stationary kitchen appliance used to mix alcoholic beverages and puree food. Blenders are also used to prepare emulsions, such as mayonnaise, and cream soups. In 1919, Polish-American Stephen J. Poplawski of Racine, Wisconsin invented, designed, and manufactured beverage mixers used in preparation for malted milk served at soda fountains. It consisted of a spinning blade on a long rod extending down into a cup. Poplawski patented his invention of the blender in 1922.
A cyclocomputer or cyclometer is a device mounted on a bicycle that calculates and displays trip information, similar to the instruments in the dashboard of a car. The computer with display, or head unit, usually is attached to the handlebar for easy viewing. In 1895, Curtis Hussey Veeder invented the cyclometer.
An O-ring, also known as a toric joint, is a mechanical gasket in the shape of a torus containing a loop of elastomer with a disc-shaped cross-section. It is designed to be seated in a groove and compressed during assembly between two or more parts, creating a seal at the interface. The O-ring was invented in 1937 by Danish-American machinist Niels Christensen.
A VU meter is often included in analog circuit, audio equipment to display a signal level in Volume Units. It is intentionally a "slow" measurement, averaging out peaks and troughs of short duration to reflect the perceived loudness of the material. It was originally invented in 1939 by the combined effort of Bell Labs and broadcasters CBS and NBC for measuring and standardizing the levels of telephone lines. The instrument used to measure VU is called the volume indicator (VI) instrument. Most users ignore this and call it a VU meter.
In cryptography, a stream cipher is a symmetric key cipher where plaintext bits are combined with a pseudorandom cipher bit stream, typically by an exclusive-or (xor) operation. In a stream cipher the plaintext digits are encrypted one at a time, and the transformation of successive digits varies during the encryption. Also known as a state cipher, the stream cipher was invented in 1917 by Gilbert Sandford Vernam at Bell Labs.
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A Moviola is a device that allows a film editor to view film while editing. It was the first machine for motion picture editing in order to study individual shots in their cutting rooms that determine where the best cut-point might be. The vertically oriented Moviolas were the standard for film editing in the United States until the 1970s when horizontal flatbed editor systems became more common. In 1924, the Moviola was invented in the United States by Dutch-American Iwan Serrurier.
Shopping bags are medium-sized bags, typically around 10-20 litres (2/5 to 5 gallons) in volume, that are often used by grocery shoppers to carry home their purchases. They can be single-use (disposable), used for other purposes or designed as reusable shopping bags. The grocery bag with handles was invented in 1918 by Walter Deubener of St. Paul Minnesota.
The Inventor of FM
A digital computer is a device capable of solving problems by processing information on discrete form. It operates on data, including magnitudes, letters, and symbols that are expressed in binary form. While working at Bell Labs in November 1937, George Stibitz, who is internationally recognized as the father of the modern digital computer, built the world's first relay-based computer which calculated binary addition.
A flushometer, or royal flushometer is a water pressure system that uses an inline handle to flush toilets and urinals. By using pressurized water directly from the supply line, there is a faster recycle time between flushes. The flushometer is still in use today in homes and public restrooms around the world. The flushometer was invented in 1906 by American businessman and inventor William Elvis Sloan.
The zipper is a popular device for temporarily joining two edges of fabric. Zippers are found on trousers, jeans, jackets, and luggage. Whitcomb L. Judson was an American mechanical engineer from Chicago who was the first to invent, conceive of the idea, and to construct a workable zipper. Using a hook-and-eye device, Judson intended for this earliest form of the zipper to be used on shoes. He also conceived the idea of the slide fastener mechanism in conjunction with the invention of the zipper. Patents were issued to Judson for the zipper in 1891, 1894, and 1905.
A tiltrotor is an aircraft which uses a pair or more of powered rotors (sometimes called proprotors) mounted on rotating shafts or nacelles at the end of a fixed wing for lift and propulsion, and combines the vertical lift capability of a helicopter with the speed and range of a conventional fixed-wing aircraft. In September 1930, George Lehberger devised the basic concept of tilt rotor aircraft, that is, a relatively low disc loading thruster (propeller) that can tilt its axis from the vertical (for vertical lift) to the horizontal (for propulsive thrust).
Homelessness in the United States
Formica is a hard durable plastic laminate used for countertops, cupboard doors, and other surfaces which are heat-resistant and easy to clean. Formica was invented in 1913 by Herbert A Faber and Daniel J. O'Connor of Westinghouse Electric.
An electric guitar is a guitar using pickups to convert its metal string vibration into electricity. This is amplified with an instrument amplifier. The output is altered with guitar effects such as reverb or distortion. The earliest electric guitar, known as a "frying pan", was a hollow bodied acoustic instrument with tungsten steel pickups invented by George Beauchamp and Adolph Rickenbacker in 1931. The electric guitar was a key instrument in the development of musical styles that emerged since the late 1940s, such as Chicago blues, early rock and roll, rockabilly, and 1960s blues rock. Electric guitars are used in almost every popular music genre.
A Slinky or "Lazy Spring" is a toy consisting of a helical spring that stretches and can bounce up and down. It can perform a number of tricks, including traveling down a flight of steps end-over-end as it stretches and re-forms itself with the aid of gravity and its own momentum. The Slinky was invented in 1943 by American engineer Richard T. James while working in his home laboratory to invent a set of springs that could be used to support sensitive instruments on board ships and stabilize them even in rough seas. When he once accidentally knocked one of his springs off a shelf, James saw that, rather than flopping in a heap onto the floor, the spring "stepped" in a series of arcs from the shelf, to a stack of books, to a tabletop, to the floor, where it re-coiled itself and stood upright. In 1945, the James first exhibited his new toy at the Gimbels, a department store located in Philadelphia. He sold 400 Slinkys in 90 minutes which was the start of a sensation that continues to this day.
A staple remover allows for the quick removal of a staple from a material without causing damage. The form of destapler described was invented by William G. Pankonin of Chicago, Illinois. A patent application for the same was filed on December 12, 1932, granted on March 3, 1936, and published on April 3, 1936 as a patent.
Cotton swabs consist of a small wad of cotton wrapped around either one or both ends of a small rod. They are commonly used in a variety of applications including first aid, cosmetics application, for cleaning, and arts & crafts. The cotton swab was invented by Leo Gerstenzang in 1923, who invented the product after attaching wads of cotton to a toothpick. His product, which he named "Baby Gays", went on to become the most widely sold brand name, "Q-tip".