Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Hayley: The History of the Washing Machine

  • People in ancient times cleaned their clothes by pounding them on rocks or rubbing them with abrasive sand. They then would wash the dirt away in small streams of water.
  • 1767- Jacob Christian Schaffer's washing machine design was published.
  • 1797- Nathaniel Briggs invented the scrub board, a labor intensive device on which the clothes were vigorously rubbed by hand.
  • Following this, Nathaniel Briggs invented and patented the first ever washing machine in the United States. This was known as the Box Mangler. It consisted of a heavy frame containing a large box filled with rocks, resting on a series of long wooden rollers. Washing was laid flat on a sheet and wound round one of the rollers. Two people pulled on levers to move the heavy box back and forth over the rollers. It was large and expensive and required heavy labor to operate.
  • 1843- John E. Turnbull invented a washing machine with a wringer mechanism.
  • 1851- American, James King patented the first machine to use a drum. It resembled a modern machine but was till hand powered.
  • 1874- William Blackstone built a washing machine as a birthday present for his wife. It was designed for convenient use in the home. This machine consisted of a wooden tub in which there was a flat piece of wood containing six small wooden pegs. The inner mechanism looked like a small milking stool. This was moved back and forth by a handle and gears. Dirty clothes were snagged on the pegs and swished about in hot, soapy water. The company he founded still produces and sells washing machines today, out of NY headquarters.
  • 1900s- Wooden wash tubs were replaced by metal tubs. With the advent of small electric motors, the washing machine entered the electric age.
  • 1906- Fisher produced the first electric machine. It worked reasonably well, but with the motor bolted to the side of the machine, they were not very safe. Water often spilled over the sides and into the motor or switch. It was not until after a few people got fried that they enclosed the drum into a case.
  • 1908- Hurley Machine Corporation introduces the Mighty Thor. Invented by Alva J Fisher. It was a drum type machine with a galvanized tub and electric motor. The patent for this machine was issued on the 9th of August 1910.
  • 1911- Whirlpool Corporation, then Upton Machine Corporation, starts producing electric motor driven wringer washers.
  • 1922- Maytag introduces the agitator system for moving water around the drum, rather than dragging the fabric around in the water.
  • 1930s- John W Chamberlain of Bendix Aviation Corporation invents a machine that can wash, rinse and extract water from clothes in a single operation.
  • 1947- The first top-loading automatic washer is introduced by Whirlpool Corporation.
  • 1960s- The costs of automatic machines were reduced when companies started producing twin tub machines and this style of washer sold millions. In the US a company named Seeburg, famous for making jukeboxes, started production of an auto machine that flopped in sales. The timer mechanism they designed, though, was very successful and many companies began using the Seeburg timers in their machines. This forced prices down even more.
  • 1978- The first micro-chip controlled machine were produced.
  • 2000 and beyond- Scientists are still working on new models of washing machines to make them more handy for everyone. They try to make better ways to clean clothes and make machines last longer. Now, being more environmentally conscious, there is a focus on using less water and detergents to wash clothes.
  • For example, British inventors have designed the Xerox machine. This washing machine uses thousands of special plastic chips in each wash. When a single cup of water is heated, these chips absorb the dirt from the clothing, including hard stains. The chips are removed when the wash ends and can be reused up to 100 times. Though it's still in prototyping, the inventors are intending to commercialize their machine. It could save billions of litres of water and save on people's electrical consumption.

washing machines
Washing machine - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Modern Marvels
Washing Mashine History- Gizmo Highway Technology Guide
Milestones in the History of Washing Machines and Dryers
History of Washing Machines | Washing Machine Reviews
Xeros Washing Machine Cleans Clothes with a Cup of Water - GoodCleanTech

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Candy: history of cars

  • The evolution of the automobile took place worldwide, its estimated that over 100,ooo patents created the modern automobile.

Old Engraving depicting the 1771 crash of Nicolas Joseph Cugnot's steam-powered car into a stone wall.

  • In 1769, the very first self-propelled road vehicle was a military tractor invented by French engineer and mechanic, Nicolas Joseph Cugnot .

  • The first theoretical plans for a motor vehicle where drawn up by Leonardo da Vinci and Isaac Newton.

  • Robert Anderson of Scotland invented the first crude electric carriage.
  • In 1885 Karl Benz(as in Mercedes Benz) had introduced the first gasoline powered automobile which had 3 wheels and looked like a tricycle with no pedals.

  • Early 1960z the Boyertown Auto Body Works jointly formed the Battronic Truck Company with Smith Delivery Vehicles, Ltd.

  • 1960s & 1970s saw a need for alternative fueled vehicles to reduce the problems of exhaust emissions from internal combustion engines and to reduce the dependency on imported foreign crude oil.

  • United States postal service purchased 350 electric delivery jeeps which were to be used in a test program, the jeeps top speed was 50 mph.

  • 1990 to present years, Electric conversions of familiar gasoline powered vehicles, as well as electric vehicles designed from ground up, are now available that reach super high speeds with rangers of 50 to 150 miles between recharging.

louise - post one - The good old lightbulb

1809 - Humphry Davy, an english chemist, used a high powered battery to induce an electrical current between two strips of charcoal; creating the first arc lamp.

1820 - Warren De La Rue made the first known attempt to produce an incandescent light bulb.

1840 -
William Robert Grove succeeded in lighting an auditorium with incandescent lamps. The lamps were constructed of platinum coils encased in an inverted glass sealed by water. However they were too expensive and impractical for commercial use.
<- (1840's platinum coil lamp)

1846 - John Daper patented a platinum filament incandescent
electric lamp. Once again however, the design had a high cost and was deemed impractical for widespread commercial use.
<- (1846 electric lamp)

1860 - john way demonstrated that sending electricity through mercury vapor contained in a glass tube could produce light, the precedent for the development of the modern fluorescent light!!

1879 - An american, Thomas Edison & England's joseph swan, produced carbon filament incandescent lamps that actually burned for a practical length of time. Edison's carbon fiber was derived from cotton, they lasted 13.5 hrs. Later improved bulbs of this design lasted for 40 hours. Quite an achievement for back in the day."" border="0" alt="" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5311385628210215506" /> <- (1879 - this design lasted up to 40 hours)

1880- Poor joseph swan must have been pretty cranky when in 1880, his rival, Edison of america discovered that bamboo produced a better carbon fiber filament. His new design lasted for 1200 hours. thats a pretty big leap from 40 hours.

1903 - materials with higher melting points were discovered. Tantalum filament bulbs were produced with excellent practical manufacturing properties.

1907 - The first commercial tungsten filament for incandescent lamps became available in the US. Tungsten wire manufacturing was still costly and difficult, but this time the design somehow survived the cost problems and were produced anyway.

1925 - frosted glass interior incandescent bulbs were produced to create a "soft light" effect.

1930 - photo flash light bulbs were introduced at this time in photography. That would have been quite the discovery.

1960 - brighter lights were invented using halogen gas which slows the filament evaporation rate. This allowed lights to operate at higher temperatures.
1991 - was the last design that has lead the lightbulb into our modern world. Phillips, a Dutch company, developed a lightbulb that uses magnetic induction to excite a gas to emit light. There are no parts that are able to wear out in this design, so now a lightbulb has the expected lifetime of 60, 000 hours. That is almost 10 years of light from one bulb! Yaayya!

post 1: product evolution

Create a visual timeline for a consumer product using a minimum of 6- 8 min images. Note the dates, the designer if known, the brands, iconic models, the upgraded features, materials and technology. Provide relevant hyperlinks. Remember to set up separate folders for bookmarks, information and images. Establish a consistent naming convention for folders and documents to ensure ready access.
Due 11 March.

Clare3 How Is It We Have TV?

How Is It We Have TV?

What is your favourite television program? 
Do you have a TV in your toilet? Your kitchen? Your bedroom? On your mobile phone? How is it we have television?...

The television had no single inventor. Some worked alone, others collaborated, and were from varying countries and scientific disciplines. Televison's many inventors and contributors have been refining television since approximately 1831 to the present day.


American scientist Joseph Henry and British physicist and chemist Michael Faraday work with electromagnetism kickstarts the era of electronic communication. (Image of Michael Faraday below.)

1862 First Still Image Transferred

Abbe Giovanna Caselli invents his Pantelegraph (pictured) and becomes the first person to transmit a still image over wires.


Bell's Photophone used light to transmit sound and he wanted his device for image sending. The Photophone is credited with being the modern progenitor of fiber optic communications.

This worked unless objects such as large buildings or clouds got in the way.

1884 First mechanical Television

Paul Nipkow, German engineering student, sends images over a wire using a rotating metal disc technology calling it the electric telescope with 18 lines of resolution. He devised the notion of dissecting the image and transmitting it sequentially. Nipkow's disc is pictured below. He proposed and patented the world's first mechanical television. The word Television was first known to be used in 1900.

1906 Mechanical TV?!

Combining Nipkow's disc and the cathode ray tube (pictured), Boris Rosing, Russian scientist, builds the first working mechanical television. (Also pictured.)

The cathode ray tube pioneered by Rosing & American A.A. Campbell-Swinton. The cathode ray tube design is integral to the function of modern televisions.

First working mechanical Televison! Where's the remote control?

1907 Going Electric

Campbell-Swinton and Rosing independently develop electronic scanning.


Russian emigrant Vladimir Zworkin who worked for Westinghouse and later RCA, advanced the electronic models of televisions. He patented his ionscope, which he called 'an electric eye,' and the kinescope (the receiver.) Here he is below in 1929 with the kinescope.

1927 First Long distance Use of Television

Using American Philo Farnsworth's design of the Image Dissector (in part, pictured below), which needed very bright light, the first long distance use of the television was made between Bell Telephone in NY and the U.S. Dept. of Commerce in Washington. Farnsworth successfully patented the first complete electronic television set, which he called the Image Dissector.

1928 > 1933

Between 1928 and 1933 the first television station license is granted, the first television studio is opened, although reception was poor, and the BBC began regular transmissions.

1936 How many TVs in your house?

By 1936, 200 televisions are in use worldwide. Only 70 years later, a Nielsen Media Research reported that in 2006 the average U.S. household had an average of 2.73 t.v. sets, to an average of 2.55 people. Somewhere between 2001 and 2004 the number of sets outgrew the number of people. A spokesman for Nielsen said that "half of US homes have three or more sets today, and a mere 19 percent have one set. That is compared to 1975 when 57 percent of households had one TV set and 11 percent had three or more."

The now available fog free LCD Television for your bathroom, this model by Tilevision.

Coaxial Cable Accelerates Availability

The introduction of coaxial cable, which is a pure copper or copper-coated wire surrounded by insulation and an aluminum covering were and are used to transmit television, telephone, and data signals.
The first experimental coaxial cable lines were laid by AT&T between New York and Philadelphia in 1936. The first regular installation connected Minneapolis and Stevens Point, WI in 1941.
The original L1 coaxial-cable system could carry 480 telephone conversations or one television program. By the 1970's, L5 systems could carry 132,000 calls or more than 200 television programs.

1937 UHF TV

Introducing the Klystron, from the brothers Sigurd and Russell Varian. A Klystron(pictured with the brothers below) is a high-frequency amplifier for generating microwaves. It is considered the technology that makes UHF-TV possible because it gives the ability to generate the high power required in this spectrum.

The inventor brothers with the klystron, early 1940s.

Russell Varian and Sigurd Varian (right) appear in this 1951 photograph with a high-powered klystron. In the palm of his hand, Russell Varian holds a smaller type of klystron used for radar, aircraft instrument landing and microwave communications.

1939 Antennas on Skyscraper

Vladimir Zworkin and RCA conduct experimentally broadcasts from the Empire State Building. Diagram pictured below.

Did King Kong inspire this?

A detailed view of the upper portion of the Empire State Building showing locations of transmitting antennas.

One element of the master FM antenna seen from window on 102nd floor.

RCA TRK 9 at the 1939 World Fair.

The see-through Lucite model of the RCA TRK-12 was very popular with World Fair goers.  Reminds me of the original Apple iMac computers.

The DuMont company starts making tv sets.

The DuMont Clifton model tv set.


Peter Goldmark invents a 343 lines of resolution colour television system. The FCC release the NTSC standard for B&W television.

1943 Orthicon

Vladimir Zworkin developed a better camera tube called the Orthicon. The Orthicon (see photo below) had enough light sensitivity to record outdoor events at night.

1946 Colour!

Dr. Peter Goldmark, working for CBS, introduces colour by spinning an RGB wheel in front of a cathode ray tube. This was used in 1949 to broadcast medical procedures from Pennsylvania and Atlantic City hospitals. In Atlantic City, viewers could come to the convention center to see broadcasts of operations. Reports from the time noted that the realism of seeing surgery in color caused more than a few viewers to faint.


One million homes in the United States have television sets.


Robert Adler invents the first practical remote control. (Below left)

It was proceeded by wired remotes and units that failed in sunlight.

Man's best friend as we know him today.


The All Channel Receiver Act requires that UHF tuners (channels 14 to 83) be included in all sets.

UHF tuner

AT&T launches Telstar, the first satellite to carry TV broadcasts - broadcasts are now internationally relayed.

Telstar satellite

July 20, first TV transmission from the moon and 600 million people watch.

1973 Giant screen projection TV is first marketed.

1981 1,125 Lines of ResolutionNHK demonstrates HDTV with 1,125 lines of resolution.

1982 Dolby surround sound for home sets is introduced.

1993 Closed captioning required on all sets.

1996 The FCC approves ATSC's HDTV standard. A billion TV sets world-wide.

The Advent of HDTV

High definition television is the highest form of digital television. It has a 16:9 aspect ratio, which is the same as a movie theater screen. This is possibly HD’s biggest selling point. The other is the resolution. High definition is the best available picture on a television. It comes in three different flavors: 720p, 1080i and 1080p.
What do 720p, 1080i and 1080p mean?
High definition programs are encoded with a type of resolution: 720p, 1080i or 1080p. The number stands for the amount of lines embedded within the signal. The letter describes the type of scan the television uses to display the picture. The ‘i’ means interlaced and the ‘p’ means progressive.
Owning a high definition television is just the first step in watching HD content. The second step is to acquire a HD tuner. The tuner is either built into the television or an external set-top box. The set-top boxes can be bought in stores, but most will come from the cable or satellite provider. The third step is to either subscribe to a HD package or buy an antenna for over-the-air reception. Once steps one, two and three are in place then it is up to you to turn to the HD channel to get started watching high definition programming. And, this is only when the signal on the HD channel is delivered in high definition.
What is the future of HDTV?
High definition is expensive to produce and not every production company has access to it, but HD programming does have a bright future on television. The image is so clear that it appears as though you are looking at the image in person. reference.
The debated performance of Plasma vs. LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) screens..
In depth HDTV info, up to 2007.
Electronic waste recycling in Australia.
Flat screen TVs blamed for accelerating global warming.
Most information for the Timeline of this blog was taken from
Most images supplied by Google's Image Search function.
Google's "Image Search" and Copyright Law.

1924/25 First Moving Silhouette Images

Scotsman John Baird used Nipkow's disc (from 1884) to transmit the first moving silhouette images using a mechanical system. Below is an image of a televised human face, probably Baird's.

In 1926, Baird operates a television system with 30 lines of resolution at 5 frames per second.

Today's standard television operates at 480 lines of resolution and a refresh rate of either 24, 30 or 60 frames per second.