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May 5, 2015 AT 6:00 am

Time travel Tuesday #timetravel a look back at the Adafruit, maker, science, technology and engineering world

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The only reason for time is so that everything doesn’t happen at once. – Albert Einstein


1809 – Mary Kies becomes the first woman awarded a U.S. patent, for a technique of weaving straw with silk and thread.

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Straw weaving was an economically vital industry in America during the 1800s. Women wore straw hats for working in the field. The Patent Act of 1790 opened the door for anyone, male or female, to protect his or her invention with a patent. However, because in many states women could not legally own property independent of their husbands, many women inventors didn’t bother to patent their new inventions. Mary Kies broke that pattern on May 5, 1809. Her patent was signed by President James Madison.

Read more.


1862 – Cinco de Mayo: Troops led by Ignacio Zaragoza halt a French invasion in the Battle of Puebla in Mexico.

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Cinco de Mayo (Spanish for “fifth of May”) is a celebration held on May 5. It is celebrated in the United States and in Mexico, primarily in the state of Puebla, where the holiday is called El Día de la Batalla de Puebla (English: The Day of the Battle of Puebla). Mexican Americans also often see the day as a source of pride; one way they can honor their ethnicity is to celebrate this day.

The date is observed to commemorate the Mexican army’s unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, under the leadership of General Ignacio Zaragoza Seguín. In the United States, Cinco de Mayo is sometimes mistaken to be Mexico’s Independence Day—the most important national holiday in Mexico—which is celebrated on September 16.

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1898 – Elsie Eaves, first female associate member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) is born.

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Elsie Eaves (born May 5, 1898 in Idaho Springs, Colorado) was the first female associate member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and a founding member of the American Association of Cost Engineers (now AACE International; the Association for the Advancement of Cost Engineering).

Elsie Eaves earned her civil engineering degree at the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1920. In 1926 she started working for McGraw-Hill in New York City for the Engineering News-Record Department. In 1927, she was the first woman admitted to full membership to the American Society of Civil Engineers. In 1945, she became the manager of Business News. She was the first woman to be admitted to the American Association of Cost Engineers in 1957. She retired in 1963, but continued practicing as an adviser to the National Commission on Urban Affairs on the subject of housing costs. She also advised the International Executive Service Corps about construction costs in Iran.

In 1974, she received the George Norlin Silver Medal, the highest alumni award given by the University of Colorado and, in 1979, she was the first woman to receive an honorary lifetime membership to the American Association of Cost Engineers. Elsie Eaves died March 27, 1983 in Roslyn, New York.

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1937 – Delia Derbyshire, English keyboard player and composer (White Noise) is born.

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Delia Ann Derbyshire was an English musician and composer of electronic music and musique concrète. She is best known for her electronic realisation of Ron Grainer’s theme music to the British science fiction television series Doctor Who and for her work with the BBC Radiophonic Workshop.

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1961 – The Mercury program: Mercury-Redstone 3: Alan Shepard becomes the first American to travel into outer space, on a sub-orbital flight.

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Mercury-Redstone 3, or Freedom 7 was the first United States human spaceflight, on May 5, 1961, piloted by astronaut Alan Shepard. It was the first manned flight of Project Mercury, the objective of which was to put an astronaut into orbit around the Earth and return him safely. Shepard named his capsule Freedom 7, setting a precedent for the remaining six Mercury astronauts naming their spacecraft. The number 7 was included in the spacecraft name to honor the seven members of NASA’s Astronaut Group 1, the Mercury 7. Shepard and his colleagues felt the name conveyed a sense of teamwork, instead of an individual achievement.

Shepard’s mission was a 15-minute suborbital flight which reached an altitude of 101.2 nautical miles (187.5 kilometers) and traveled a downrange distance of 263.1 nautical miles (487.3 kilometers). It was the third Mercury flight launched with the Mercury-Redstone Launch Vehicle, from Cape Canaveral, Florida, close to the Atlantic Ocean.

During the flight, Shepard observed the Earth and tested the capsule’s attitude control system, turning the capsule around to face its blunt heat shield forward for atmospheric entry. He also tested the retrorockets which would return later missions from orbit, though the capsule did not have enough energy to remain in orbit. After re-entry, the capsule landed by parachute on the Atlantic ocean off the Bahamas. Shepard and the capsule were picked up by helicopter and brought to an aircraft carrier.

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2014 – What is a Stepper Motor? All About Stepper Motors @ The Adafruit Learning System

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Stepper motors are DC motors that move in discrete steps. They have multiple coils that are organized in groups called “phases”. By energizing each phase in sequence, the motor will rotate, one step at a time.

With a computer controlled stepping you can achieve very precise positioning and/or speed control. For this reason, stepper motors are the motor of choice for many precision motion control applications.

Stepper motors come in many different sizes and styles and electrical characteristics. This guide details what you need to know to pick the right motor for the job. Read more.


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