1876 – Thomas Edison receives a patent for his mimeograph.
Thomas Edison received US patent 180,857 for Autographic Printing on August 8, 1876. The patent covered the electric pen, used for making the stencil, and the flatbed duplicating press. In 1880 Edison obtained a further patent, US 224,665: “Method of Preparing Autographic Stencils for Printing,” which covered the making of stencils using a file plate, a grooved metal plate on which the stencil was placed which perforated the stencil when written on with a blunt metal stylus.
The word mimeograph was first used by Albert Blake Dick when he licensed Edison’s patents in 1887.
1901 – Ernest Lawrence, American physicist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate is born.
Ernest Orlando Lawrence was a pioneering American nuclear scientist and winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1939 for his invention of the cyclotron. He is also known for his work on uranium-isotope separation for the Manhattan Project, as well as for founding the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
A graduate of the University of South Dakota and University of Minnesota, Lawrence obtained a PhD in physics at Yale in 1925. In 1928, he was hired as an associate professor of physics at the University of California, becoming the youngest full professor there two years later. In its library one evening, Lawrence was intrigued by a diagram of an accelerator that produced high-energy particles. He contemplated how it could be made compact, and came up with an idea for a circular accelerating chamber between the poles of an electromagnet. The result was the first cyclotron.
Lawrence went on to build a series of ever larger and more expensive cyclotrons. His Radiation Laboratory became an official department of the University of California in 1936, with Lawrence as its director. In addition to the use of the cyclotron for physics, Lawrence also supported its use in research into medical uses of radioisotopes. During World War II, Lawrence developed electromagnetic isotope separation at the Radiation Laboratory. It used devices known as calutrons, a hybrid of the standard laboratory mass spectrometer and cyclotron. A huge electromagnetic separation plant was built at Oak Ridge, Tennessee, which came to be called Y-12. The process was inefficient, but it worked.
After the war, Lawrence campaigned extensively for government sponsorship of large scientific programs, and was a forceful advocate of “Big Science”, with its requirements for big machines and big money. Lawrence strongly backed Edward Teller’s campaign for a second nuclear weapons laboratory, which Lawrence located in Livermore, California. After his death, the Regents of the University of California renamed the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory after him. Chemical element number 103 was named lawrencium in his honor after its discovery at Berkeley in 1961
1950 – Ken Kutaragi, Japanese businessman, created PlayStation, is born.
Ken Kutaragi is the former Chairman and Group CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment (SCEI), the video game division of Sony Corporation, and current president and CEO of Cyber AI Entertainment. He is known as “The Father of the PlayStation”, and its successors and spinoffs, including the PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable, and the PlayStation 3.
He had also designed the sound processor for the Super NES. With Sony, he designed the VLSI chip which works in conjunction with the PS1’s RISC CPU to handle the graphics rendering. Kutaragi was closely watched by financial analysts who trace profiles of the losses and profits of the Sony Corporation.
1973 – Ilka Agricola, German mathematician is born.
Ilka Agricola is a German mathematician who deals with differential geometry and its applications in mathematical physics. She is dean of mathematics and computer science at the University of Marburg, where she has also been responsible for making public the university’s collection of mathematical models.
Today is a sad day and a very happy day here at Adafruit. We have donated our first pick and place machine (MDC 7722FV) to the New York City Hackerspace, NYC Resistor. It’s odd to say we will miss a machine, but we do, we’re sure there are many makers that also feel this way about their equipment, it’s very possible to be very fond of a machine and have feelings for it.
Adafruit doesn’t have funding or loans, the purchase of our first pick and place was a really big deal for us. We sacrificed a lot, saved and saved until we could afford it and paid for it in full. It was the most expensive thing we ever purchased in our lives. We worked hard to teach ourselves how to use it and we were able to get Adafruit to an $8m company with just this pick and place in our apartment/live-work space. 4 years later we now have our new Samsung Techwin SMT SM482.
We didn’t want to sell the machine, we wanted to give it to someone (or some group) that celebrates sharing, learning and open source. We also think hackerspaces have the potential to become the next manufacturing hubs in cities, we think we can help that process happen by donating this machine to a hackerspace. NYC Resistor is not a non-profit, we’re straight up giving this to them and we’re really excited to see what cool hardware and businesses may come out of having access to this machine.
Last year on this date we launched AdaBox, our quarterly subscription service. We now offer Adabox in Canada and box 5 will go out next! Check out more about AdaBox and sign up here.