The invention of the future. Part 1: 1900-1910

In the first series of essays about the era of the rapid progress in human history we have with the magazine Wired remember how changed our notions of space and time, as was established by the FBI and the invention of forward pass saved football from extinction.

The fact that we love today, tomorrow will be in a landfill. But there are some things that will continue their life in museums and in textbooks. And then there are the people who invented it all.

Wired Magazine set out to capture a retrospective gaze past 12 decades of scientific, technical and socio-cultural progress and each allocated 12 most-most people, places and things — from the first transatlantic radio transmission to mobile phones, from vacuum tubes to microprocessors.

26-year-old Albert Einstein in 1905 (photo by Universal History Archive / Getty Images).



1905: Theory of Relativity

E = m • c?. The most famous equation in the history of physics. It says that matter and energy vzaimoobratimy, that is, in fact, are the forms of each other, and their equivalence is tied to the fundamental constants of the universe — the speed of light.

Appeared in November 1905, the equation was the latest in a series of discoveries made a bold 26-year-old scientist named Albert Einstein. For only one year, this demigod published four works which turned upside down millennial ideas of space, time, light and subatomic world.

After E = m • c? Einstein zamorochitsya our head of the special theory of relativity, in which the speed of light is considered a universal constant, and all other measures are relative to the motion of the observer. Therefore, scientists who overtake one another at superfast spacecraft agree with virtually nothing: they will be appraised in different ways over time, a lot of themselves, and even the length of their ships.

Einstein also published work on Brownian motion, noting that the chips floating in a hot liquid (eg, tea), behave chaotically, as if they are pushing some invisible particles, and thus offering another argument in favor of the existence of atoms, which in 1905 were still theoretical construct. In addition, Einstein gave an explanation of the photoelectric effect (which is the basis of solar energy), for which years later was awarded the Nobel Prize. All together a teaching international recognition and a place among the most brilliant representatives of humanity.

Albert Marsh (photo Cyber Toaster Museum).



1906: heating element toaster

Toast — a key element of breakfast "Western-style" — was a harbinger of the industrial revolution. That was the first toaster appliances that make life easier for the average person.

This made the American inventor from Illinois, Albert Marsh, use the "magic metal" and patented in 1906 by what he called "chromel» (chromel). Four parts and one part nickel chromium — this was the secret of the first measure of durable heating element, which finally allowed to fully take advantage of the consumer is rapidly spreading electricity and paved the way for vacuum cleaners, washing machines, cookers, garage doors and all the character modern — blender.

All these sellers vacuum cleaners that wander from house to house and from office to office, these advertisers are indebted to Marsh. He brought into our homes present.

Bradley Robinson, a player St. Louis University, who had just made a pass forward. (Photo by Saint Louis University Libraries Special Collections.)

1905: forward pass in football

At the beginning of XX century football was a dump of gross giants. Recently invented helmets real men disdain. Pasami almost never used. One team formed a battle formation called the "flying wedge" and the other ran and ran into a united system, trying to break it and get to the ball carrier. Knockouts were common.

In 1905 thus lost (!) 15 players and three school league — college. Of course, And this cruel game was under constant fire of criticism, and as a result universities Harvard, Columbia, Northwestern, Stanford, and California at Berkeley to stop playing. After that, the president intervened.

Theodore Roosevelt, an inveterate fan and a Harvard graduate, who took part in the second game between Harvard and Yale in the history of college football, has pioneered the development of new regulations. So there was a forward pass, which shifted the focus from the mass of players on speed and skill.

The next time you jump on their feet after an assist Peyton Manning, mark old Teddy for what he has given you this game.

"Land battleship" by HG Wells (illustration to the first edition of the story.)

1903: Tank

Tank — such an important part of today's armed forces, it is easy to forget how at the beginning of XX century it was science fiction. In 1903, HG Wells published a creepy tale of a "land battleships» (The Land Ironclads), which immediately became a guide to action. The story is in the name of a war correspondent, who is trying to understand what this mysterious monster. Wells described the edifice as a huge, clumsy insect 25 £ 30 m in length, which went down the flank and longitudinal trenches fire decimated the soldiers stationed there.

When Wells wrote the story, trench warfare was in its infancy. But the writer could predict the main problem of this method of operations: how to cope with the enemy, who all digs and digs, and in response to your dagger maneuvers opens fire. The answer was to be a symbiosis of thick armor and artillery, which is steadily moving forward, protecting the soldiers hidden inside. And in the year of publication of the story, the French army began to implement the idea of a motorized gun, which was decided not to put on the wheels and the tracks — for reliability. Alas, the project is an artillery captain Levavassera died bureaucratic death in 1908, but at the same time, British, Austrian and German military circles are more serious about the prototypes of modern tanks.

In the XX century, war has become mechanized, and all developed countries methods of warfare focused on armored vehicles. U.S. even brought "Abrams" in Iraq, but it turned out that in a guerrilla war in an unfamiliar area, they have nothing to counter improvised mines. That war, apparently, was the beginning of the end of the priority of the "land battleships", which he could not foresee even HG Wells.

Lee De Forest (photo by Hulton Archive / Getty Images).

1907: vacuum tube

Today's computers are based on transistors — tiny semiconductor devices, responsible for the "toe" and "unity." Once engaged in the same large glass cylinders.

Like many of the other devices in the vacuum tube has many fathers — from Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla to John Ambrose Fleming and Robert von Liebenau. But the biggest breakthrough made in 1906 by Lee De Forest, who invented the transistor. Initially it was used for the amplification of sound signals, which contributed to the widespread dissemination of the radio (see below), and also an important milestone on the way to the creation of computers.

It is worth remembering that Edison's light bulb, in fact, was precisely the vacuum tube. But Forest put into not one, not two, but three electrodes, which allowed it to turn into an electrical switch. When changing the voltage that goes to one of the terminals, decreases the current between the other two. Thus the "on" changes to "Off". This is our "unity" and "zeros".

Exactly the same concept behind the transistors. But until they are away — they will appear only in 1947. Therefore, the first computers were the "vacuum-tube", including the famous British "Colossus", by which the Second World deciphered German reports, as well as its successor, American commercial ENIAC. The latter was designed for the needs of ballistic research laboratories, and there were over 18 thousand vacuum tubes.

By the way, in his native town of De Forest — Council Bluffs (Iowa) — Today is a powerful data center corporation "Google", which is very symbolic.

Mercedes 35 (photo Mercedes-Benz).

1901: gasoline "Mercedes"

The era of "horseless carriages" fully launched just in the first decade of the XX century. In 1901 came the first "Mercedes" on petrol and six-liter four-cylinder, 35 liter. with. It was not only one of the most powerful cars of its time, but also one of the easiest and also the most technologically advanced, inlet valves are actuated by cam — unheard of! Individual deserved praise design: Mercedes 35 was smaller, sleeker, and also had a longer wheelbase, making it an unbeatable racer on the first competition held in Europe.

But the best time to buy, no matter how strange, electric cars. Columbia company not only sells the most in the United States in the decade, but also set a speed record for a four-wheeled vehicles with a fully electric car Red Devil. Petrol won only once in 1908, entered the market Ford Model T, has taken America by storm, not least because of the low price.

Photo Eckhard Pecher.

1902: Nintendo goes on the world market

In 1633, the Japanese government banned the playing cards, broke off relations with the Western world. Then the Japanese came up with their own card game called hanafuda. Western suits instead there appeared a beautiful picture. Nintendo was founded in 1889 as a time for the popular "flower cards". In 1902, Japan opened again to trade with the world, and Nintendo was the first company in the country, take a card manufacturer in western style. It has brought us great success and allowed to expand the area of interest to other games. There lay a straight road to electronic toys and video games.

1902: "Journey to the Moon"

In 1902, the French kinogeniyZhorzh Melies took viewers along on the moon. Since our kinovzglyad intently directed towards the sky. It was the first science fiction film, which shows the ship, got the moon in the eye.

Experienced magician Melies endured all that he did, on the screen, becoming a pioneer of special effects. Great teacher is revered to this day: Martin Scorsese paid tribute to him in last year's film "The Keeper of the time."

Leo Hendrik Bakeland (photo 1916).

1907: Bakelite

Bakelite — the world's first hard synthetic plastic — is named after the American inventor Leo Bakelanda, a Belgian immigrant who made a fortune by selling the patent for photo paper company Eastman Kodak. Bakelite has made possible an industry and laid the foundation for the plastic revolution XX century. Invented in 1907, patented in 1909. Before that plastic is flexible like shellac.

With two-meter press Bakeland impregnated wood with a mixture of formaldehyde and carbolic acid, but found a by-product of thermosetting resins more promising — more durable and sustainable, as well as having the property of electrical insulation.

After that Bakelanda elected president some important chemical organizations of the planet, including the National Research Council and the American Chemical Society.

The patent has long expired, but полиоксибензилметиленгликольангидрид we still call Bakelite.

Guglielmo Marconi Wireless Telegraph (photo Universal History Archive / Getty Images).

1910: Radio

At the beginning of XX century, new devices appear one after another. Thus, the universal recognition of the gramophone, which caused the birth of the recording industry. Compact vacuums helped in the fight against dirt on the carpets. But the most influential invention, of course, was the radio.

The first broadcast took place in 1905. Then it's called wireless telegraphy, as messages encoded in Morse code. Devices based on the work of Guglielmo Marconi, Nikola Tesla, and others, are used primarily for communication between ship and shore. Only the invention of the transistor (see above) has turned into a worldwide radio communication system.

Vacuum tube Forest served as an electronic amplifier as follows: two electrodes create a stream of electrons (DC), and the third served as a modulator, strengthening, straightening or adjusting the signal, which is then sent to the receiver (speaker), which converts it into sound. Forest, also coined the term "radio", held the first public radio broadcast, which took place January 12, 1910: in the air sounded opera "Tosca." And there was a revolution of human communication — we are now able to exchange information with the world. Changed and the world of entertainment: The music programs and series. No other device, invented in those years can not be compared with the radio on the cultural effect.

Charles Bonaparte.

1908: foundation FBI

U.S. Attorney General Charles Bonaparte, who was in office when Theodore Roosevelt, in 1908, established the Bureau of Investigation. The organization started with ten secret agents and several investigators of the Ministry of Justice. The FBI service was renamed in 1935.

Does it have a relation to Napoleon? Has! His grandfather was Jerome Bonaparte — the younger brother of the French emperor.

Camera Brownie, the second model.

1900: Kodak Brownie camera

When Brownie came on the market, from a century of amateur photography, it was a just a cardboard box for one dollar with the lens and shutter. By the time George Eastman, founder of Kodak, already being sold roll film and affordable folding cameras that are placed in a coat pocket. Actually, Kodak — the name of the first camera, released by him in 1888. She had a fixed focal length and allowed to make 100 shots, after which it should be sent back to the manufacturer to get photos.

Brownie was named in honor of Brown — little people, cartoon characters Palmer Cox (suspiciously similar to the shorties Nikolay Nosov, led by Dunno). The brand is called, has been promoted, especially among young audiences. The advertising campaign focused on the fact that the machine can handle even a child.

Low price (then the dollar — about $ 30 today) and ease of use ensure the camera popular. Almost every family had the opportunity to stop the moments of her daily life. It was then born the culture of amateur photography, which still guarantees the success of online services such as "Instagrama."

The then manual advised to remove only the first few hours after sunrise or before sunset, and the model should be fully illuminated by the sun. But exposure varied from four seconds to five minutes in the case of poor lighting and shooting indoors. And now we come to the fury of the fact that digital cameras are standard ISO 6400 issued grainy shots when we shoot, so to speak, by candlelight.

Interestingly, the first users recommended Brownie align position of the camera according to the size and proportions of the object. Today's perspective shots where the base of the building seems thicker than its top, it is an error.

For two dollars you can buy not only the camera, but the coil on 117 shots (film 57.15 mm — 2.25 inches), and the right to print photos.

Mark Brownie lasted more than 60 years. Was released more than a hundred models diverged millions series. It was the first of several generations of amateur cameras.

Julius Noybronner and picture aerial view.

Despite the already reached the limit of twelve essays, worth mentioning the pigeon chamber German chemist Julius Noybronnera, patented in 1908. It is equipped with small cameras birds with timer and print the pictures as soon as they return, under the guise of selling postcards. And you say, "UAV!"

Prepared according to Wired.

Category: Science

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