Today in History: Siemens born in 1816

Today in History: Siemens born in 1816

German inventor, industrialist and founder of the electrical and telecommunications company Siemens was born on this day, 202 years ago.

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Today in History: First Polaroid Camera unveiled in 1948

Today in History: First Polaroid Camera unveiled in 1948

70 years ago today, the first consumer-friendly, commercial instant camera was introduced to the American market. Polaroid’s model 95 Land Camera was developed by Edwin Land. The American scientist got his idea while vacationing in Mexico in 1944 when he introduced his daughter Jennifer to the basic principles of photography. Inspired by his daughter’s question why the images taken with the camera could not be seen immediately, Land spent his remaining vacation working on a preliminary design and concept for an instant camera. In November 1947, the businessman presented his new invention at the annual meeting of the “American Optical Society.” Although dismissed by most of his peers as a gimmick, the first Polaroid camera hit the market only one year later. By 1956, Polaroid had sold one million instant cameras. Today, that number has grown to over 165 million.

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Today is World Television Day!

Today is World Television Day!

The United Nations General Assembly created this holiday in 1996. The inaugural celebration included the first World Television Forum, where leading media figures from the global community gathered to discuss the significance of television in today’s international issues. World Television Day highlights how communications can facilitate social and cultural development, and encourages cooperation and partnerships in international media. Since its invention in the early 1900s, television has served as a medium for communication, entertainment, and household culture. Source: punchbowl.com

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Today in History: Ludwig Sütterlin dies in 1917

Today in History: Ludwig Sütterlin dies in 1917

101 years ago today, German graphic designer Ludwig Sütterlin (1865–1917) died. Sütterlin created the now famous poster for the Berlin Industrial Exhibition of 1896. The artist is best known, however, for designing the old German handwriting script (Sütterlin script or Sütterlin). In 1911, Sütterlin was commissioned by the Prussian Ministry for Culture to create a modern handwriting script that would set a basis for school children. His script of wide curves and sharp angles was taught in German schools from 1915 to 1941 (it became a national standard in 1934).

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Today in History: Coca-Cola bottle patented in 1915

Today in History: Coca-Cola bottle patented in 1915

103 Years ago today, one of the most famous shapes in the world was patented by the Root Glass Company from Terre Haute, Indiana: the Coca-Cola bottle. While its form has evolved over the years, its shape is almost universally recognized today. The famous bottle has been incorporated in artworks by such renowned artists as Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg and Salvador Dali. Click here for the story behind the bottle, or, here, for a visual timeline.

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History: German scientist discovers X-rays in 1895

History: German scientist discovers X-rays in 1895

On this day in 1895, physicist Wilhelm Conrad Rontgen (1845-1923) becomes the first person to observe X-rays, a significant scientific advancement that would ultimately benefit a variety of fields, most of all medicine, by making the invisible visible. Rontgen’s discovery occurred accidentally in his Wurzburg, Germany, lab, where he was testing whether cathode rays could pass through glass when he noticed a glow coming from a nearby chemically coated screen. He dubbed the rays that caused this glow X-rays because of their unknown nature.

Rontgen’s discovery was labeled a medical miracle and X-rays soon became an important diagnostic tool in medicine, allowing doctors to see inside the human body for the first time without surgery. In 1897, X-rays were first used on a military battlefield, during the Balkan War, to find bullets and broken bones inside patients.

Scientists were quick to realize the benefits of X-rays, but slower to comprehend the harmful effects of radiation. Initially, it was believed X-rays passed through flesh as harmlessly as light. However, within several years, researchers began to report cases of burns and skin damage after exposure to X-rays. Wilhelm Rontgen received numerous accolades for his work, including the first Nobel Prize in physics in 1901, yet he remained modest and never tried to patent his discovery. Today, X-ray technology is widely used in medicine, material analysis and devices such as airport security scanners. Source: history.com

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Today in History: Raymond Savignac born in 1907

Today in History: Raymond Savignac born in 1907

We have always been fascinated with the poster art by Raymond Savignac (1907 – 2002). The French artist began his career in 1935 at the Alliance Graphique under the supervision of Cassandre. He gained fame in 1949 with the publication of his first major poster, Mon Savon. As he states in his autobiography: “I was born at the age of 41, weaned on the udder of the Monsavon cow.” Savignac’s strength was combining a complex concept in a simple design, combined with humor. He is said to be among France’s most influential poster artists of the past fifty years.

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