Sabtu, 03 April 2010

Things that Clinging on Your Shirt

You might think clothes were an important invention. And they were! But what good would clothes be if they kept falling off our bodies?Read about a few inventions that help us keep our clothes where they belong

In 1893, Whitcomb Judson invented the sliding fastener, or zipper, to replace buttonhooks on shoes. The sliding fastener was not called a zipper until much later, though. In 1923, the Goodrich Company gave the name "Zipper" to boots that closed with a sliding fastener. People were much more charmed by the fastener than by the Zipper boots. Soon, everyone was calling the fastener itself a zipper. And the name stuck.

Walter Hunt never meant to invent the safety pin. But, so the story goes, he owed a man money. The man gave Hunt a piece of wire and offered him $400 for anything he could invent. Hunt twisted the wire into a safety pin. He patented it in 1849, and it is said to have made the man who bought it rich.

The History of Clocks

The word clock is actually related to words that mean "bell" in other languages, for example the Latin clocca, the Middle Dutch clocke, and the Middle German glocke. The earliest, medieval clock towers had no hands to mark the hours. Instead, a bell rang out passing hours.

The earliest, most ancient clocks simply reflected the sky's cycles for people to see. They were giant circles made of stones or other material that marked the passing of seasons and the movement of stars. Many scientist believe that Stonehenge, England's ancient grouping of huge stones, once served as such a "clock". At certain times of the year, the sun and the moon would line up with certain stones. When this happened, the ancient people knew a new season had begun.

No one ever thought about dividing days into equal parts until about 4,000 years ago. It was then that the idea of a 24-hour day was invented, probably by the ancient Babylonians. To measure the hours, they invented the sundial. A sundial is a circle with marks that show the hours between sunrise and sunset. A stem in the middle of the dial throws a shadow on the marks. As the sun travels across the sky, the shadow moves and shows time. But sundials were not always useful. For one thing, they only worked on sunny days.

Then about 3,400 years ago, the Egyptians learned to create cycles that they could use to tell time. They figured out that water flows from a hole in a container at a steady rate. This idea led to the invention of the water clock. In early water clocks, water seeped out a small hole in the bottom of a stone container. Markings on the sides showed the hours. A person could tell time by the amount of water left in the container.

People were using sand clocks by the 1300's. They worked in much the same way as water clocks. The simplest sand clocks were two glasses bulbs connected by a small "neck". Sand poured from the upper bulb to the lower. When all the sand had flowed from the upper bulb, a timekeeper knew that a certain amount of time had passed. Sand clocks that took an hour to empty were called hourglasses.

Then, about 700 years ago, mechanical clocks first appeared in Europe. To mark the passing time, these clocks used rising and falling weights to turn a gear. The gear turned until it triggered the ringing of a bell. Mechanical clocks, like water clocks and sand clocks., measured hours as they passed. But the earliest mechanical clocks really didn't "tell the time". They had no dial or hands-they only gave a signal when an hour had passed. And they didn't even do that very well. The chiming was off by up to fifteen minutes a day.

Time-telling as we know it began in 1656, when Dutch inventor, Christiaan Huygens, developed a pendulum clock. He used the steady motion of a freely swinging pendulum to mark the time. The swinging of the pendulum is a more dependable cycle than dripping water or hanging weights. As a result, the pendulum clock was accurate to within about fifteen seconds a day!

Jumat, 02 April 2010

Ignaz Schwinn (inventor of streamline aerocycle)

A German immigrant to the United States, Ignaz Schwinn, began making bicycles in Chicago in 1895. In 1933, he introduced the balloon tire. It had a separated tube and tire and was a smaller and wider than bicycles tires had been before. Now children could ride bicycles much more easily. Schwinn's sales zoomed from 25,000 bicycles in 1932 in 1936

Thomas Dam (inventor of troll dolls)

Trolls, on the other hand, could take the prize for being the ugliest dolls in history. These dolls are rooted in the folk tales of Denmark. According to Danish legend, the trolls spent their nights burying precious metals and gems. Humans seldom saw the trolls because they lived underground by day, guarding their treasure.

Thomas Dam heard these stories as a child. One year he carved a wooden troll for his daughter. In the 1960's Dam brought vinyl versions of this troll doll to the United States. American kids loved them as much as his daughter had. For a while, American-version trolls with long hair in many different colors were the latest craze. Then the little dolls disappeared from the toy scene, as if they had gone underground with their treasure. They reappeared in the 1990's as popular as ever, and treasured by thousands of children.

Ruth Handler (inventor of Barbie dolls)

Barbie was the idea of Ruth Handler. Handler was co-founder of Mattel toys, and the mother of a young daughter who was more interested in fashions than in baby dolls. While traveling in Europe, Handler saw Lilli, a fashion doll from Germany. Then, she realized what many American girls wanted-a doll that looked like a glamorous teenager with lots of clothes.

Ruth Handler worked with Mattel employees to create an American version of Lilli. Only Handler's employees, who actually sculpted the doll's face and figured out how to make its joints bend, have their names on the patents for the doll. But Handler got to name the doll Barbie after her daughter.

Mattel introduced Barbie and her first line of outfits in 1959. Since then, the company has sold more than 500 million Barbies. She now ranks as the best-selling doll in history

Leonardo Da Vinci (inventor of parachute and chain link for bicycle)

Leonardo was born in 1452 on his father's country estate near the town of Vinci in Italy. It was there, perhaps, that he learned to observe and copy nature. Like many children, he may have kept lizards, crickets, snakes, butterflies, and grasshoppers as pets.
When Leonardo and his father moved to the city of Florence, Leonardo was sent to the workshop of Andrea del Verrocchio, a well painter and sculptor.

In Verrocchio's workshop, Leonardo learned much of the technology known in his day. Technology means ways of getting work done. A painter had to know how to mix colors, known as pigments, for metalworking because figures were made out of metal. Leonardo was interested in everything, well beyond his art!. He jotted down what he learned from reading. He noted what he learned from the great people around him-popes, rulers, and other artists.

However, Leonardo improved most of the ideas that borrowed until the pictures in his notebooks looked like totally new ideas. In many cases, the pictures look like a vision of a future world-the world we know today. Leonardo's notebooks include a drawing of a person with a parachute. Almost 300 years later, in 1783, a Frenchman name Sebastian Lenormand became the first person to float to earth with a parachute.

His sketches of a "flying machine" came well before any gliders or hot air balloons took to the skies. Recently, a picture of a bicycle was found on the back of a page from one of Leonardo's notebooks.In 1490, Leonardo drew designs of a chain link like that used in modern bicycles. Although the first bicycle appeared in 1839, chain links were not used on bikes until nearly forty years later.

Ole Kirk Christiansen (inventor of LEGO)

The story of LEGO building bricks began in 1949 in Denmark. A toymaker, Ole Kirk Christiansen, had just added plastic building bricks to his line of toys. At first, few people bought them, They preferred the traditional wooden toys for which Christiansen's company was known. But Christiansen and his son Godtfred kept improving the bricks and developed the "studs-and-tubes" lock by 1958. Then they produced sets of LEGO bricks for building towns, bridges, and vehicles. Soon, children all over Europe were enchanted with LEGO sets. LEGO building bricks spread far beyond Europe in later years. Some probably ended up right in your home. Today, people who visit the sights at Denmark's Legoland find out how far an inventive builder can go with LEGO building bricks.