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.

Becky Schroeder (inventor of Glo-sheets)

Where do inventive ideas come from? Sometimes they come out of the dark. That happened with Becky Schroeder's Glo-Sheets.
Becky was ten years old when she began experimenting with phosphorescent (Shining with a phosphoric light; luminous without sensible heat) materials, which give off light but not heat. Then she covered an acrylic board with phosphorescent paint.
Acrylic is an especially tough plastic. After Becky exposed the board to light, the paint glowed through one or two sheets of paper in the dark.

Becky patented her invention when she was only twelve. Luckily, her father was a patent lawyer. All together, she got twelve patents for Glo-Sheets and improvements on them.

By 1983, Becky was twenty two and had started a company to market her Glo-Sheets. Doctors have used Glo-Sheets so they can read medical charts or take notes in dim hospital rooms without disturbing their patients. Becky has also sold Glo-Sheets to police departments and the United States Navy.

Earle Dickson (inventor of Band-Aid)


In 1920, While learning to cook, Earle's new wife, Josephine often cut or burned herself in the kitchen. Luckily Earle worked for Johnson & Johnson, a company that made tape and gauze used by doctors.So, whenever Josephine hurt herself, her loving husband taped gauze to her wound.

Earle treated his wife a number of times, only to have the bandage fall off. He became determined to design a ready-to-use bandage that would stay in place and stay clean. That was the need. Now the imagination comes in. Earle thought it over and had a great idea-he would make tape and gauze strips ahead of time. He stuck gauze pads in the middle of pieces of tape. But it occurred to him that the gauze would not be germ-free if left in the open. And the sticky side of the tape would soon dry up.

Earle decided to try using a material called crinoline (a stiff coarse fabric used to stiffen hats or clothing) to cover the sticky side of the tape. It worked. It was easy to remove.
A person Earle worked with convinced him to show his idea to the bosses at Johnson & Johnson. They liked it. Someone else came up with name for Earle's ingenious product, which was a new aid in bandaging. That is why today these handy strips are called Band-Aid Brand Adhesive Bandages

Dreaming of wings

People have dream and wishing they could fly as bird. This dream has inspired many people to invent ways to leave the ground.

In 1783, two brave Frenchmen became the first people to fly. They knew that hot air rises. So they climbed into a basket fastened to a large balloon. They used a fire in an iron pot to heat the air inside the balloon. The balloon rose at least 300 feet (91 meters).Balloons fell short of these early fliers' dreams, though. Balloons drifted with the wind and did not go where the pilots wanted. They wanted to have more control over their flights. So, inventors started looking at birds as a model for a brand new kind of flying machine

In 1799, Sir George Cayley, a British engineer, built a small aircraft with curved wings. It was called a glider because it glided on the air.

Otto Lilienthal, German engineer devoted years to perfecting a glider. Lilienthal piloted his craft by swinging his body from side to side as he hung from its large, lightweight wings.

Meanwhile, Octave Channute, an American engineer, heard about the experiments that Lilienthal was doing. Channute developed a double-winged glider-or biplane-that several pilots flew successfully.

In 1900, people's dreams of flight really started to take off. Two bicycle makers, Wilbur Wright and his brother Orville, began testing a glider near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. Before long, the Wrights worked out a way to control their glider in flight. Then the brothers turned their attention to building a powered glider-an airplane. They tried out different wing shapes. They also discovered that propellers added lift by acting like spinning wings. To turn the propellers, they designed a lightweight gasoline motor. Finally, they finished their plane, named Flyer. In 1903, The Wrights hauled Flyer to Kitty Hawk. There they laid sixty feet (18 meters) of track and placed a wheeled platform on it. Then they set Flyer on the platform.
Orville stretched out on Flyer's lower wing. With its propeller whirring, Flyer rolled along the track. The plane picked up speed and then lifted about ten feet (3 meters) into the air. For the first time , a heavier-than-air machine flew under its own power. The dream of flight had come true!

Rube Goldberg (1883-1970)

Rube Goldberg takes the prize for the all-time nuttiest inventor. But Rube never applied for a patent because his inventions were in his comic strips. Rube's first cartoons appeared in the sports section of the San Fransisco Chronicle. In time, other newspaper began to print them as well.
One of Rube's most popular strips featured Professor Lucifer Butts. The professor dreamed up inventions that made the simplest tasks hilariously complicated. The back scrubber is a good example

How Invention Happen

"If only..." Inventors may begin more daydreams with these two words than any others. "If only I could fly like a bird." "If only I could build a building hundreds of feet high." Inventors don't stop at dreaming, though. They get to work.
Firs of all, Inventors think and think. When they get an idea, they write it down. They read and learn. They do experiments. Sometimes they succeed. Other times they fail. But they never give up. After all this, with a lot of patience and a little luck, a new invention may be born.