Skip to main content

1909

Pilot at College Park
Society: AIAAEra: 1900sDateCreated: 1909College Park AirportCollege ParkState: MDCountry: USAWebsite: https://vtol.org/files/dmfile/AIAAHistoricSite-CollegePark2.pdfCreator: U.S. Army Signal Corps

College Park Airport was founded in 1909 when the Wright Brothers came here to train the first military officers to fly in the givernment's first airplane. The airport is the oldest continuously operated airport in the world, and has come to be known as "The Field of Firsts" due to it being the location of a great number of groundbreaking achievements, such as:

 

 

1909: First woman passenger to fly in the United States

YearAdded:
2003
Image Caption: An early pilot flying a Curtiss aircraft at College Park, 1912
silver dart airborn
Society: AIAAMain Category: Aerospace & AviationSub Category: VehiclesEra: 1900-1909DateCreated: 1909Alexander Graham Bell National Historic SiteBaddeckCountry: CanadaWebsite: https://www.aiaa.org/uploadedFiles/About-AIAA/Governance/GovernanceDocs/AnnualReports/AIAA_AnnualReport_2009-2010.pdfCreator: Bell, Alexander Graham

AIAA designated Baddeck, Nova Scotia as a historic site, providing a plaque to commemorate the centennial of the first powered flight in Canada. On February 23, 1909, piloting the “Silver Dart,” J.A. Douglas McCurdy took off from the frozen surface of Bras d’Or Lake at Baddeck Bay, and flew for close to one kilometer before landing safely on ice. The plane had been created by Mabel and Alexander Graham Bell’s Aerial Experiment Association, formed in 1907 to build and fly experimental aircraft.

Image Caption: The AEA Silver Dart, researched and built by the Aerial Experiment Association (AEA) under Alexander Graham Bell's tutelage in 1908.
Queensboro Bridge
Society: ASCEMain Category: CivilSub Category: BridgesEra: 1900-1909DateCreated: 1909Queensboro Bridge PathLong Island CityState: NYZip: 11101Country: USAWebsite: http://www.asce.org/Project/Queensboro-Bridge/Creator: Lindenthal, Gustav , Hornbostel, Henry

When opened in 1909, the Queensboro Bridge had the two longest steel cantilever spans in the world - 1,182 feet from Manhattan to Blackwell's Island and 984 feet from Blackwell's Island to Queens. These would remain the world's longest cantilever spans until the completion of the Quebec Bridge in 1917. The Queensboro Bridge has an overall length of 3,724.5 feet. It originally carried two elevated railway lines, two trolley lines, six carriage lanes and two pedestrian walkways. 

YearAdded:
2009
Image Credit: Courtesy Flickr/reivax (CC BY-SA 2.0)Image Caption: Queensboro BridgeEra_date_from: 1909
Manhattan Bridge
Society: ASCEMain Category: CivilSub Category: BridgesEra: 1900-1909DateCreated: 1909Manhattan BridgeBrooklynState: NYZip: 11201Country: USAWebsite: http://www.asce.org/project/manhattan-bridge/Creator: Nichols, Othniel Foster , Moisseiff, Leon

When opened in 1909, the 1,470 foot long main span of the Manhattan Bridge was the third longest suspension bridge span in the world, after the nearby Brooklyn and Williamsburg Bridges. The Manhattan Bridge has two 725 foot long suspended side spans for an overall length of 2,920 feet. The bridge deck is supported by 4 main cables of 20.75 inch diameter, each composed of more than 35,000 individual wires. The bridge deck is stiffened by four parallel trusses of 24 foot depth, hinged at the towers.

YearAdded:
2009
Image Credit: Courtesy Flickr/Dave Herholz (CC BY-SA 2.0)Image Caption: Manhattan BridgeEra_date_from: 1909
Hughes Two-Cone Drill Bit
Society: ASMEMain Category: MechanicalSub Category: Minerals Extraction & RefiningEra: 1900-1909DateCreated: 1909Baker HughesThe WoodlandsState: TXZip: 77380Country: USAWebsite: http://www.asme.org/about-asme/history/landmarks/topics-m-z/minerals-extraction-and-refining/-246-hughes-two-cone-drill-bit-%281909%29, http://files.asme.org/MEMagazine/Web/20779.pdfCreator: Hughes Sr., Howard Robard

Prior to 1909 the traditional fishtail bit scraped the rock and quickly dulled in service. The Hughes two-cone bit's revolutionary rolling action crushed hard-rock formations with twin cone-shaped, hardened steel bits, each with 166 cutting edges, revolving on bronze bearings shaped to provide a large surface with reduced friction.

YearAdded:
2009
Image Credit: Courtesy ASMEImage Caption: Hughes Two-Cone Drill BitEra_date_from: 1909
Gunnison Tunnel
Society: ASCEMain Category: CivilSub Category: TunnelsEra: 1900-1909DateCreated: 1909MontroseState: COCountry: USAWebsite: http://www.asce.org/Project/Gunnison-Tunnel/Creator: Bureau of Reclamation

At its completion, the 5.8-mile Gunnison Tunnel under western Colorado's Vernal Mesa was the longest irrigation tunnel in America. It carried water from the Gunnison River to the Uncompahgre Valley to irrigate 146,000 acres of cropland. 

Work on the 30,582-foot tunnel was first performed manually. Adverse geological conditions provided great challenge for this pioneering project. The drilling crews had to deal with clay, sand, shale, and a badly fractured fault zone. 

YearAdded:
1972
Image Credit: Public Domain; Produced prior to 1/1/1923Image Caption: Gunnison TunnelEra_date_from: 1909
Society: ASMEMain Category: MechanicalSub Category: Water TransportationEra: 1900-1909DateCreated: 1909Outboard Marine CorpMilwaukeeState: WIZip: 53218Country: USAWebsite: http://www.asme.org/about-asme/history/landmarks/topics-m-z/water-transportation/-65-evinrude-outboard-motor-%281909%29Creator: Evinrude, Ole
This outboard motor, designed and built by Ole Evinrude (1877-1934) at the Evinrude Motor Company in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, was quickly accepted by the boating public of the United States. Bess Evinrude called the prototype a "coffee grinder," but it moved a boat through water better than the huge steam- or foot-driven motors available in 1907. She encouraged him to build and sell ten, then twenty, soon resulting in the redirection of their automotive equipment business to outboard motors.
YearAdded:
1981
Image Credit: Courtesy Flickr/Mr. T in DC (CC BY-ND 2.0)Image Caption: Evinrude Outboard MotorEra_date_from: 1909
Society: ASMEMain Category: Mechanical, ElectricSub Category: WaterEra: 1900-1909DateCreated: 1909PhoenixState: AZCountry: USAWebsite: http://www.asme.org/about-asme/history/landmarks/topics-a-l/electric-power-production-water/-13-childs-irving-hydroelectric-project-%281909%29Creator: Turner, Lew
Fossil Creek meanders ten miles to the Verde River, dropping some 1,600 feet during its course and, at the turn of the century, enticed miners in the copper-rich Irving area to use a new technology -- hydroelectric power. A seven-mile series of flumes brings the water from a dam below Fossil Spring to the Irving Plant and then to Stehr Lake.
YearAdded:
1976
Image Credit: Original Image: Public Domain (National Park Service)Image Caption: Childs-Irving Hydroelectric ProjectEra_date_from: 1909
Society: AIAAMain Category: Aerospace & AviationSub Category: AviationEra: 1900-1909DateCreated: 1909Flughafendamm 49BremenZip: 28199Country: GermanyWebsite: https://www.aiaa.org/uploadedFiles/About_AIAA/News_Room/Bremen-site-dedication-PR-29Sep2011.pdfCreator: Bremen Senate, Weimar National Assembly

Bremen Airport was founded in 1909. In 1924, German aviation pioneers Henrich Focke and Georg Wulf founded the Focke-Wulf company on the site. On June 26, 1936, Heinrich Focke’s Fw 61, the world’s first fully operational helicopter, made a successful maiden flight at the airport, piloted by Ewald Rohlfs. Other aircraft developed at the site included the Fw 190 fighter plane, and Fa223 helicopter, both used by the German Luftwaffe in World War Two, as well the VAK 191B, an experimental fighter plane with vertical take-off and landing capabilities, developed in the 1970s.

YearAdded:
2011
Image Credit: Courtesy Flickr/Dennis Schmalhausen (CC BY-ND 2.0)Image Caption: An airport baggage car at Bremen AirportEra_date_from: 1909
Subscribe to 1909

We hope you enjoyed this essay.

Please support this 70-year tradition of trusted historical writing and the volunteers that sustain it with a donation to American Heritage.

Donate

Stay informed - subscribe to our newsletter.
The subscriber's email address.