In operation since 1944, the Icing Research Tunnel is the oldest and largest refrigerated icing wind tunnel in the world. Technology developed there enables aircraft to fly safely through icing clouds. Two firsts include the unique heat exchanger and the spray system that simulates a natural icing cloud of tiny droplets.
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.
Better known as the "Spruce Goose," the Howard Hughes Flying Boat was designed and built by Hughes Aircraft Co., to be the largest wood-constructed and the largest wingspan airplane ever built. As Hughes perfected his craft, he added significantly to what is known in areas of large-lift capability and power-boost systems. Originally designated the HK-1 in 1942, it was designed to meet wartime troop and material transportation needs (flying just high enough to evade submarine attacks).
The first practical demonstration of this tractor took place in a peat field on Roberts Island on November 24, 1904, and was patented and in production by December of 1907. The existing machine represents the earliest gasoline-powered track-type tractors that were to help revolutionize agriculture, logging, construction, road building, and transportation around the world. Its design and development is credited to Benjamin Holt (1849-1920), president of the Holt Manufacturing Company of Stockton.
The Hanford B-Reactor was the first plutonium production reactor to be placed in operation. Its success made possible the subsequent development of atomic energy. The research work, engineering, and planning required to make the reactor operate is one of our most advanced achievements. Much of the reactor core, cooling system, shielding, and auxiliary systems were designed by mechanical engineers.
This is an old technology brought here by new immigrants. It represents the beginning of modern life in a hard wilderness. This wind-powered gristmill was built in 1870 by Fred Meiss, Jr., and Otto Fiek near Spring Creek, from parts of the first windmill in the new state of Texas, erected by E.G. Witte. The millstones are the ones Witte imported from Europe and are believed to be one of the earliest sets in the United States to survive.
The history of this foundry, which was the oldest malleable iron company in continuous operation in the United States for many years, was inseparable from that of the small town of Westmoreland, where neighbors and workers kept time by the foundry bell. The firm was founded as Oakhill Malleable…Read More
The Wilkinson Mill, situated on the west bank of the Blackstone River in Pawtucket, was built between 1810 and 1811 by machinist Oziel Wilkinson. Constructed in stone rubble, three and one-half stories high, the mill played a critical role in the history of textile technology, in steam power…Read More
Stationary steam engines, once the prime movers of industry, powered trains, ships, and mills in an age when there was no electric power. By the 19th century, American industry, especially in England, was rapidly outgrowing the capacity of the ater power that had been its principal prime mover.…Read More
The 1905 Wright Flyer III, built by Wilbur (1867-1912) and Orville (1871-1948) Wright, was the world's first airplane capable of sustained, maneuverable flight. Similar in design to their celebrated first airplane, this machine featured a stronger structure, a larger engine turning new "bent-end…Read More
The convenient dry-copying process for printed pages is among the truly revolutionary inventions of the century. In 1937 Chester Carlson, a New York patent attorney, developed the concept of applying an electrostatic charge on a plate coated with a photoconductive material. On November 22, 1938…Read More
Smaller and cheaper than a triple-expansion vertical engine, the horizontal cross-compound pumping engine, Pump No. 2, ran at relatively slow revolutions and was considered the height of engineering from the 1890s to World War I. This pumping engine at the York Water Company was built by the…Read More
Wind tunnel testing of aircraft models is essential to determine aerodynamic parameters such as lift and drag. The 5-foot Wright Field wind tunnel is an early example of the modern wind tunnel, well known from the early 1920s to the late 1950s for its contributions to research and the…Read More
At this facility on 20 December 1951 electricity was first generated from the heat produced by a sustained nuclear reaction providing steam to a turbine generator. This event inaugurated the nuclear power industry in the United States. On 4 June 1953 EBR-I provided the first proof of "…Read More
Referred to as the "catalyst of the Industrial Revolution," textile manufacturing helped to transform the American economy from an agricultural to a manufacturing economy. It led to transitions from human to mechanical power and from wood to metal construction. Population shifts resulted from…Read More
Apollo astronauts who ventured outside of the protective confines of their pressurized capsules faced a number of hazards, among them: exposure to cosmic debris, solar radiation, and surface temperatures that widely varied. The suit also needed to accommodate a wide range of motion to allow the…Read More
With over 300 specimens, the Museum of Engines and Mechanisms of the University of Palermo collectively narrates the evolution of engine technology. This collection of engines, from water-powered devices, through the era of steam and reciprocating engines, to jet turbines, includes engines that…Read More
When Robert G. LeTourneau started moving earth in 1919, he thought that land leveling should require only one man. In 1920, by installing a generator and electric motors, R.G. was able to control the scraper blade from the tractor seat while driving the tractor.
In June 1922,…Read More