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Society: ASME Main Category: Mechanical Sub Category: Rail Transportation Era: 1900-1909 DateCreated: 1904 The Transit Museum Brooklyn State: NY Zip: 11201 Country: USA Website: Creator: Belmont, August
Plans to build a rapid transit system in New York were first made in 1831. By 1868 the first elevated railway was erected. As the "El" became crowded, construction of an underground railway was proposed. Ground was broken on March 24, 1900. The original subway, which took opened October 27, 1904, ran 9.1 miles from City Hall to 145th Street and Broadway. The fare was a nickel. Extensions to the Bronx opened in 1905 and to Brooklyn in 1908, completing the first subway.
Image Credit: Courtesy Wikipedia/Adam E. Moreira (CC BY-SA 3.0) Image Caption: Interborough Rapid Trasit System Original Line Era_date_from: 1904
Icing Research Tunnel, NASA Lewis Research Center
Society: ASME Main Category: Mechanical Sub Category: Research and Development Era: 1940-1949 DateCreated: 1944 Glenn Research Center Cleveland State: OH Zip: 44135 Country: USA Website:,-nasa-lewis-research-ce, Creator:

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.

Image Credit: Courtesy NASA Image Caption: Cleveland Mayor, Frank G. Jackson, tours the Icing Research Tunnel Era_date_from: 1944
Hughes Two-Cone Drill Bit
Society: ASME Main Category: Mechanical Sub Category: Minerals Extraction & Refining Era: 1900-1909 DateCreated: 1909 Baker Hughes The Woodlands State: TX Zip: 77380 Country: USA Website:, Creator: 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.

Image Credit: Courtesy ASME Image Caption: Hughes Two-Cone Drill Bit Era_date_from: 1909
Howard Hughes Flying Boat, HK-1
Society: ASME Main Category: Mechanical Sub Category: Air and Space Transportation Era: 1940-1949 DateCreated: 1947 Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum McMinnville State: OR Zip: 97128 Country: USA Website:,-hk-1-%281947%29 Creator: Kaiser, Henry

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).

Image Credit: Public Domain (Federal Aviation Administration) Image Caption: Howard Hughes Flying Boat, HK-1 Era_date_from: 1947
Society: ASME Main Category: Mechanical Sub Category: Water Era: 1850-1859 DateCreated: 1859 Heritage State Park Holyoke State: MA Zip: 01040 Country: USA Website: Creator: Holyoke Water Power Company, Herschel, Clemens
Known as the Paper City by 1877, this site was a major industrial center with extensive paper mills, textile mills, machine shops, and a water power system that had within a few decades transformed the fields of Ireland Parish into the manufacturing city of Holyoke. A group of Boston investors created the system of dams, canals, mills, streets, and boarding houses, which was incorporated as Holyoke in 1850. Built between 1847 and 1892 according to the original plan, the dam and canals provided work for Irish immigrants and the French Canadians, Germans, and other nationalities.
Image Credit: Public Domain (Produced Prior to 1/1/1923) Image Caption: Panoramic of the Holyoke Mills (The American Thread Company) on Holyoke Canal, 1909 Era_date_from: 1859
Holt Caterpillar Tractor
Society: ASME Main Category: Mechanical, Road Sub Category: Agricultural, Road Transportation Era: 1910-1919 DateCreated: 1918 1201 N Pershing Ave Stockton State: CA Zip: 95203 Country: USA Website: Creator: Holt, Benjamin

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.

Image Credit: Public Domain (Copyright Expired) Image Caption: The Holt 75 model gasoline-powered Caterpillar tractor used early in World War I as an artillery tractor. Later models were produced without the front "tiller wheel." Era_date_from: 1918
Society: ASME Main Category: Mechanical Sub Category: Environmental Control Era: 1920-1929 DateCreated: 1920 Hudson River Greenway; Manhattan New York State: NY Zip: Country: USA Website: Creator: Freeman, Milton
The first long underwater tunnel in the world designed for motor vehicle use was built from 1920 to 1927. The 29.5-foot-diameter, 8,500-foot-long twin tubes of this tunnel were shield-driven by the pneumatic method through extremely difficult river-bottom conditions that were overcome by the ingenuity and determination of its engineers, Clifford M. Holland, Milton H. Freeman, and Ole Singstad. They were the largest in the United States when built.
Image Credit: Courtesy Flickr/Bill Benzon (CC BY-SA 2.0) Image Caption: Holland Tunnel Ventilation System Era_date_from: 1920
Society: ASME Main Category: Mechanical Sub Category: Steam Era: 1890-1899 DateCreated: 1895 665 Marietta Street Atlanta State: GA Zip: 30313 Country: USA Website: Creator: William Harris steam engine company
This 350-horsepower Corliss type steam engine is an example of a typical late nineteenth century steam engine. The essential feature of Corliss type engines is the valves that admit steam to and exhaust it from the cylinder. The Corliss valve gear made the engine extremely efficient in steam consumption and was the most efficient system for controlling low to medium speed engines. This particular engine operated for more than eighty years, having been retired not by age but over concern for stack emissions by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The engine was built by the William A.
Image Credit: Public Domain (National Park Service) Image Caption: Harris-Corliss Steam Engine Era_date_from: 1895
Hanford B Reactor
Society: ASME Main Category: Mechanical Sub Category: Minerals Extraction & Refining Era: 1940-1949 DateCreated: 1944 Hanford Site Sunnyside State: WA Zip: 98944 Country: USA Website: Creator: Fermi, Enrico , E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company

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.

Image Credit: Courtesy Flickr/David Lee (CC BY-SA 2.0) Image Caption: Hanford B Reactor Era_date_from: 1944
Victoria Dutch Windmill
Society: ASME Main Category: Mechanical Sub Category: Wind Power Production Era: 1940-1949 DateCreated: 1944 Memorial Park Victoria State: TX Zip: 77901 Country: USA Website:, Creator: Meiss, Fred , Fiek, Otto

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.

Image Credit: Courtesy Wikipedia/Larry D. Moore (CC BY-SA 3.0) Image Caption: German Rocket Era_date_from: 1944
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Westmoreland Iron Works

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…

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Wilkinson Mill

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…

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Corliss steam engine

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.…

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Wright Flyer III

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…

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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…

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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…

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Wright Field 5-foot Wind Tunnel

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…

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Experimental Breeder Reactor I

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 "…

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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…

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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…

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A drive system that keeps the antenna pointed with millimeter precision regardless of factors such as environmental change


The Arecibo…

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The first wave pool in North America to consistently generate 3-5 foot spilling waves suitable for surfing

Big Surf Waterpark uses 15 gates that empty water into a 2.5 acre lagoon with contours…

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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…

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The first funicular to employ a single, two-rail track along its entire length, with a short passing track.


During the period of prosperity throughout Europe known as the Belle Epoque, railway systems saw…

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The oldest and most comprehensive collection of photographic and cinematic technology

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A number of major engineering feats required to complete the tasks for the mission at hand, which were later used in further projects

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LeTourneau "Mountain Mover" Scraper

 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,…

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Pratt & Whitney Wasp A, R-1300 (R-1340)

Aircraft engines, considered unreliable during the first 20 years of aviation due to their need for…

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