History minor

Jamie Gundlach: Revolutionizing Historical Inventions -

  • Jan 1, 1532

    The Hartman Astrolabe - Part I

    The Hartman Astrolabe - Part I
    How to Use a AstrolabeGeorge Hartmann created the Hartman Astrolabe in the year of 1532 (McCarthy).There have been a few different designs that had previously been made of the astrolabe before Hartmann had designed it. Astronomers and navigators typically used this device in the old days and with new designs that have come out they continue to be used. The astrolabe is a tool that is able to predict where the stars, moon, sun, and other planets are in the sky (Astrolabe).
  • Jan 2, 1532

    The Hartman Astrolabe - Part II

    The Hartman Astrolabe - Part II
    This device allows the people to navigate and explore using the sky as their map and the Astrolabe as their tool. The benefits of this device are that they could track where they are going and avoid getting lost. The Astrolabe is a technology that advanced our mapping system.
  • The Microscope - Part I

    The Microscope - Part I
    “A microscope is an instrument used to produce enlarged images of small objects” (Microscope). People first realized that objects seen through water appeared to be larger (Microscope). “The earliest simple microscopes consisted of a drop of water captured in a small hole in a piece of wood or metal (Microscope). The compound microscope came out in 1590 and was designed by father and son Hans Janssen and Zacharias Janssen (Microscope).
  • The Microscope - Part II

    The Microscope - Part II
    “These compound microscopes consisted of pairs of lenses held in a small metal tube and looked much like modern kaleidoscopes” (Microscope). The microscope allowed for discovery and advancement in the science and medical feild. They now knew more about viruses and diseases. The microscope is a very essential and important tool that we use today. Though our microscopes have advanced to computerized microscopes they are still designed off of the concept that Hans and Zacharias Janssen created.
  • The Mariner's Compass - Part I

    The Mariner's Compass - Part I
    The Mariner’s Compass was invented in the year 1594 (McCarthy). The Mariner's Compass made a huge impact on travel allowing for a better sense of direction. This device would tell you which direction you are heading based off of "parallel magnetic needles permanently attached to a card marked to indicate direction and degrees of a circle" (Mariner’s Compass). This device allowed for there to be travel and discovery without the troubles of getting lost.
  • The Mariner's Compass - Part II

    The Mariner's Compass - Part II
    If the compass hadn’t been invented who knows America may have never been discovered let alone would they be able to find it again. The compass is still around today, the old fashioned ones and the ones available on our cars and our smart phones allowing us to get navigation right from our phone or car itself.
  • The Pascaline - Part I

    The Pascaline - Part I
    History Behind The Pascaline & How it WorksThe first known tool of calculation is called the Abacus. “The Abacus consists of a wooden frame, rods, and beads. The rods represent place values and the beads represent a number allowing for addition and subtraction by moving beads around” (Martinson). “Blaise Pascal, a French scientist and philosopher, developed in 1642 the Pascaline, a machine capable of adding and subtracting numbers” (Calculator). The Pascaline worked by moving numbered wheels that would be connected to gears (Calculator).
  • The Pascaline - Part II

    The Pascaline - Part II
    The machine continued to get updated by other scientists and mathematicians that created one that could multiply, and then divide. The Pascaline advanced our science and mathematic world creating the desire to learn and teach. We now have little hand held computers that can calculate pretty much anything for us and can graph it too.
  • The Typewriter - Part I

    The Typewriter - Part I
    In 1714 Henry Mill received a patent for the idea of the typewriter “an Artificial Machine or Method for the Impressing or Transcribing of Letters Singly or Progressively one after another, as in Writing, whereby all Writings whatsoever may be Engrossed in Paper or Parchment so Neat and Exact as not to be distinguished from print” (Typewriter). The idea of having a machine that could write for you had been around for years, but it took many years for a machine to actually come alive.
  • The Typewriter - Part II

    The Typewriter - Part II
    Christopher Latham Sholes created the first machine that was successful in 1868 (Typewriter). The machines had some defects and had to be redesigned once again, but it still was a successful machine at the time. In 1872 the key arrangement that we still use today had been designed so that way you can type fast without having interference (Typewriter). The typewriter allowed for there to be printed documents and the idea of having something that could write so "Neat and Exact" finally came true.
  • The Lightning Rod - Part I

    The Lightning Rod - Part I
    Explanation of Franklin's Bell and The Lightning RodAs many of us know Benjamin Franklin was the one who invented the lightening rod in the year of 1752 (Benjamin Franklin). Benjamin Franklin was always interested by the idea of electricity and conducted many scientific experiments. Back in the days many houses were burnt down due to lightning strikes and the lightning rod was able to change that.
  • The Lightning Rod - Part II

    The Lightning Rod - Part II
    There would be a rod attached to the top of the house followed by a long line of wire attached to another rod that would be buried 10 feet into the ground (How Lightening Works). This would reroute the electricity into the ground, rather than the house. Benjamin Franklin revolutionized the science world with the discovery of electricity. The find of electricity was the starting point for many more inventions that were to come!
  • The Sextant - Part I

    The Sextant - Part I
    How a Sextant Works
    John Bird first made this navigation instrument called the Sextant in 1757 (Moskowitz). "This instrument was used to measure angular distances used especially in navigation to observe altitudes of celestial bodies" (Sextant). This device allowed someone to find his or her latitude and longitude by using angles with the sun and the horizon (How a Sextant Works).
  • The Sextant - Part II

    The Sextant - Part II
    Many navigators and adventurers looking to discover new land used the Sextant during their endeavors. This Sextant advanced our technology when it came to travel and discovery greatly. Our maps and globes today are labeled by latitude and longitude and this tool allows us to pin point a specific location and enables us to refer back to it. The link above shows you further explanation on how a sextant works!
  • The Spinning Jenny - Part I

    The Spinning Jenny - Part I
    A Working Spinning Jenny (Sorry No Sound)James Hargreaves invented the Spinning Jenny in the year of 1764. The Spinning Jenny would spin cotton into threads that could later be used for weaving, which could then be turned into cloth (The Spinning Jenny). "The machine used eight spindles onto which the thread was spun, so by turning a single wheel, the operator could now spin eight threads at once" (The Spinning Jenny).
  • The Spinning Jenny - Part II

    The Spinning Jenny - Part II
    The invention of the Spinning Jenny allowed for a much faster manufacturing process, speeding up the process a total of eight times. The Spinning Jenny benefited the textile mills greatly and allowed businesses to turn a higher profit due to the faster manufacturing process. The Spinning Jenny also inspired other inventions such as the Cotton Gin.
  • The Steam Engine - Part I

    The Steam Engine - Part I
    How a Steam Engine WorksJames Watt invented the Steam Engine in the year 1778 (McGerr, Pg. 263). The Steam Engine was this powerful device that could creat power and energy. Do to the power and the energy the engine inspired many more inventions that would revolutionize the ability to travel and discover the world much faster. The engine could be used for multiple things; the most popular were the steamboat and the steam locomotive.
  • The Steam Engine - Part II

    The Steam Engine - Part II
    These two inventions based off of the steam engine allowed the people to travel on land and on water at a much faster and much safer rate. Not only did the steam engine allow for travel for the people, but also the steam engine allowed for the goods to be transported quickly and efficiently, which allowed for economic growth and expansion (McGerr, Pg. 264).
  • The Steamboat - Part I

    The Steamboat - Part I
    The Steamboat was beginning to come alive in the year 1787. “In 1787 James Rumsey built a boat propelled by a jet stream and John Fitch designed a steam powered paddle boat” (McGerr, Pg. 264). In 1790 a passenger ferry started running and in 1807 Robert Fulton and Robert Livingston had a trial run for the North River Steamboat Clermont (McGerr, Pg. 264). The Steamboat allowed them to not only go down a river but also up a river.
  • The Steamboat - Part II

    The Steamboat - Part II
    The ability to go upstream allowed for there to be a link between the Northern and the Southern regions (McGerr, Pg. 264). This link also made and formed them into an integrated economic system. This connection allowed for the economy to grow greatly. These Steamboats were fairly common by 1817 and they were also relatively cheap to own and operate (McGerr, Pg. 264).
  • The Cotton Gin - Part I

    The Cotton Gin - Part I
    A Working Cotton GinEli Whitney invented the Cotton Gin in the year 1793 (McGerr, Pg. 262). This invention made a significant boost to the American commercial agriculture and the English textile mills. The Cotton Gin would separate the cotton and would clean the cotton without having to have someone separate it by hand. Cotton was a very valuable source in the South and the Cotton Gin allowed for a faster manufacturing process much like the Spinning Jenny.
  • The Cotton Gin - Part II

    The Cotton Gin - Part II
    “Instead of only being able to clean a pound of cotton a day, they were now able to clean fifty pounds of cotton in a day” (McGerr, Pg. 262). Cotton became a cash crop since it was easy to grow and process (McGerr, Pg. 262). By creating a device that would separate the cotton for you rather than having to do it by hand also helped when it came to slave labor.
  • The Voltaic Pile - Part I

    The Voltaic Pile - Part I
    A Replication of a Voltaic PileMany scientists conducted thousands of experiments when it came to trying to create a “battery” that could sustain electricity. Alessandro Volta was a Italian physicist who had a strong curiosity when it came to electricity. He started researching and experimenting since 1769 at the age of 24 (Alessandro). “Alessandro Volta did in fact invent the electric battery, or “voltaic pile,” thus providing for the first time a sustained source of current electricity” (Alessandro).
  • The Voltaic Pile - Part II

    The Voltaic Pile - Part II
    “Volta after strenuous research and experimentation determined that electrical force was generated when a metal was in contact with a fluid” (Scratch). With this information the first battery was made in 1800 (Scratch). Volta’s invention created even more interest in the science field and created a desire to create modern applications of electricity.
  • The Printing Press - Part I

    The Printing Press - Part I
    Johannes Gutenberg designed the first printing press. A printing press is a machine that transfers ink onto paper. Gutenberg’s first design was a wooden press. In 1803 Earl Stanhope invented the first hand press with an iron frame (History of The Printing Press). The wooden press worked great at the time; however, with how popular the newspaper and the interest to learn grew the wooden press couldn’t keep up. The new design of the hand press with an iron frame allowed for more production.
  • The Printing Press - Part II

    The Printing Press - Part II
    The iron frame was a much stronger and reliable printing press than the wooden press (History of The Printing Press). The press that Stanhope designed allowed for once again a better more efficient production rate. The concept of the printing press continued to advance even further since Stanhope’s design.
  • The Dictionary - Part I

    The Dictionary - Part I
    Noah Webster published the first truly American Dictionary in 1806. “He believed fervently in the developing cultural independence of the United States, a chief part of which was to distinctive American language with its own idiom, pronunciation, and style” (Noah Webster). The first dictionary was called A Compendious Dictionary of the English Language (Noah Webster).
  • The Dictionary - Part II

    The Dictionary - Part II
    Noah Webster went on to write many more dictionaries, and books, he wanted to educate the people and that he did. In 1828 Webster published another dictionary called An American Dictionary of the English Language (Noah Webster). “This dictionary had 70,000 entries that was felt by many to have surpassed Samuel Johnson’s 1755 British masterpiece not only in scope but in authority as well” (Noah Webster). The dictionary has made a huge impact on society allowing people educate themselves!
  • The Match - Part I

    The Match - Part I
    “A match is a small stick whose chemically coated tip bursts into flame when struck on a rough surface” (Match). Before the match had been invented the process of creating fire was to rub continuously, creating friction between wood and rocks as well as other materials. This process is very long and takes time and concentration, although it is a great method when a match or lighter isn’t in reach. During the 18th century scientists began wondering how they could cause ignition due to chemicals.
  • The Match - Part II

    The Match - Part II
    “In 1827 John Walker and Charles Sauria created the first friction match” (Match). “It wasn’t until 1836 that a safe, cheap modern match was patented” (Match). The modern design used non-toxic chemicals rather than some toxic chemicals. The match was a scientific discovery due to experimentation and the growing knowledge of the science field.
  • The Mechanical Reaper - Part I

    The Mechanical Reaper - Part I
    Cyrus McCormick & the Mechanical ReaperCyrus McCormick invented the Mechanical Reaper after taking over his fathers farm and design plans in 1831. The design was originally his fathers and passed it onto his son Cyrus. The father Robert McCormick had been working on the project for sixteen years prior to Cyrus McCormick (Cyrus McCormick). “The Mechanical Reaper was another significant agricultural invention that revolutionized farming” (Cyrus McCormick).
  • The Mechanical Reaper - Part II

    The Mechanical Reaper - Part II
    Much like the Cotton Gin the Mechanical Reaper allowed for a much faster way to farm and allowed the process to be done by a machine rather than by hand. This allowed for a higher cash flow and made more crops cash crops. The design of the Mechanical Reaper has been tweaked since McCormick’s design, but the concept is still used today by many farmers.
  • The Telegraph - Part I

    The Telegraph - Part I
    How a Telegraph WorksThe Telegraph was invented by Samuel Morse and was beginning to be developed during the 1830’s to the 1840’s (Morse Code & The Telegraph). It wasn’t until 1844 that Samuel Morse sent the first telegraph message (McGerr, Pg. 391). The message was sent from Washington D.C. to Baltimore Maryland (Morse Code & The Telegraph). “The Telegraph works by transmitting electrical signals over a wire laid between stations” (Morse Code & The Telegraph).
  • The Telegraph - Part II

    The Telegraph - Part II
    At this time the Telegraph revolutionized long-distance communication. The telegraph was a way of communicating between one another more effectively rather than sending letters and waiting for weeks to get a reply. We no longer use the telegraph anymore due to many other technological advances like the telephone and the computer; however, the Telegraph made a huge impact on communication. The fact that you could send information quickly from long distances quick and efficent was amazing!
  • The Sewing Machine - Part I

    The Sewing Machine - Part I
    Elisa Howe invented and patented the first practical sewing machine in the year 1846. “At first the sewing machine didn’t catch a lot of attention so he moved back to England to perfect it for use with leather and similar materials” (Elias Howe Biography). Howe then returned back to America the following year and found that Isaac Singer had invented a sewing machine of his own. Singer’s design was effective and popular by the time Howe returned from England.
  • The Sewing Machine - Part II

    The Sewing Machine - Part II
    Howe having a patent was then able to sue Isaac Singer for his rights in 1854 (Elisa Howe Biography). Both Howe and Singer revolutionized the garment industry making a very valuable and beneficial machine. The sewing machine alllowed for a much faster process to create garments and created a new industry that grew rapidly.
  • The Bessemer Process - Part I

    The Bessemer Process - Part I
    “The Bessemer process was the first method for making steel cheaply and in large quantities, developed during the early 1850’s” (Gale Encyclopedia). Henry Bessemer was a British engineer who invented the process. William Kelly also developed it in the United States and received a patent in 1857 (Gale Encyclopedia). “ The Bessemer process is an industrial process for the manufacture of steel from molten pig iron” (The Columbia Encyclopedia).
  • The Bessemer Process - Part II

    The Bessemer Process - Part II
    The process allowed for a mass production of steel making the discovery and invention of the Bessemer Process very important and created a thriving steel industry in the United States (Gale Encyclopedia). Steel was and is a very important material, it was used primarily for railroads in the 1850’s, and for cars once they were invented.
  • The Pullman Sleeping Car - Part I

    The Pullman Sleeping Car - Part I
    George M. Pullman established the Chicago-based Pullman Palace Car Company in 1867 (Pullman). This business dealt with manufacturing cars for passenger railway. He designed the Sleeping Car, which offered individual sleeping areas for passengers during their long travels. Prior to this car passengers had to sleep next to strangers etc. Now having a higher-class car they were able to offer different prices and created a coach section and a first class section.
  • The Pullman Sleeping Car - Part II

    The Pullman Sleeping Car - Part II
    With this new option of travel it also allowed for there to be longer distances that could be traveled with passengers. “The Pullman company was known as the safe and luxurious travel by rail” (Pullman). “Not only did the Pullman company have a good reputation, but due to them constructing, owning and operating a vast fleet of cars they virtually had a monopoly over the sleeping car business” (Pullman).