Understand the Electron and Its Environment, and the Doors of Technology Will Open for You.

— Tommy Cichanowski —
An Overview of Today's Science.         A Century of Giants   The Great Men         Today's Advanced Materials.

Tommy's History of "Western Technology"

700 B.C.   1600   1725   1800   1850   1900   1950  

The Foundation Years   The Era of Giants   The Communications Era

The Vacuum Tube Era   The Transistor Era   The Integrated Circuit Era

Based on the bicentennial issue of

Electronic Design
for engineers and engineering managers

Vol 24, number 4 — Feb. 16, 1976
© 1976 – Hayden Publishing Company Inc.
50 Essex St.   Rochelle Park, NJ   07662

Historical Time Line

"Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it."
"If our understanding of our ancestors is distorted,
we cannot begin to know who we are let alone build on our ancestral heritage."

  • Babylonians destroy the Assyrian capital of Nineveh.
  • Tholes of Miletus observes the attraction of light to rubbed amber.
  • 535 A.D.
  • The "Dark Ages" begin when the volcano Krakatoa explodes, reducing daylight to 4 hours per day and affecting crop growth for 10 years.   Most Ancient Knowledge is Lost to the West.
  • 1600
  • William Shakespeare writes "Hamlet," "Othello," "Macbeth," "Henry V," "King Lear," "Twelfth Night" and other plays.
  • William Gilbert publishes the definitive work on magnetism, "De Magnate."
  • 1650
  • Otto von Guericke builds the first frictional electric machine.
  • 1691
  • Salem, Massachusetts exorcises its "witches." Ergot poisoning implicated in the bizarre behavior.
  • 1725
  • John Peter Zenger acquitted in famous freedom-of-the-press trial.
  • Stephen Gray discovers that electricity can be transmitted.
  • Charles Dufay splits electricity into two kinds: vitreous and resinous.
  • 1745
  • British and American colonials fight the French in King George's War.
  • E.G. von Kleist and Pieter van Musschenbroeck independently invent the Leyden jar.
  • 1750
  • America and Great Britain adopt the Gregorian calendar.
  • French and Indian War begins.
  • Benjamin Franklin files a kite in a thunderstorm to prove the equivalency of electricity and lighting.
  • 1780
  • Franz Joseph Haydn composes his famous Quartets.
  • Luigi Gaivani notices that an electrical spark causes contractions in the leg muscle of a frog.
  • 1800
  • Ludwig van Beethoven completes his First Symphony — the C major.
  • Alessandro Volta invents the first battery the – voltaic pile – and revolutionizes the study of electricity.
  • 1819
  • Missouri Compromise limits slavery in America.
  • Monroe Doctrine declared.
  • Hans Christian Oersted discovers electromagnetism.
  • Andrè Ampère and Georg Ohm propound their great laws.
  • 1830
  • Joseph Smith founds the Mormon Church.
  • Slavery outlawed in the British Empire.
  • Joseph Henry and Michael Faraday independently discover electromagnetic induction and the generation of electricity by magnetism.
  • 1835
  • Battle of the Alamo.
  • Opium Wars break out between China and Britain.
  • Samuel Morse invents the first practical telegraph.
  • 1839
  • Charles Darwin publishes his "Voyage of the 'Beagle'."
  • Karl Friedrich Gauss Publishes his theory of "forces attracting according to the inverse square of the distances."
  • 1841
  • The Preemption Act legalizes "squatting" on Western lands of the U.S.
  • Arc lights are demonstrated for the first time in the streets of Paris.
  • 1844
  • Alexandre Dumas writes "The Three Musketeers. "
  • Samuel Morse transmits the first message with a demonstration telegraph line, between Washington and Baltimore.
  • 1847
  • Gold is discovered in California.
  • George Boole establishes the foundation of computer operation in his "Mathematical Loqic."
  • 1848
  • Cyrus McCormick invents the reaper, which turns wheat farming into big business.
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science founded at Philadelphia.
  • 1849
  • Antonio Meucci   The True Father of Telephony, sends voice over wires and then creates the first phone system.
  • 1850
  • The Compromise Act is passed by Congress to relieve tensions between the North and South.
  • Heinrich Helmholtz determines the speed of the nervous impulse.
  • 1851
  • Herman Melville writes "Moby Dick."
  • Charles & Page makes a 19–mph trip from Washington to Bladensburg, MD, on his electric locomotive.
  • 1858
  • Col. E. L Drake devises a method of deep–well drilling and strikes oil.
  • Michael Faraday supervises the installation of Alliance dynamos for the first arc lights in English lighthouses.
  • 1861
  • Louis Pasteur develops the germ theory of disease.
        Sending us down the Wrong Path
  • Johann Philipp Reis builds the first telephone in Germany.
  • Joseph Wilson Swan invents the first incandescent lamp in the U.S.
  • 1863
  • Abraham Lincoln delivers the Gettysburg address.
  • Henry Wilde begins research that leads to the first practical generator.
  • 1865
  • Lincoln is assassinated.
  • A second attempt to lay an Atlantic cable fails after 1186 miles have been paid out. Cost $3-million.
  • 1866
  • Alfred Nobel invents dynamite.
  • Cyrus Field lays the first successful Atlantic Cable.
  • 1869
  • Railroad service is established between the East and the West Coasts.
  • The first gas–heated thermo–electric battery is developed in France.
  • 1873
  • Joseph Glidden produces the barbed wire fence and changes the development of the American West.
  • The first demonstration of the transmission of mechanical power through electrical means.
  • Maxwell publishes his treatise on the theory of electromagnetic radiation.
  • 1876
  • General George Custer's last stand brings a public demand for the end of the "Indian menace."
  • Alexander Graham Bell develops his "practical telephone".
  • Thomas A. Edison invents the phonograph.
  • 1879
  • Thomas Alva Edison and J. W. Swan independently invent the carbon–filament lamp.
  • Albert Einstein is born.
  • James Clerk Maxwell dies.
  • 1880
  • Jacques and Pierm Curie discover the piezoelectric effect, later applied to control the frequency of oscillators.
  • Edwin H. Hall discovers the Hall Effect, whereby a magnetic field can deflect current carriers in semiconductors.
  • Edison installs electric street lighting in New York City.
  • 1881
  • President James A. Garfield is assassinated.
  • The Panama Canal, operated by electricity, is completed.
  • 1882
  • Prof. Amos E. Dolboar patents a wireless communications apparatus.
  • 1883
  • The Metropolitan Opera is founded in New York City.
  • Edison discovers the Edison Effect in which a hot filament in a vacuum emits electrons to an adjacent conductor.
  • 1884
  • Mark Twain's "Huckleberry Finn" is published.
  • Paul Nipkow patents the television scanning disc, the basic device used in early mechanical TV systems.
  • 1885
  • The Brooklyn Bridge is completed.
  • The Statue of Liberty is unveiled.
  • Sir William H. Preece demonstrates induction "wireless" communications.
  • First electric street railway in U.S. opens in Baltimore.
  • 1886
  • Heinrich Hertz proves experimentally that "electric" waves and light waves are identical.
  • Edison patents carbon microphone, which vastly improves telephone service.
  • Alternating current is first used in America for a commercial 114 Hz lighting system.
  • 1887
  • Giussepe Verdi writes the opera "Otello." Dr. A. Conan Doyle's first Sherlock Holmes story is published.
  • Edison Phonograph Co. formed; Volta Graphophone Co. manufactures records based on wax recordings.
  • 1888
  • Nikola Tesla invents the AC induction motor.
  • Westinghouse manufactures it.
  • Columbia Phonograph Co. is organized by Edward D. Easton.
  • 1889
  • Auguste F. Rodin finishes his sculpture, "The Thinker."
  • Eiffel Tower in Paris is completed.
  • 1890
  • First "tube" railway passes beneath the Thames.
  • First execution by electrocution, at Auburn, NY.   60 Hz A.C. Used
  • Prof. Edouard Branly in France develops the coherer, used by Marconi to detect Hertzian waves.
  • Johnstone Stoney first introduces the term "electron."
  • Nikola Tesla patents the Tesla Coil for the production of high–voltage and high–frequency oscillations.
  • 1892
  • Henei de Toulouse–Lautrec paints his famous "At the Moulin Rouge."
  • Sir William Preece signals across the Bristol Channel by induction.
  • The General Electric Co. forms by merger.
  • 1893
  • Hawaii is annexed to the U.S.
  • Nikola Tesla lectures at the Franklin Institute on his plan for wireless power transmission.
  • The International Electrical Congress at Chicago adopts the "henry" as the unit of electrical inductance.
  • 1894
  • Alfred Dreyfus is framed on treason charges in France.
  • Edison's Kinetoscope given first public showing in New York City.
  • 1895
  • Guglielmo Marconi communicates via wireless signals near Bologna. Italy.
  • Alexander S. Popov claims to have sent wireless signals 600 yards.
  • 1896
  • Eldridge R. Johnson makes phonographs in his Camden, NJ, machine shop, registers the trademark "Victor."
  • Marconi sends wireless signals two miles at Salisbury Plain, England.
  • Frank L Capps develops a constant–speed spring–motor drive for phonographs.
  • 1897
  • The discovery of gold in the Yukon leads to the Klondike gold rush.
  • Marconi demonstrates ship–to–shore wireless.
  • Karl Ferdinand Braun constructs first cathode-ray oscilloscope.
  • 1898
  • Admiral Dewey destroys Spanish fleet at Manila.
  • H. G. Wells writes "The War of Worlds."
  • The Paris subway becomes operational.
  • The Zeppelin is invented.
  • Pierre and Marie Curie discover radium and polonium.
  • First paid radio message is sent.
  • 1899
  • Aspirin is invented.
  • Sound Is first recorded on magnetic wire.
  • Marconi comes to the U.S. to wireless bulletins of the American Cup races.
  • 1900
  • Max Planck proposes the quantum theory.
  • Sir Oliver Heaviside and Prof. Arthur E. Kennelly suggest existence of a reflecting medium for radio waves in the upper levels of the atmosphere.
  • Michael Pupin invents the loading coil, which improves long–line telephony.
  • Marconi files for patent on "tuned," or synchronized system of wireless.
  • William O. Ouddel discovers that an arc can be made to produce continuous oscillations.
  • Prof. Reginald A. Fessenden first transmits speech by wireless.
  • Nikola Tesla describes the principles of radar as reflected radio waves.
  • 1901
  • Queen Victoria dies.
  • DeForest Wireless Telegraph Co. is organized, forerunner of the audion tube development.
  • Marconi picks up first transatlantic wireless message.
  • 1902
  • President William McKinley assassinated.
  • Prof. R. A. Fessenden introduces the electrolytic detector.
  • 1903
  • Wright brothers make first successful aero plane flight, at Kitty Hawk, NC.
  • Valdemar Paulsen designs a "singing arc" that produces continuous waves at 100 kHz.
  • Dr. Ernst F. W. Atexandemon builds first high frequency alternator (100 kHz) at General Electric based on Prof. Reginald A. Fessenden's specifications.
  • Prof. Friedrich Hasenöhrl postulates the equation  m = E ÷ c2.
  • 1904
  • Prof. John Ambrose Fleming patents the two–element thermianic valve detector based upon the Edison Effect.
  • 1905
  • Albert Einstein publishes his Special Theory of Relativity and the equation, E = mc2.
  • Albert Einstein states Theory of Relativity
  • 1906
  • Reginald Fessenden broadcasts music by wireless.
  • Ernst Alexanderson develops high–frequency alternator.
  • Lee De Forest adds grid to Fleming valve and produces the first triode vacuum tube.
  • 1912
  • Titanic sinks on maiden voyage.
  • Harold Arnold and Irving Langmuir both develop high–vacuum tube at different companies.
  • 1914
  • World War I begins.
  • Lawrence Sperry builds gyropilot.
  • Reginald Fessenden discovers echo ranging, a forerunner of radar and sonar.
  • 1915
  • John Carson invents single–sideband transmission.
  • 1917
  • Americans enter World War I.
  • George Campbell develops wave filter.
  • 1920
  • Pittsburgh's KDKA is first broadcast radio station.
  • Magnetron invented by Albert Hull.
  • Major Edwin Howard Armstrong 's superheterodyne circuit is forerunner to modern radio receivers.
  • 1922
  • Harald Friis develops first superheterodyne radio receiver.
  • 1923
  • Herbert Ives demonstrates telephotography.
  • Vladimir Zworykin patents lconoscope TV camera tube.
  • 1924
  • Lloyd Espenschied shows first radio altimeter.
  • Edward Appleton and M. F. Barett measure the Heaviside layer.
  • 1925
  • John B. Johnson explains thermal noise. TV demonstrated by John L. Baird in England.
  • 1926
  • Radio compass conceived by Henri Busignies.
  • 1927
  • Charles Lindbergh crosses Atlantic in 37 hours.
  • Harold S. Black tries negative feed back amplifier for first time.
  • 1928
  • Zworykin demonstrates Kinescope TV tube.
  • 1929
  • Stock market crash on Wall Street.
  • Publication of Alexander's "Colloid Chemistry – Volume 2".
  • Coaxial cable developed by Herman Affel and Espenschied.
  • James K. Clapp and L. M. Hull show first commercial frequency standard.
  • 1930
  • Basic radar patent for pulse–echo direction finding and ranging is granted to Col. William Blair.
  • Stroboscope by Harold Edgerton revolutionizes photography.
  • 1932
  • Lindbergh kidnapping.
  • Mutual Telephone started the first phone service from Hawaii to the continental U.S.
  • Spectrum analyzer developed by Marcel Wallace.
  • 1933
  • Dr. R. Raymond Rife Creates a Universal Microscope that afforded resolutions greater than 31,000 diameters, with magnifications in excess of 60,000 diameters — It resolved structures down to 50 Angstroms ( 10–10 meters ).
  • Karl Jansky discovers radio astronomy.
  • 1934
  • Ernest O. Lawrence develops cyclotron.
  • 1935
  • Arnold Beckman's pH–meter is variation on vacuum–tube voltmeter.
  • 1937
  • Arturo Toscanini conducts NBC Symphony.
  • Varian brothers Russell and Sigurd invent klystron.
  • Pulse–code modulation conceived by A. H. Reeves.
  • 1938
  • Constant potential transformer invented by Joseph Sola.
  • 1939
  • World War II begins.
  • Wien bridge audio oscillator patented by William Hewlett.
  • RCA and Bell both develop FM altimeter.
  • The Scientific Beginning of "The Philadelphia Experiment"
          Naval Research Laboratories investigate the possibility of optically "cloaking" vessels of war.
  • 1940
  • Electronic analog computer developed by D. B. Parkinson and C. A. Lovell.
  • Arnold Beckman develops 10–turn helical potentiometer.
  • 1941
  • Pearl Harbor attacked by Japanese.
  • Manhattan Project begins.
  • 1942
  • United Nations founded.
  • Enrico Fermi splits atom.
  • 1943
  • Thomas Wallace publishes The Diagnosis of Mineral Deficiencies in Plants by Visual Symptoms
  • Term "radar" coined by Corn. S. M. Tucker.
  • Rudolph Kompfner invents TWT.
  • 1944
  • Howard Aiken builds Automatic Sequence–Controlled Calculator.
  • V–beam developed at MIT Radiation Laboratory.
  • 1945
  • Thermonuclear device tested at Alamogordo, NM.
  • Atom bombs are dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
  • 1946
  • ENIAC computer developed by John W. Mauchly and J. Presper Eckert.
  • 1947
  • First fully automatic flight control developed by Bendix and Sperry.
  • 1948
  • Transistor invented by William Shockley, John Bardeen and Walter H. Brattain.
  • Information Theory laid out by Claude Shannon.
  • 1947
  • Main Group of Dead Sea Scrolls are found in Palestine.
  • Edwin Land develops the Polaroid camera.
  • Charles Yeager breaks the sound barrier while piloting the experimental jet X-1.
  • John Bardeen, Walter Brattain and William Shockley at Bell Labs develop the first point-contact transistor.
  • 1948
  • Mahatma Gandhi is assassinated in India.
  • Israel gains independence as British mandate ends.
  • James Clapp of General Radio designs the Clapp oscillator.
  • Claude Shannon at Bell Labs delivers paper on information theory.
  • EDSAC, one of the first stored-program digital computers, is introduced in England.
  • 1949
  • George Orwell's book "1984" is published providing a frightening view of the future.
  • RCA develops the 45-rpm record.   Picture: Cutting a 45-master
  • CBS introduces the 33-1/3 LP disc.
  • John von Neumann introduces his self-propagating-machine concept.
  • 1950
  • Korean conflict heats up.
  • Jay Wright Forrester of MIT devises the magnetic core memory.
  • 1951
  • U.N. building opens in New York City.
  • William Pfann at Bell Labs develops zone–refining process for germanium.
  • 1952
  • General Dwight Eisenhower becomes President of the United States.
  • Jonas Salk starts development of poliomeyelitis vaccine at Pittsburgh University.
  • U.S. explodes first hydrogen bomb.
  • Bourns develops the trimming potientiometer.
  • Andrew Kay at Non Linear Systems introduces commercial digital voltmeter.
  • 1953
  • Ian Fleming introduces super spy James Bond in "Casino Royale."
  • Julius and Ethel Rosenberg executed for conspiracy to commit sabotage.
  • Korean War ends.
  • Charles Townes, J.P. Gordon and Herbert Zeiger of Columbia University develop the maser, a super–low–noise microwave amplifier.
  • Tektronix develops the first plug-in oscilloscope.
  • 1954
  • Roger Bannister breaks the four-minute mile.
  • United States Senator Joseph McCarthy censured by Senate 67 to 22.
  • Daryl Chapin, Calvin Fuller and Gerald Pearson at Bell Labs develop the solar battery.
  • Texas Instruments introduces commercial silicon junction transistors.
  • First consumer transistor radio introduced by Regency.
  • Gordon Teal and Ernest Buehler of Bell Labs develop single-crystal silicon.
  • 1955
  • Walt Disney opens Disneyland.
  • United States launches atomic submarine Nautilus.
  • Arthur Uhlir and A. Bakanowski at Bell Labs develop the varactor diode.
  • 1956
  • Scientists at Los Alamos discover neutrino.
  • General Electric creates artificial diamonds and introduces first commercial silicon controlled rectifier.
  • 1957
  • Dr. Albert E. Sabin introduces oral polio vaccine.
  • RCA develops FM radio transmitter pill for medical telemetry.
  • USSR launches Sputnik, first man-made orbital satellite.
  • Burroughs introduces gas–discharge numeric display tube.
  • Hughes introduces the storage oscilloscope.
  • 1958
  • U.S. launches Explorer I satellite.
  • Texas Instruments and Fairchild announce development of first integrated circuits.
  • 1959
  • Alaska and Hawaii admitted to Union.
  • RCA develops the nuvistor vacuum tube, the last small–signal vacuum tube to compete with transistors.
  • Lumitron introduces the first commercial sampling scope, invented by Robert Sugarman at Brookhaven National Labs.
  • 1959
  • Fidel Castro assumes power in Cuba.
  • Cold–cathode vacuum tube emerges from Tung–Sol.
  • 1960
  • Kennedy wins close Presidential election over Nixon.
  • Theodore Maiman develops ruby laser at Hughes Research Labs.
  • 1961
  • Soviet astronaut becomes first human space traveler.
  • Atlas computer, the world's largest, installed. It aids in atomic research and weather forecasting.
  • 1962
  • Soviet missiles removed from Cuba.   —   U.S. missiles removed from Turkey.
  • Signetics introduces diode–transistor logic.
  • 1963
  • Assassin kills President Kennedy.
  • IBM's John Gunn develops active diode.
  • 1964
  • Mainland China tests atomic bomb.
  • RCA builds overlay–geometry radio–frequency transistor.
  • 1965
  • Electric power failure blacks out northeastern US.
  • Impatt diode emerges from Bell Labs.
  • 1966
  • US begins Medicare program.
  • Andrew H. Bobeck announces development of magnetic–bubble devices.
  • 1967
  • Christiaan Barnard performs first successful heart transplant.
  • Motorola introduces plastic–packaged silicon power transistors.
  • 1968
  • Assassins kill Sen. Robert Kennedy and civil–rights leader Martin Luther King.
  • Thomas M. Riddick publishes Control of Colloid Stability through Zeta Potential
  • RCA introduces COS/MOS.
  • 1969
  • Neil Armstrong sets foot, on the moon.
  • IBM reports development of cache memory using bipolar storage integrated circuits.
  • 1970
  • Thor Heyerdahl crosses Atlantic in frail papyrus boat like one that could have been used by ancient Egyptians.
  • Bell Labs' Willard Boyle and George Smith develop charge–coupled devices.
  • 1971
  • UN grants membership to mainland China.
  • Intel introduces microprocessors.
  • Tommy begins work on a huge outdoor sound system for Milwaukee's 1972 "Summerfest."
          In essence and function, it was a huge solid state analog computer — 24 inputs and stereo outputs.
  • ??? And then things got really crazy! There came a flood of new devices and technology.  —  I have Trade Magazines from that period and will post more later.
  • Tommy's beans die, and he begins his study of Hydroculture to learn  Why .
  • 1987
  • David Hudson files patent on ORME – Mono-Atomic Elements
          [ Orbitly Rearranged Mono-atomic Elements ]
  • 1988
  • Hudson files patent S-ORME – Super Conducting Mono-Atomic Elements
          [ High Temperature – Super Conducting Orbitly Rearranged Mono-atomic Elements ]

    A Century of Giants

    We see history sharper at a distance. Today we can look back and see the importance of events that took place 200 years ago. But nearness blurs our vision.

    Today we can look back (as we do in the following pages) at the contributions of our industry's pioneers — men like James Watt (1736 – 1819), Alessandro Volta (1745 – 1827), Andrè Marie Ampère (1775 – 1836), George Simon Ohm (1787 – 1854), Michael Faraday (1791 – 1867), and Joseph Henery (1797 – 1878) — men who left their names as our Units of Measurement. We can see how much we owe them, and how much history depends on them, but their contemporaries were often too close to see the significance of their contributions.

    Even as we look at these men of the 18th century from a 200–year–off peak, we look too closely. We see them distilled as engineers, inventors, chemists, physicists, and mathematicians. We don't see flesh on their bones, and we don't see the society that molded them.

    Yet the environment that gave us the grand old men of a brand new technology also gave us great masters of music, art, literature and architecture. Who were these men?

    The century gave us revolutions

    The 18th century was a busy one indeed. It gave the world two major political revolutions — one in America (1775 – 1783) and one in France (1789 – 1799) — along with the Industrial Revolution, and it gave us men who contributed to the history of mankind. In music alone, it gave us composers whose very names have become synonyms for greatness.

    And musicians

    Johann Sebastian Bach (1685 – 1750), a member of a German family that had provided musicians and composers for almost 200 years, set a standard for all composers who followed. Had he written only his "Passion According to St. Matthew" and his "Mass in B–minor, he would have earned his place in history. But he wrote hundreds of great and lesser works. He was the father of 20 children, four of whom became important composers, albeit not of their father's stature.

    The century would have given enough to music with Bach alone, but it gave us, too, the German–born British composer, George Frederick Handel (1685 – 1759); the Italians, Antonio Vivaldi (1680 – 1743), Alessandro Scarlatti (1659 – 1725) and his more illustrious son, Domenico (1683 – 1757); the Austrians, Franz Joseph Haydn (1732 – 1809) and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756 – 1791) — a colossal composer of operas, symphonies, chamber music and choral works. In his brief life he achieved a record for achievement and versatility unmatched by any great composer.

    And as if that were not enough, the 18th century gave us that towering musical genius, Ludwig van Beethoven (1770 – 1827).

    And Artists

    It was the century of English painters like Thomas Gainsborough (1727 – 1788), William Hogarth (1697 – 1764), John Constable (1776 – 1837), color genius Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775 – 1851) and Sir Joshua Reynolds (1723 – 1792), president of the Royal Academy from its inception in 1768. A lifelong friend of Dr. Samuel Johnson, he was the painter of such great literary figures of the day as Laurence Sterne, Oliver Goldsmith, Edward Gibbon and statesman Edmund Burke.

    France had an ample share of painters with Jean Honorè Fragonard (1732 – 1806); Francois Boucher (1703 – 1770), who was court painter to Louis XV; and Jacques Louis David (1748 – 1825), founder of the French classical school and court painter to Louis XVI and Napoleon I.

    France gave us, too, the great sculptor, Jean Antoine Houdon (1740 – 1828) — who created busts of Voltaire, Jean Jacques Rousseau, Molière, Benjamin Franklin and George Washington; the world was smaller then.

    The youthful U.S. republic produced painters like John Singleton Copley (1738 – 1815), who painted Paul Revere; Benjamin West (1738 – 1820), who painted steamship inventor Robert Fulton; Gilbert Charles Stuart (1755 – 1828), who painted the first President of the new nation, George Washington; and Rembrandt Peale (1778 – 1860), who painted the third President, Thomas Jefferson.

    And writers

    Jefferson, in fact was more than just a President. He founded the first professorship of law in the United States; he was a fine violinist, singer and dancer; he founded the University of Virginia near his home at Charlottesville, VA; he was the architect of its buildings, and of Monticello, his home.

    History doesn't remember Jefferson as an author – though he drafted the Declaration of Independence. But it does remember many others of his time. There were the Englishmen, Samuel Richardson (1689 – 1761), who wrote the first novel, Pamela (or Virtue Rewarded); and Henry Fielding (1707 – 1754), the second novelist, who wrote The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling, the greatest novel of the century.

    What writers that century produced! It gave us Alexander Pope (1688 – 1744), poet, essayist, brilliant wit and satirist (The Rape of the Lock); Jonathan Swift (1667 – 1745), who wrote some of the most perfect and powerful 18th century prose and is best remembered for his acrid satire, Gullivei's Travels; and John Gay (1685 – 1732), who wrote what might be called the first musical, The Beggar's Opera.

    It was the century of Laurence Sterne (1713 – 1768), who wrote the wildly rollicking The Life amid Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman; of James Boswell (1740 – 1795), best known for The Life of Samuel Johnson, LL.D.; of Samuel Johnson (1709 – 1784), whose Dictionary of the English Language was the foundation for modern dictionaries, though Johnson permitted more opinion to invade the work than would be acceptable today. His definitions include, for example: oat –, a grain which in England is generally given to horses, but in Scotland supports the people; patriotism — the last refuge of a scoundrel; politician — a man artifice.

    The 18th century gave us, too, the final years of the team of Joseph Addison (1672 – 1719) and Richard Steele (1672 – 1729), who produced those most influential literary periodicals, The Tatler and The Spectator. And it gave us Oliver Goldsmith (1730 – 1774), best remembered for his poem, "The Deserted Village," his novel, The Vicar of Wakefield, and his delightful comic drama, She Stoops to Conquer.

    It gave us Jane Austen (1775 – 1887), the sensitive author of Emma, Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility; Edward Gibbon (1737 – 1794) of The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire; William Wordsworth, (1770 – 1850) and Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772 – 1834), who joined to revolutionize English poetry by using everyday speech. And these were just the English.

    While Germany produced poet and dramatist Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749 – 1832), France provided writer-philosophers – some of whom, perhaps unwittingly, were laying the foundations for the French Revolution.

    There was Baron de Montesquieu (1689 – 1755), a philosopher, writer and jurist; Swiss–born Jean Jacques Rousseau (1712 – 1778), who rote The Social Contract; Denis Diderot (1713 – 1784), philosopher, and encyclopedist; and Francois Marie Arouet (1694 – 1778), better known as Voltaire, whose Candide was just one example of the bitter cynicism and anti–authoritarianism that earned for Voltaire two sentences in the Bastille and repeated periods of exile.

    And philosophers

    While the century provided amply for future lovers of music, art and letters, it gave us philosophy. too. In Germany, there was Immanuel Kant (1724 – 1804) and George Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770 – 1831), who wrote on logic, theology, the human mind, history and ethics. His approach to truth used the dialectic, a philosophical method taken from the Greek philosophers and that included the concept of the unity of opposites, ideal and real, general and specific, finite and infinite. This approach became part of the philosophical heritage of the next century's Communist philosophers, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels.

    While Hegel in Germany laid a philosophical foundation for Marx and Engels, John Wesley (1703 – 1791) in England founded a new Protestant denomination, Methodism, and his brother, Charles (1707 – 1786), became a Methodist preacher and wrote 6500 hymns.

    And scientists

    The 18th century gave man a better understanding of nature, too. Among its great scientists were Antoine Lavoisier (1743 – 1794), the Frenchman regarded as the founder of modern chemistry; James Watt (1736 – 1819), the Scottish engineer who invented the modern steam engine and the centrifugal governor; and Luigi Galvani (1737 – 1798), an Italian physiologist who theorized about the production of electricity.

    And Benjamin Franklin (1706 – 1790). This Boston–born Philadelphia printer wrote Poor Richard's Almanack and became wealthy. One of the most influential citizens of Philadelphia, he founded the first circulating library in America; founded the American Philosophical Society; and organized the first fire company.

    Attracted by experiments with the Leyden jar, and continuing with other experiments, he proved the identity of lightning and electricity, and was first to propose the theory that there are two kinds of electricity — positive and negative.

    Franklin invented many devices but his importance did not lay in contrivances like the Franklin stove and bifocals.

    He presented a new way to think about nature as being subject to rules.

    This man, too, was a product of his times. And the times that gave us such great men of art, music and literature were the times that gave us the men who fathered the electronics industry we know today.

    December 11, 1975

    Next year marks the beginning of our Third Century as an Independent Nation as well as the 200th Anniversary of the American Revolution. For two centuries our Nation has grown, changed and flourished. A diverse people, drawn from all corners of the earth, have joined together to fulfill the promise of democracy.

    America's Bicentennial is rich in history and in the promise and potential of the years that lie ahead. It is about the events of our past, our achievements, our traditions, our diversity, our freedoms, our form of government and our continuing commitment to a better life for all Americans. The Bicentennial offers each of us the opportunity to join with our fellow citizens in honoring the past and preparing for the future in communities across the Nation. Thus, in joining together as races, nationalities, and individuals, we also retain and strengthen our traditions, background and personal freedom.

    As we lay the cornerstone of America's Third Century, the very special part in this great national undertaking being played by Electronic Design in a special Bicentennial issue recognizing those who helped make this country great is most commendable.

    — Gerald R. Ford —

    Special Thanks to all who worked on this presentation at

    Electronic Design
    P.O. Box 13803,   Philadelphia, PA   19101

    — Tommy Cichanowski —



    The Great Men

    We're deeply honored that President Gerald Ford should commend ELECTRONIC DESIGN for its tribute to the 200th anniversary of the United States. But the commendation should belong, in fact, to the men to whom ELECTRONIC DESIGN's Bicentennial report is a tribute.

    Our industry rests on the shoulders of these great men, as, does the technological progress of the United States and, with it, the world. No nation today can long keep a technology to itself. It is the nature of technology to diffuse throughout the world, just as it spreads within a nation from one industrial company to others.

    This is nothing new. Technology has always transcended national boundaries. The world has always quickly forgotten the national origins of great discoveries and inventions, just as it has quickly forgotten the geographical source of man's achievements in the arts.

    People often forget their great men and almost always forget the nations that housed them. Who remembers today that Alessandro Volta was Italian, that Andrè Marie Ampère was French, that James Watt was Scottish, that Georg Simon Ohm was German, that Michael Faraday was English and that Joseph Henry was a U.S. citizen? And who cares?

    Without the contributions of these great men, today's electronics would not have been possible. But their contributions alone were not enough. Other men laid bricks on the foundation set by the pioneers. They designed vacuum tubes, then transistors, then integrated circuits, then large–scale integrated circuits. Other men added mortar. They designed circuits to apply the tubes, transistors and integrated circuits. They built these circuits into equipment and systems that have made it possible within the social and economic limits created by man–for man to live better.

    Our industry's great men are dead. Or are they? Outside of a small circle, many of the great men who lived during the early days of the American nation were hardly recognized. Today, too, we hardly recognize the great men among us. But they are there. They'll be recognized and honored by our children.

    George Rostky

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