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Flashback archive

Teflon is invented

New chlorofluorocarbon refrigerant, the tetrafluoroethylene gas in its pressure bottle stopped flowing before the bottle's weight had dropped to the point signaling "empty". Since Plunkett was measuring the amount of gas used by weighing the bottle, he became curious as to the source of the weight, and finally resorted to sawing the bottle apart. He found the bottle's interior coated with a waxy white material that was oddly slippery.

American molecular biologist James Watson is born

Watson is famous because of his discovery of the structure of DNA. He deduced it in 1953 together with Francis Crick based on experimental data provided by Rosalind Franklin and by Maurice Wilkins. Later Watson was interested in cancer research and co-established the Human Genome Project, an international research effort to read human DNA.

Around the world in the plane

A team of aviators of the United States Army Air Service took off in four planes for the first aerial circumnavigation. The trip took 175 days, covering over 44 342 km. It was the third attempt to fly around the world. The British and French tried the same thing before Americans but failed.

Robert Peary and Matthew Henson reach the North Pole

Robert Peary and Matthew Henson traveled with the aid of dogsleds and three separate support crews who turned back at successive intervals before reaching the Pole. Many modern explorers, including Olympic skiers using modern equipment, contend that Peary could not have reached the pole on foot in the time he claimed.

Dutch aviation pioneer Anthony Fokker is born

Fokker designed many aircraft. His name is associated with the early fighter planes from the Great War. Most famous was the revolutionary Fokker Eindecker. After the war, Fokker moved his business to the Netherlands. He produced a variety of successful aircraft including the Fokker trimotor, a successful passenger plane of the inter-war years.

John Wesley Hyatt acquires a patent for Celluloid

John Wesley Hyatt acquired Parkes's patent and began experimenting with cellulose nitrate with the intention of manufacturing billiard balls, which until that time were made from ivory. He used cloth, ivory dust, and shellac, and patented a method of covering billiard balls with the addition of collodion.

Anniversaries of famous

born 1928

James Watson

born 1931

Ram Dass