20th Century: 1961

Feb. 12, 1961: The Soviet Union launches Venera to Venus, but the probe stops responding after a week.

April 12, 1961: Yuri Gagarin becomes the first man in space with a 108-minute flight on Vostok 1 in which he completed one orbit.

GPN-2002-000168
Yuri Gagarin is on the bus on his way to the launch pad on the morning of April 12, 1961

May 5, 1961: Mercury Freedom 7 launches on a Redstone rocket for a 15-minute suborbital flight, making Alan Shepard the first American in space.

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Astronaut Alan Shepard photographed in flight by a 16mm movie camera inside the Freedom 7 spacecraft.

May 25, 1961: In a speech before Congress, President John Kennedy announces that an American will land on the moon and be returned safely to Earth before the end of the decade.

Oct. 27, 1961: Saturn 1, the rocket for the initial Apollo missions, is tested for the first time.

IBM introduced the IBM 1301 disk storage unit on June 2, 1961, capable of storing 28 million characters, 2MB.

The first IBM Selectric typewriter was released on July 27, 1961, and introduced the typeball.

In September 1961, DEC donated the PDP-1 to MIT, where it was placed in the room next to its ancestor, the TX-0 computer, which was by then on indefinite loan from Lincoln Laboratory. PDP-1 helps solidify hackers’ ideology such as all information should be free.

 

Alex Handy (cropped by Arnold Reinhold) / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0) – PDP-1 & Steve Russel creator of Spacewar! – 1962

 

The first broadcast of The Avengers, The Defenders, The Dick Van Dyke Show, The Morecambe, and Wise Show, Car 54, Where Are You?

Memorex was founded.

Top Film of 1961:

Designed by Joe Caroff –  Copyright © 1961 United Artists Corporation. / Public domain

Top Song of 1961:

Images of 1961:

 

The Incredible – Diana Rigg!, –  Public Domain view terms
File: Diana Rigg 1973.jpg
Created: Autumn 1973-00-00T00:00:00Z/9,P4241,Q40720568, as per NBC-TV release on back.

 

Feature  Presentation – Phantom Planet 1961

 

 

20th Century: 1956

Werner Buchholz (24 October 1922 – 11 July 2019) was a German-American computer scientist. After growing up in Europe, Buchholz moved to Canada and then to the United States of America. He worked for International Business Machines (IBM) in New York. In June 1956, he coined the term “byte” for a unit of digital information. In 1990, he was recognized as a computer pioneer by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

On September 13, 1956, the IBM 305 RAMAC was the first computer to be shipped with a hard drive. The drive contained 50 24-inch platters, was the size of two refrigerators, and weighed a ton. It could store only five megabytes of information, and each megabyte cost $10,000.

The programming language FORTRAN was introduced to the public on October 15, 1956.

Dr. Robert Adler of Zenith invented the first cordless TV remote control.

John Bardeen, Walter Brattain, and William Shockley were awarded the Nobel Prize in physics for their work on the transistor.

Wen Tsing Chow develops programmable read-only memory (PROM).

“I have travelled the length and breadth of this country and talked with the best people, and I can assure you that data processings is a fad that won’t last out the year.”
– The editor in charge of business books for Prentice-Hall, 1956

The first broadcast of The Edge of Night, As the World Turns, The Price Is Right, Playhouse 90, the Eurovision Song Contest, and Hancock’s Half Hour.

Top Film of 1956:

 

Top song of 1956:

 

 

20th Century: 1954

There are about 100 operational computers in use worldwide.

IBM introduced its first calculating machine that used solid-state transistors instead of vacuum tubes.

Texas Instruments announces the start of commercial production of silicon transistors.

Commodore was founded.

The first broadcast of The Tonight Show, Father Knows Best, Disneyland and Lassie. NTSC video standard for color television is introduced, and National Educational Television (NET) is launched.

Top Film of 1954 – On the Waterfront:

 

Copyright Columbia Pictures – 1954 – Public Domain

Top song of 1954: Little Things Mean a Lot  – Kitty Kallen

 

20th Century: 1952

Bwana Devil, a low-budget polarized 3-D film, premieres in late November and starts a brief 3-D craze that begins in earnest in 1953 and fades away during 1954.

Alexander Sandy Douglas created the first graphical computer game of Tic-Tac-Toe on an EDSAC known as “OXO.”

 

Recording Industry Association of America, RIAA is a trade group first established in 1952 that has been set up to represent the U.S. recording industry.

The first broadcast of Today (NBC), This Is Your Life, Omnibus, and Flower Pot Men; Hockey Night in Canada and The Guiding Light moves from radio to TV; Adverts: Everyone Loves a Slinky and Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes Tony the Tiger.

Geoffrey Dummer, a British radar engineer, introduces the concept of the integrated circuit at a tech conference in the United States.

Top Film of 1952: The Greatest Show on Earth.

However, I like this one better: The Quiet Man.

May incorporate artwork by Clement Hurel – see Nollen, Scott Allen (2013) Three Bad Men: John Ford, John Wayne, Ward Bond, McFarland, p. 352 ISBN: 9780786458547. / Public domain

Top Song of 1952: Leroy Anderson – Blue Tango

Images of 1952:

Chevy Advertisement 1952:

 

Space Patrol – Interplanetary Smugglers (1952)

20th Century: 1951

J Lyons, a United Kingdom food company, famous for its tea, made history by running the first business application on an electronic computer.

The oldest known recordings of computer-generated music were played by the Ferranti Mark 1 computer.

Grace Hopper develops A-0, the first Arithmetic language.

Jay Forrester applies for a patent for magnetic-core memory, an early type of random access memory (RAM) on May 11, 1951.

A nixie tube is a display tube first introduced in 1951 by Burroughs Corporation that is capable of displaying numbers 0 through 9. These tubes were found in early electronic devices such as calculators, frequency counters, voltmeters, and other devices that needed a method of displaying numeric values.

Geophysical Service Incorporated was renamed to Texas Instruments in 1951.

IBM introduces the IBM 701, the first computer in its 700 and 7000 series of large scale machines with varied scientific and commercial architectures, but common electronics and peripherals. Some computers in this series remained in service until the 1980s.

The first broadcast of I Love Lucy, See It Now, Dragnet, the Hallmark Hall of Fame, Search for Tomorrow, Love of Life, and The Roy Rogers Show.

The Top film of 1951:

Top Song of 1951: Nat King Cole – Too Young

Images of 1951:

Differential Analyzer built under Mergler in Instrument Research. The technician is preparing a data report. This equipment is located at the Lewis Flight Propulsion Laboratory, LFPL, now John H. Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field, Cleveland Ohio.

 

Burns & Allen – 1951

Leslie Claire Margaret Caron – Actress

Gene Kelly Actor – Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer / Public domain

20th Century: 1949

Maurice Wilkes and a team at Cambridge University executed the first stored-program on the EDSAC computer, which used paper tape input-output. Based on ideas from John von Neumann about stored program computers, the EDSAC was the first complete, fully functional von Neumann architecture computer.

CSIR Mk I (later known as CSIRAC), Australia’s first computer, ran its first test program. It was a vacuum-tube-based electronic general-purpose computer. Its main memory stored data as a series of acoustic pulses in 5 ft (1.5 m) long tubes filled with mercury.

The Contax S camera is introduced, the first 35 mm SLR camera with a pentaprism eye-level viewfinder.

The first atomic clock was built in 1949 at the U.S. National Bureau of Standards.

First broadcast of The Lone Ranger, Crusader Rabbit and Mama; the first Emmy Awards are given.

Top Movie of 1949:

Public Domain

Top Song of 1949:

Vaughn Monroe – Riders In The Sky

Images of 1949:

 

Judy Garland, Lana Turner, and James Stewart on the set of Ziegfeld Girl – 1949 Public Domain

20th Century: 1948

History of Television in 1948:

The television begins to divert radio audiences.

The first broadcast of The Ed Sullivan Show and Texaco Star Theater

IBM finished the SSEC (Selective Sequence Electronic Calculator). It was the first computer to modify a stored program.

The Birkbeck ARC, the first of three machines developed at Birkbeck, the University of London by Andrew Booth and Kathleen Booth, officially came online on this date. The control was entirely electromechanical and the memory was based on a rotating magnetic drum. This was the first rotating drum storage device in existence.

Manchester Baby was built at the University of Manchester. It ran its first program on this date. It was the first computer to store both its programs and data in RAM, as modern computers do. By 1949 the ‘Baby’ had grown and acquired a magnetic drum for more permanent storage, and it became the Manchester Mark 1.

ANACOM from Westinghouse was an AC-energized electrical analog computer system used up until the early 1990s for problems in mechanical and structural design, fluidics, and various transient problems.

IBM introduced the ‘604’, the first machine to feature Field Replaceable Units (FRUs), which cut down-time as entire pluggable units can simply be replaced instead of troubleshot.

Edwin H. Land introduces the first Polaroid instant camera.

Top Song of 1948: Pee Wee Hunt  –  Twelfth Street Rag

Images of 1948:

Popular crime magazine – 1948

The incredible Ginger Rogers – 1948

Never heard of it… – 1948

 

20th Century: 1945

1945

Konrad Zuse developed the first higher-level programming language called Plankalkül.

Vannevar Bush developed the theory of the memex, a hypertext device linked to a library of books and films.

National Broadcasting Company (NBC) begins the first regularly scheduled television network service in the United States.

Arthur C. Clarke purposes a geosynchronous satellite.

The patent was filed for the Harvard Mark I digital computer on February 8, 1945.

The term bug as a computer bug was termed by Grace Hopper when programming the MARK II.

The first ballpoint pen went on sale in New York for $12.50 on October 30, 1945.

National Broadcasting Company (NBC) begins the first regularly scheduled television network service in the United States.

The war is over…

Top U.S. Film of 1945:

Top U.S. Song of 1945 – Rum and Coca-Cola by the Andrew Sisters.

 

Images of 1945:

Clark Gable 1945 – Movie studio / Public domain

Joan Crawford – Studio publicity still / Public domain

 

20th Century: 1943

1943

FCC terminates all American television broadcasting because of the war; DuMont petitions FCC to resume broadcasting and receives approval.

Max Newman, Wynn-Williams, and their team at the secret Government Code and Cypher School (‘Station X’), Bletchley Park, Bletchley, England, completed the ‘Heath Robinson’. This was a specialized counting machine used for cipher-breaking, not a general-purpose calculator or computer, but a logic device using a combination of electronics and relay logic. It read data optically at 2000 characters per second from two closed loops of paper tape, each typically about 1000 characters long. It was significant since it was the forerunner of Colossus.

Williams and Stibitz completed the ‘Relay Interpolator’, later called the ‘Model II Relay Calculator’. This was a programmable calculator; again, the program and data were read from paper tapes.

The Colossus was built, by Dr. Thomas Flowers at The Post Office Research Laboratories in London, to crack the German Lorenz (SZ42) cipher. It contained 2400 vacuum tubes for logic and applied a programmable logical function to a stream of input characters, read from punched tape at a rate of 5000 characters a second. Colossus was used at Bletchley Park during World War II.

A Colossus Mark 2 computer being operated by Dorothy Du Boisson (left) and Elsie Booker (right). Colossus was the world’s first practical electronic digital information processing machine – a forerunner of today’s computers. 1943 – Public Domain

Dan Noble with Motorola designs a “Walkie Talkie” the first portable FM two-way radio that required a backpack that weighed 35 pounds.

The world’s first operational nuclear reactor is switched on at Oak Ridge, Tennessee.

Microwave radar begins operating in England putting an end to night bombing.

The first crystal clock is installed at the Greenwich Royal Observatory. Is has ten times the accuracy.

The top U.S film of the year:

Bill Gold / Public domain

Highest-grossing U.S. Actor/Actress:

Betty Grable’s 42 films grossed over 100 Million. Frank Powolny / Public domain

Top U.S. Song:

Paper Doll – Mills Brothers

Images of 1943

Co-operative Youth Summer Schools – Walking Around Windermere, England 1943, Ministry of Information Photo Division Photographer / Public domain

Judy Garland 1943 – Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer / Public domain

 

20th Century: 1942

1942

Atanasoff and Berry completed a special-purpose calculator for solving systems of simultaneous linear equations, later called the ‘ABC’ (‘Atanasoff–Berry Computer’). This had 60 50-bit words of memory in the form of capacitors (with refresh circuits—the first regenerative memory) mounted on two revolving drums. The clock speed was 60 Hz, and the addition took 1 second. For secondary memory, it used punched cards, moved around by the user. The holes were not actually punched in the cards but burned. The punched card system’s error rate was never reduced beyond 0.001%, and this was inadequate. Atanasoff left Iowa State after the U.S. entered the war, ending his work on digital computing machines.

Konrad Zuse developed the S1, the world’s first process computer, used by Henschel to measure the surface of wings.

Kodacolor, the first color film that yields negatives for making chromogenic color prints on paper. Roll films for snapshot cameras only, 35 mm not available until 1958.

December 2, 1942

Enrico Fermi designed and created the world’s first Nuclear Reactor.

FCC terminates all American television broadcasting because of the war; DuMont petitions FCC to resume broadcasting and receives approval.

Feb 27-28

British Army physicists James Stanley Hey detected radio waves thought to be a jamming signal from the Germans turned out to be radio waves generated by a solar flare from the sun.

Voice of America begins broadcasting.

Top Movie – How Green Was My Valley

“Copyright by Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp. MCMXLI” – Scan via Heritage Auctions. Cropped from the original image., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=86243596

Top Song – Moonlight Cocktail by The Glenn Miller Orchestra

 

Images of 1942

WWII Woman aircraft worker, Vega Aircraft Corp. Burbank California. Public Domain

Data 1942

Average wages per year $1,880.00
Cost of a gallon of Gas 15 cents.

Popular Car in the US and apparently in the Netherlands:

1942 Lincoln Continental Cabriolet, photographed at Zeeland, The Netherlands