In 1798, the federal government awarded Eli Whitney a contract to produce and deliver ten thousand muskets.
Whitney showed the significance of his innovative approach by demonstrating that randomly selected parts could be fitted together into a complete, working musket lock. This contract enabled Whitney to prove the feasibility of his system and establish it as the leading source of the modern assembly line.
Cybernetics, as defined by Wiener, is interdisciplinary in nature; based on common relationships between humans and machines. A machine that changes its responses based on feedback is a machine that learns, and indicates the distinction between media and cybermedia.
Today cybernetics is used in control theory, automation theory, and computer programs to reduce many time-consuming computations and decision-making processes formerly done by human beings.
The Wright brothers were always fascinated by mechanics. After reading about the death of pioneer glider pilot Otto Lilienthal in 1896, they became interested in flying. They soon obtained all the scientific knowledge of aeronautics then available. By the fall of 1903, they had constructed a powered airplane with wings 40.5 feet long. They designed and built their own lightweight gasoline engine for the airplane.
On December 17, 1903 near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, they made the world's first flight in a powered, heavier-than-air machine. With Orville at the controls, the plane flew 120 feet in 12 seconds. The brothers made three more flights that day. The longest, by Wilbur, was 852 feet in 59 seconds.
The Wrights believed that airplanes would eventually be used to transport passengers and mail. When the Wrights first offered their machine to the U.S. government, they were not taken seriously, but by 1908 they closed a contract with the U.S. Department of War for the first military airplane.
Early conceptions of television focused on a mechanical scanning system with motors and large rotating disks. It was heavy, bulky equipment and not practical for home use.
Zworykin, a co-worker of Conrad's at Westinghouse, developed an electronic scanning television system using his inventions, the iconoscope and kinescope, the forerunners of today's television camera and picture tubes. In 1929, Zworykin demonstrated his all-electronic television system in Pittsburgh, 10 years before it was introduced to the public at the 1939 New York World's Fair.
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