Day in Engineering History Archive - May 18

May 18

Happy Birthday to Oliver Heaviside!  Please click here to visit RF Cafe.1850: Oliver Heaviside, developer of the Heaviside step function, was born. 1897: Dow Chemical was incorporated. 1912: The U.K.'s first automated telephone exchange opened for business at Epsom. 1917: The U.S. Congress passed the Selective Service Act, calling up soldiers to fight World War I. 1950: The U.S. and Great Britain greed to the terms of NATO. 1933: The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) was formed as "a corporation clothed with the power of government but possessed of the flexibility and initiative of a private enterprise," to perform research on civil engineering challenges. 1953: The first woman to fly faster than the speed of sound, Jacqueline Cochran, piloted an F-86 Sabrejet over California at an average speed of 652.337 miles-per-hour. 1969: Apollo 10 was launched. 1974: India became the 6th nation to explode an atomic bomb. 1980: Mount St. Helens blew its top. 1991: Helen Sharman became first Briton in space. 2004: Arnold Beckman, founder of Beckman Instruments, died - at 104 years old!

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Note: These historical tidbits have been collected from various sources, mostly on the Internet. As detailed in this article, there is a lot of wrong information that is repeated hundreds of times because most websites do not validate with authoritative sources. On RF Cafe, events with hyperlinks have been verified. Many years ago, I began commemorating the birthdays of notable people and events with special RF Cafe logos. Where available, I like to use images from postage stamps from the country where the person or event occurred. Images used in the logos are often from open source websites like Wikipedia, and are specifically credited with a hyperlink back to the source where possible. Fair Use laws permit small samples of copyrighted content.