The 1930s Science and Technology: Chronology

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The 1930s Science and Technology: Chronology

1930:      The gas Freon is manufactured in large quantities for use in refrigerators and air conditioners.

1930:      Sliced bread becomes available in American supermarkets.

1930:      Transcontinental and West Airlines offers the first New York to Los Angeles air service.

1930:     February 18 Clyde William Tombaugh confirms the existence of Pluto, the ninth planet in the solar system.

1930:     April 4 The American Interplanetary Society (later the American Rocket Society) is set up to promote the idea of interplanetary exploration.

1931:     January 2 Ernest O. Lawrence invents the cyclotron, a machine that makes possible high-energy physics, including, in the next decade, the atomic bomb.

1931:     May 27 At the Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory in Hampton, Virginia, engineers begin to test airplanes in a wind tunnel.

1931:     December 28 The George Westinghouse Bridge on the Philadelphia-Pittsburgh turnpike is built using the largest concrete arch in the United States.

1932:      Ford introduces its V8 engine to replace the underpowered four-cylinder engine of the Model A.

1932:      RCA introduces the first cathode-ray television.

1932:     August 25 Amelia Earhart makes the first nonstop transcontinental flight from Los Angeles to Newark. It takes her nineteen hours and five minutes.

1932:     December 1 The U.S. Department of Commerce begins the first weather map service using a teletypewriter to print maps at remote locations.

1933:      The speed of light is calculated at 186,000 miles per second.

1933:      To market its newly invented smokeless gunpowder, the DuPont Company buys the Remington Arms Company.

1933:      Albert Einstein immigrates to the United States. He takes up a professorship at Princeton University's Institute for Advanced Studies.

1934:     April 4 The American-built airship Akron crashes at sea, killing seventy-three crew members.

1934:      Chrysler and DeSoto introduce streamlined "Airflow" automobiles with automatic transmission.

1934:      The Federal Communications Commission is set up to oversee the national phone service.

1934:      A tethered bathysphere, a steel sphere lowered from a ship, descends to a depth of 1,001 meters. Making up its two-man crew are Charles William Beebe and Otis Barton.

1934:     November 29 In New York, the American Polar Society is founded.

1935:      The first canned beer goes on sale in the United States.

1935:     November 11 The balloon Explorer II and its two-man crew reach a record altitude of 13.71 miles, or 72,395 feet. The flight is sponsored by the National Geographic Society and the U.S. Army Air Corps.

1936:     March 1 The Boulder Canyon Dam (later the Hoover Dam) is completed. The reservoir it creates, called Lake Mead, is the largest reservoir in the world.

1936:     November 23 The U.S. Patent Office celebrates its centenary with the introduction of the fluorescent light bulb.

1937:      Ford customers have the choice of sixty or eighty-five horsepower motors. Buick and Oldsmobile offer automatic transmission, while the steering column gearshift is reintroduced.

1937:      IBM devises a "collating machine" that records information on punch cards. It is used by the federal government to keep the employment records of twenty-six million Americans. Without machines such as this many government programs of the late 1930s would be impossible.

1937:     May 6 The German airship Hindenberg catches fire upon landing at Lakehurst, New Jersey.

1938:      Nylon-bristled toothbrushes become the first consumer product made with DuPont's newly patented nylon.

1938:     October 22 The first "xerox" copy is made by Chester F. Carlson. His copying machine uses a process called xerography.

1939:      The first jet engine is fitted to a German Heinkel 179 aircraft and makes a successful flight in August.

1939:      Life in American kitchens is never the same again after the introduction of the electric knife.

1939:     April 4 Western Union introduces a system that allows six-by-seven-inch photographs to be sent by cable. The first picture is sent from London to New York and is published in American newspapers.

1939:     August 2 Albert Einstein writes President Franklin D. Roosevelt to advise funding research on the atomic bomb.

1939:     September 14 The first mass-produced helicopter, designed by Igor Sikorsky, begins test flights.

1939:     October 31 At the end of its first year, the New York World's Fair has had almost twenty-six million visitors.

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The 1930s Science and Technology: Chronology

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The 1930s Science and Technology: Chronology