Category: Born on this day

  • Georg Lankensperger

    Wednesday 31st March 1779 Born on this day, Georg Lankensperger, the German wheelwright who invented the steering mechanism that is today known as Ackermann steering geometry. Lankensperger invented his steering mechanism in 1816 as Hofwagner (Head waggoner) in Munich, to allow the front wheels of a carriage to individually follow the natural arc of its […]

  • John Loudon McAdam

    John Loudon McAdam

    Tuesday 21st September 1756 Born on this day, John Loudon McAdam, who gave his name not only to the road surface that he invented in the nineteenth century, but also indirectly, to Edgar Purnell Hooley’s 20th- century invention tar macadam, which has been known since 1903 as Tarmac.

  • Francois Isaac de Rivaz

    Tuesday 19th December 1752 Born on this day, Francois Isaac de Rivaz, a French internal combustion engine pioneer. He invented an internal combustion engine with electric ignition and described it in a French patent published in 1807. A mixture of hydrogen and oxygen was manually ignited by electric spark powered it, but the engine neither […]

  • Denis Papin

    Thursday 22nd August 1647 Born on this day, Denis Papin, inventor of the piston steam engine, was born in Blois, France. This British physicist, who also invented the pressure cooker, got the first seedlings of an idea when he noticed the enclosed steam in the cooker raising the lid. Why couldn’t one use steam to […]

  • Antoine de la Mothe, Le Sieur de Cadilla

    Antoine de la Mothe, Le Sieur de Cadilla

    Tuesday 5th March 1568 Born on this day, Antoine de la Mothe, Le Sieur de Cadillac, namesake of Cadillac cars. Cadillac was the explorer responsible for mapping the Great Lakes region of North America for the French crown and is credited as the founder of Detroit, Michigan, which today is affectionately known as the Motor […]