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This Week in Tech History: A Dragon Heads to the Space Station

The telegraph industry is born, the first 3D cartoon premiers and a dragon flies to the space station… It all happened This Week in Tech History.

This week in 1844 – Samuel Morse sent the first message via telegraph. The message, “What hath God wrought”, a quote from the bible, was sent from a committee room in the US Capitol to his assistant, Alfred Vail in Maryland. While Samuel Morse did not invent the telegraph, he did develop hi, commercialize it and invent the famous code that now bears his name. This first message officially inaugurated America’s telegraph industry. 

1929 – Warner Brothers debuted the first all-color, all-talking motion picture. The film debuted at the Winter Garden Theatre in New York City. Ethel Waters, Joe E. Brown and Arthur Lake starred in “On With the Show”. The film generated a lot of buzz in Hollywood and virtually overnight, most other studios began shooting all-color films. Unfortunately, the original color print of On with the show was lost and only black and white copies remain. One of which is held in the Library of Congress.

1953 – The first 3-D (three-dimensional) cartoon premiered at the Paramount Theatre in Hollywood, California. The production, a Walt Disney creation/RKO picture, was titled, “Melody”. It involves an owl teaching his class full of birds about music and melody. The 3D process never really caught on with theater audiences because of the need to wear the polarized glasses, but the show remained a novelty at Disneyland for several years.

1961 – U.S. President John F. Kennedy gave one of his famous speeches, when he announced before a special joint session of the Congress his goal to initiate a project to – before the end of the decade – put a man on the Moon and return him safely to Earth. That goal was realized 8 years later in 1969 with the Apollo 11 mission.

And this week in 2012 – The SpaceX Dragon became the first commercial spacecraft to rendezvous with the International Space Station. Before this only four governments, the US, Russia, Japan and the European Space Agency had accomplished this feat. SpaceX began developing the Dragon spacecraft in late 2004. Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX, reportedly named the spacecraft after the 1963 song “Puff the Magic Dragon” by Peter, Paul and Mary as a response to critics who considered his spaceflight projects impossible.

Written by Chris Graveline

Chris Graveline

Chris has covered consumer technology for 14 years. He is a producer of Into Tomorrow with Dave Graveline and the host of This Week in Tech History as well as a regular co-host on "Into Tomorrow with Dave Graveline" and our Technical Director.

1774 posts

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