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This Week in Tech History: Man Walks on the Moon

Henry Ford sells his first car, a tech giant is born and humans set foot on the moon … It all happened This Week in Tech History.

1899 – NEC Corporation, originally knows an Nippon Electric Company is organized as the first Japanese joint venture with foreign capital. NEC started off in the production, sale and maintenance of telephones and switches. The company then went on to making components for telephone switchboards and eventually, notable products such as the TurboGrafx-16 game console, as well as laptops, monitors and mobile phones.

1902 – Dr. Willis Carrier installed a commercial air conditioning system at a Brooklyn, NY printing plant. The system was the first to provide man-made control over temperature, humidity, ventilation and air quality. It was originally installed to help maintain quality at the printing plant and for the first two decades of the 20th Century, Carrier’s invention was used primarily to cool machines, not people. The development of the centrifugal chiller by Carrier in the early 1920s led to comfort cooling for movie theaters and, before long, air conditioning came to department stores, office buildings and railroad cars. 

1903 – Ernest Pfennig, a dentist from Chicago, became the proud owner of a Model A automobile when the Ford Motor Company sold its first car. The car featured a twin-cylinder internal combustion engine. Although Ford advertised the Model A as the “most reliable machine in the world”, it suffered from many problems common to vehicles of the era, including overheating and slipping transmission bands. The Model A was sold only in red by the factory, though some were later repainted in other colors.

1968 – Chemist Gordon Moore got together with Robert Noyce, a physicist and co-inventor of the integrated circuit, to start a new electronics company. While trying to come up with a name, they quickly dismissed the idea of using their last names, Moore Noyce, as it sounded too much like “more noise” and we all know that noise in electronics is a bad thing. So they settled on NM Electronics. However, by the end of the month, they found a new name – combining the words Integrated Electronics and calling the new company Intel.

1969 – Astronaut Neil Armstrong, pilot of the lunar spacecraft, the Eagle, made the first footsteps on the surface of the moon at 10:56 p.m. ET. The words “Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed…” gave instant impact to the drama of watching human beings reach something so far away so successfully. This feat marked the first time humans walked on another world.

1975 – An Apollo spaceship docked with a Soyuz spacecraft in orbit in the first superpower link-up of its kind as three American and two Soviet spacemen exchanged handshakes 140 miles above the Earth. This meeting is generally viewed as the official end of the intense Space Race between the United States and the Soviet Union. The mission was considered a great success, both technically and as a public-relations exercise for both nations.

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Written by Chris Graveline

Chris has covered consumer technology for over 20 years. He is 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.

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