July 31, 1910 In Minnesota, Split Rock Lighthouse began operations in a high-risk area on the North Shore of Lake Superior. The new structure’s oil-vapor lamp was first lit on that Sunday evening by keeper Orren “Pete” Young. A one-time sailor, Young served as keeper at the lighthouse until retiring at the mandatory age of... Continue Reading →

July 30, 1928 Dwight E. Austin, an engineer at the California-based bus company Pickwick Stages System, finished building the first model of one of the most unique motor vehicles to grace America’s highways up to that time. The vehicle was the Nite Coach (also spelled out as Nitecoach), a double-decker bus with sleeping accommodations for up... Continue Reading →

July 27, 1888 In Boston, inventor Philip W. Pratt conducted a public demonstration of an electric tricycle that he had designed and was built by the manufacturer and electrical engineer Fred M. Kimball. As part of his demonstration, Pratt took the editor of Modern Light and Heat magazine for a ride on the new device around... Continue Reading →

July 26, 1933 A record-setting dry dock was formally dedicated at the port city of Southampton on England’s southern coast. This new facility was specifically a graving dock, which is a basin into which a vessel can be floated for maintenance and repairs. After the water is temporarily pumped out of the basin, the vessel... Continue Reading →

July 25, 1953 Tokens were first sold as fare for New York City’s subway system. They were a response to a large-scale technical challenge facing the system. The New York City Transit Authority (TA) opened for business that year to oversee the city’s extensive public transportation operations, and the debut of the agency was accompanied by... Continue Reading →

July 24, 1864 Railroad executive Thomas James Tait, whose career spanned both North America and Australia, was born in the township municipality of Melbourne in Quebec, Canada. He started working for the Grand Trunk Railway (GT) in 1880; that extensive system ran through Ontario and Quebec as well as Michigan and much of New England. Tait... Continue Reading →

July 23, 1911 It was an auspicious start for a record-setting career in aviation . . . In the skies above the Nassau Boulevard Aerodrome on Long Island, 23-year-old George W. Beatty first flew solo in a plane. This flight occurred less than a month after he began taking lessons from instructor Arthur L. “Al”... Continue Reading →

July 20, 1956 On Canada’s Pacific coast, the ferry MV Mill Bay was first placed into service transporting passengers and vehicles across Saanich Inlet and between the communities of Brentwood Bay and Mill Bay on Vancouver Island in British Columbia. W. Glenn “Red” Ryder served as the vessel’s first captain. The ferry was constructed by the... Continue Reading →

July 19, 1902 A new automobile manufacturer was incorporated in the city of Jackson, Michigan. This fledgling enterprise was called the Jackson Automobile Company, and its founding partners were Byron J. Carter, who helped manage a bicycle and sundries store and acquired a great deal of expertise in the development of engines; Charles Lewis, who... Continue Reading →

July 18, 1892 “The wheelmen of the country have taken the capital by storm today,” proclaimed the Wisconsin-based Oshkosh Daily Northwestern on July 18, 1892. “Ten thousand of them, coming from every state in the country have arrived within the last forty-eight hours to assist in giving proper eclat to the national meet of the... Continue Reading →

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