Patent No. 1,000,000 was issued by the US Patent and Trademark Office to Francis H. Holton for the invention of a tubeless vehicle tire. Beyond the celebration of the milestone patent number achieved by Holton, the invention was important for other reasons.   It represented the incredible advancement of transportation technology since the first... Continue Reading →

Just a few days after Australia entered World War I on the side of the Allied powers, the 350-fooot-long passenger steamship Grantala (an Aboriginal word for “big”) was requisitioned by the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) for military service as a hospital ship. Grantala, which had been completed and launched by Armstrong Whitworth Company for the... Continue Reading →

The Otira Tunnel serving the Midland Railway line within the central part of New Zealand’s South Island was officially opened. The tunnel, which runs under the Southern Alps between Arthur’s Pass in that mountain range and the township of Otira, took approximately 15 years to build. The debut of the Otira Tunnel was hailed throughout... Continue Reading →

A Parisian mechanic named Jules Pierre Suriray was awarded French patent number 86,680 for a radial-style ball bearing he had developed for bicycles. By this time, the use of ball bearings to reduce friction between rotating parts had already long been identified with and applied to various forms of transportation. Ball bearings were used for... Continue Reading →

After nearly three decades of planning and construction, a new rapid transit system was fully opened to the general public for regular all-day service in Finland’s capital and largest city. (Test drives during rush hours only had been initiated two months earlier.) Finnish President Mauno Koivisto formally inaugurated the Helsinki Metro, which is the northernmost... Continue Reading →

On Australia’s southeastern coast, a new lighthouse made its debut on the headland of Barrenjoey in the colony – and present-day state – of New South Wales (NSW). The first light for the sandstone structure was kerosene-fueled. The Barrenjoey Lighthouse was built in response to longtime demands for stronger safeguards for vessels, particularly the steady... Continue Reading →

The Takutu River Bridge, which links the town of Lethem in Guyana with the municipality of Bonfim in Brazil was opened to traffic. Construction of the bridge was a project within the Initiative for the Integration of the Regional Infrastructure of South America (IIRSA); this initiative had been launched in 2000 to promote and facilitate... Continue Reading →

Théodore Vienne, a textile manufacturer and sports entrepreneur who made significant contributions to cycling, was born in the French city of Roubaix. A big proponent of sports events, Vienne coordinated a variety of bullfighting, Greco-Roman wrestling, boxing, and billiards competitions in his hometown. Vienne also happened to be an avid cyclist, so he likewise invested... Continue Reading →

It was a unique case of a student teaching his instructors... In the Croatian city of Zagreb, Ferdinand Budicki took a driving test so that he could become eligible to operate an automobile in his native country. (Croatia, which was a part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire at the time, eventually ended up  under the rule... Continue Reading →

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