January 27, 1861 Ralph Modjeski, a civil engineer who achieved acclaim for his wide range of bridge design and construction projects, was born in the town of Bochnia in the Austrian Empire (in what is now Poland). Modjeski immigrated to the United States in 1878. He became an American citizen five years later. Modjeski’s first major... Continue Reading →

January 19, 1947 The Cincinnatian, a luxury passenger train operated by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad (B&O), made its official debut with regular runs between Baltimore and Cincinnati. The Cincinnatian was the first luxury train introduced during the post-World War II years by the nation’s oldest railroad chartered specifically for public use. The train was... Continue Reading →

January 11, 1815 David Stevenson, who would achieve widespread renown as a civil engineer and lighthouse designer, was born in Scotland’s capital city of Edinburgh. By the time of his birth, his father Robert Stevenson (1772-1850) had begun to establish himself as a notable designer of lighthouses within Scotland. (This country officially became part of... Continue Reading →

December 6, 1954 A different type of motor coach bus first rolled off the Mercedes-Benz assembly line in city of Mannheim in what was then West Germany. The 30-foot (9.1-meter)-long 0321H, which was equipped with nine rows of seats and could accommodate up to 37 passengers, made its debut nearly six decades after automotive pioneer... Continue Reading →

November 8, 1881 Aviation pioneer and spaceflight theorist Robert Esnault-Pelterie was born in Paris, France. With a strong background in engineering, he made major contributions to the origins of heavier-than-air flight in Europe during the first decade of the 20th century. In 1903, Esnault-Pelterie invented the aileron -- a movable airfoil that could be installed at the... Continue Reading →

August 26, 1901 Gentullio “Tullio” Campagnolo, who achieved widespread fame as both a racing cyclist and bicycle manufacturer, was born in the city of Vicenza in northeastern Italy. By the early 1920s, Campagnolo was regularly competing in such prestigious and difficult cycling races as the Giro di Lombardia (Tour of Lombardy) in northwestern Italy; and La... Continue Reading →

August 11, 1950 The Fairchild XC-120 Packplane, one of the more unconventional types of aircraft created in the United States in the post-World War II era, first took to the skies. The XC-120 was built for the U.S. Air Force by the aircraft and aerospace manufacturer Fairchild, and that transport plane made its maiden flight... Continue Reading →

July 28, 1790 James Goold, a renowned carriage-maker who manufactured everything from sleighs to stagecoaches, was born in Granby, Connecticut. He launched his own business in Albany, New York, in 1813. That firm, which became popularly known as the Albany Coach Manufactory, achieved an important milestone in 1831 when it was hired to build six coaches for... Continue Reading →

February 16, 1843 Henry Martyn Leland, who would leave an indelible mark on the American automobile industry, was born in northeastern Vermont. As a young man, he worked as for the renowned tools manufacturer Brown & Sharp in Providence, Rhode Island. That job and others helped Leland refine a wide range of mass-production and mechanical... Continue Reading →

In 1956, McKinley Thompson became the first African-American car designer for a major automobile manufacturer when the Ford Motor Company hired him. Thompson, who was born in New York City in 1922, recalled that his choice of career first took shape when he was only 12 years old. He noticed one day how sunlight broke... Continue Reading →

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