April 18, 1898 The U.S. Navy acquired a tugboat that was constructed in San Francisco a decade earlier by the shipbuilding company Union Iron Works. This tugboat, along with one that was built in Philadelphia, became part of the Navy’s fleet at a time when the United States was readying for war against Spain. “TUGBOATS... Continue Reading →

April 15, 1936   The government of the Irish Free State (the present-day Republic of Ireland) formally established Aer Lingus Teoranta as the national airline. Seán Ó hUadhaigh served as the company’s first chairman. “Aer Lingus” is derived from the Irish term “aerloingeas,” which means “air fleet,” while “Teoranta” is the Irish phrase for “limited company.”... Continue Reading →

April 12, 1792 The Second U.S. Congress authorized the creation of a pioneering lighthouse in New York. The actual construction of this lighthouse, which is located at the easternmost point of Long Island in the hamlet of Montauk, finally took place four years later. Montauk Point Lighthouse was the first lighthouse built within the state... Continue Reading →

April 11, 1936 The first trackless trolley line in the Boston metropolitan area made its debut when the Boston Elevated Railway (BERy) introduced trolleybuses on what had been a streetcar route between Harvard Square and Lechmere Square in the city of Cambridge. The first of these orange vehicles left Bennett Street yard (near Harvard Square)... Continue Reading →

April 10, 1848   The Illinois and Michigan (I&M) Canal was first opened to navigation when the freight boat General Fry traveled northwest along the recently completed route from the town of Lockport to the then-small city of Chicago. While the formal dedication of the I&M Canal would not take place until six days later, the... Continue Reading →

April 9, 1907 Civil engineer Harry Pond Townsend was granted U.S. Patent No. 850,077 for a coaster brake that he had created for bicycles. Townsend assigned the patent application to his employer, the New Departure Manufacturing Company of Bristol, Connecticut. (The company built its reputation on producing various types of bells, including bicycle bells, and those widely... Continue Reading →

April 5, 1941 Nigel Gresley, a railway engineer who made major contributions to the development of high-powered steam locomotives, died at his home in Hertford, England, at the age of 64. He was born in 1876 in Scotland’s capital city of Edinburgh and raised in the English village and civil parish of Netherseal. After attending... Continue Reading →

April 4, 2016 In Indonesia, Merah-Putih Bridge was dedicated in the province of Maluku less than five years after construction on it had begun. Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo formally opened the red-and-white bridge, which spans Ambon Bay in Maluku’s capital city of Ambon. Other public officials attending this ceremony included Basuki Hadimuljono, Indonesia’s minister... Continue Reading →

April 1, 1909 Automobile coachbuilder Fleetwood Metal Body was formally launched in Fleetwood, Pennsylvania, with Harry C. Urich serving as the new company’s president and general manager. Fleetwood Metal Body soon established itself as a leading high-quality producer of aluminum and wood automotive chassis. By 1920, the company was regularly exhibiting its creations at prestigious automobile... Continue Reading →

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