1876

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USA: One Hundred Years in the Making

I'm feeling guilty because so much is happening at once that I can't get everything in. As the United State's celebrates its 100th birthday, the entire world is undergoing a Second Industrial Revolution. Electric motors are no longer toys. We have the fuel-based engine. Telephones are emerging. I didn't even mention Maxwell's Equations for God's sake! Albert Einstein is going take those equations and run with them after he is born... THREE YEARS FROM NOW! Wyatt Earp gets his first job in Tombstone, Arizona. Jesse James and company are robbing trains. Melvil Dewey has invented the Dewey decimal system used in libraries today. Freakin' Tom Sawyer has been published. I can't get it all in... and these people can't even imagine where it will all lead.

Food, Fixin' and Fightin': The First College in Texas

We're flying the "Maroon and White" over here, buddy! It's Texas A&M! Back in 1850s, a few US Congressmen wanted to establish agricultural schools across the nation. The idea never got off the ground, so to speak, until they included the mechanical arts and military training... oh... and science and classical studies, too. Don't forget that. In other words, the college was required to cover the basics: Food, Fixin' and Fightin'. College land grants were offered by the US government for this purpose. The result is the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas that will one day be named Texas A&M University. It starts with a faculty of 6 and 6 students. Enrollment grows to 48 before the semester is out. Then enrollment more than doubles. Cadet Corp military training is required. The student numbers will grow until 1883 when another college opens in Austin, Texas. They call it "The Forty Acres" which is "The University of Texas." Oddly, UT and Texas A&M will be separate college systems ruled by different Boards of Directors. Competition between the two campuses will grow until UT dominates. To prevent Texas A&M from closing, they will hire the Confederate Brigadier General Ross to run the college. He will square up the discipline and establish traditions that will remain into the modern day, not least of which will be the school ring that any graduate will be glad to show you. You will have to ask them NOT to show you... actually. George H.W. Bush's Presidential Library will be located at Texas A&M and they will produce an inordinate number of political leaders, athletes, Medal of Honor recipients and celebrities including the Libertarian radio talk show host, Neal Boortz. [1] [2]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
I'm required by my obsessive pursuit of balance to say that Texas A&M was a "white men only" school. Race relations have improved since then. My son will be graduating from Texas A&M with a doctorate this year. He is no more white than I am. Life is good here in central Texas but people outside of Texas have strange notions of what goes on here. They seem to think that Texas is filled with rubes and idiots without enough sense to look both ways before walking into traffic. I can walk around Texas A&M without fear. The Jewish student organizations are expanding and my kids get the news by Pony Express every week! There are parts of Texas famous for their racism. I'm not prancing around like the sugar-fairy. I am polite to all, and everyone is polite to me as is the custom. I say yes sir, no sir, yes ma'am, no ma'am and act like gentleman. Everything goes fine. I grew up in Southern California, which is supposed to be cosmopolitan, but I have experienced more ignorance, antisemitism and fool racist comments in California than I have ever experienced in Texas. I'm glad to be here.

FYI: on the educational opportunities for ex-slaves I recommend, "Up from Slavery" by Booker T. Washington. He established the Tuskegee Teachers School for Colored People which became Tuskegee University. Classes began with building their own classrooms. [3] [4] [5]

Here Comes the Telephone

Alexander Graham Bell is now the patron saint of teenage girls with his invention of the telephone. Bell is born of deaf parents and a grandfather with deep interest in phonetic languages. (Think of "My Fair Lady" and Professor's Higgins' phonetic alphabet. [Click here.]) Alexander Bell is interested in sound. After pouring over scientific journals that he poorly understands, he comes upon an article regarding mimicking vowel sounds by means of an electrical device. Bell wrote, "Without knowing much about the subject, it seemed to me that if vowel sounds could be produced by electrical means, so could consonants, so could articulate speech." Thankfully everything that Bell knew about electricity could be stuffed into a thimble. Otherwise he would have never have attempted what he was about to do next. He worked nights and eventually gave up his professorship in Boston to concentrate on his work. At that time, telegraph traffic was overwhelming the single-wire system. They needed a way to send multiple messages over a single wire rather than string more wires. Bell mentions to investors that he can transmit multiple sounds over a single wire using tuning reeds. They fund him immediately. Bell hires Thomas Watson who is a real engineer. (It says so on the certificate.) In the midst of setting up the test rig, Watson accidentally hits a single tuning reed. What Bell hears on the other end are a range of tones. He realizes he is making his rig more complex than it needs to be. It's a race to the patent office as another inventor has notified the patent office of a similar "harmonic telegraph". Bell is issued the patent and uses his competitor's ideas to produce a demonstration model. He uses his first working model to say, "Mr. Watson—Come here—I want to see you." Bell's voice comes through clearly. He strings four miles or wire and can hear sounds from the other end clear as a ... Bell. They are going to be rich! Alexander Bell's residuals will net him nearly a million dollars. He will devote much of the proceeds to educating the deaf. [6] [7] [8] [9] [10]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
The vast money involved and what appears to be lying under oath makes it is impossible to determine who really owns the rights to the telephone. Bell didn't need the hassle and he had plenty of money, so he resigned. When you look at the actual mechanics of the early telephones you realize that they are fairly simple devices. Most of the guts were dedicated to switching you to the correct line automatically rather than depending on an operator to pull the wire from the switchboard and connect it to the right circuit. That is why they say, "connecting..." because in the old days, making a phone call involved negotiating with an operator who would make the physical connection on your behalf. With some bribery, an operator could be convinced to connect business calls to a competitor. When an businessman realized he was being bamboozled by his competitor this way, he invented the dial telephone and automatic switch board, thus returning the power to the people to make their own decisions on who to call. Voice-over-IP is the common way to make connections now. I can explain it, but it would take more room than I have here. In short... It's magic! And if you pay me, I'll bring the Sun back too. [11]

In Other News

  • Budweiser is introduced to Missouri. Budweiser, means "From Budweiss." It's a hit in the USA, but the American company will be fighting trademark law suits into the modern day. The city of Budweiss actually has a patent from the old King to produce beer and the European authorities take that patent seriously. [12] [13]
  • Korea is now an independent nation. Japan says so. Under gunboat diplomacy, Japan makes the Kingdom of Joseon (later the Korean Empire) into a tributary of Japan. The treaty calls the Kingdom an "independent nation". It's in writing so you know it is true. [6] [14]
  • Nikolaus Otto invents the 4-stroke engine. The engine compresses fuel without exploding and ruining your whole day... a key design feature. It's fuel efficiency will make it a success. Later, the engine will be adapted for automobiles. [6] [15] [16]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1876, Wikipedia.

See Also

References

  1. List of Texas A&M University people - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 22 September 2016.
  2. Texas A&M University - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 22 September 2016. “The U.S. Congress laid the groundwork for the establishment of Texas A&M in 1862 with the adoption of the Morrill Act. The act auctioned land grants of public lands to establish endowments for colleges where the 'leading object shall be, without excluding other scientific and classical studies and including military tactics, to teach such branches of learning as are related to agriculture and mechanical arts... to promote the liberal and practical education of the industrial classes in the several pursuits and professions in life'.[16] In 1871, the Texas Legislature used these funds to establish the state's first public institution of higher education,[17] the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas, then known as Texas A.M.C.[16] Brazos County donated 2,416 acres (10 km2) near Bryan, Texas, for the school's campus.”
  3. Tuskegee University - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 22 September 2016. “The school expressed Washington's dedication to the pursuit of self-reliance. In addition to training teachers, he also taught the practical skills needed for his students to succeed at farming or other trades typical of the rural South, where most of them came from. He wanted his students to see labor as practical, but also as beautiful and dignified. As part of their work-study programs, students constructed most of the new buildings. Many students earned all or part of their expenses through the construction, agricultural, and domestic work associated with the campus, as they reared livestock and raised crops, as well as producing other goods.”
  4. Washington, Booker T.. Up From Slavery: An Autobiography. Lancer Books. 
  5. Alex Shrugged notes: The ex-slaves took on a number of names to describe themselves. "Colored People" is one of several. Keep in mind that the NAACP used to stand for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Grun, Bernard. The Timetables of History: A Horizontal Linkage of People and Events. Simon and Schuster, 436-437. 
  7. My Fair Lady 'Why Can't the English Learn to Speak' - YouTube (2016). Retrieved on 22 September 2016. “First meet between Higgins and Doolittle, with English subs”
  8. My Fair Lady - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 22 September 2016. “The man explains that he studies phonetics and can identify anyone's origin by their accent. He laments Eliza's dreadful speech, asking why so many English people don't speak properly and explaining his theory that this is what truly separates social classes, rather than looks or money ('Why Can't the English?').”
  9. Visible Speech - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 22 September 2016. “Bell's son Alexander Graham Bell learned the symbols, assisted his father in giving public demonstrations of the system and mastered it to the point that he later improved upon his father's work. Eventually, Alexander Graham Bell became a powerful advocate of visible speech and oralism in the United States. The money he earned from his patent of the telephone and the sale of his Volta Laboratory patents helped him to pursue this mission.”
  10. Alexander Graham Bell - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 22 September 2016. “Although Bell was, and still is, accused of stealing the telephone from Gray,[83] Bell used Gray's water transmitter design only after Bell's patent had been granted, and only as a proof of concept scientific experiment, to prove to his own satisfaction that intelligible 'articulate speech' (Bell's words) could be electrically transmitted. After March 1876, Bell focused on improving the electromagnetic telephone and never used Gray's liquid transmitter in public demonstrations or commercial use.”
  11. Almon Brown Strowger - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 22 September 2016. “Convinced that it should be subscribers, rather than the operator, who chose who was called - anecdotally, Strowger's undertaking business was losing clients to a competitor whose telephone-operator wife was intercepting and redirecting everyone who called Strowger - he first conceived his invention in 1888, and patented the automatic telephone exchange in 1891. It is reported that he initially constructed a model of his invention from a round collar box and some straight pins.”
  12. Adolphus Busch - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 22 September 2016. “Adolphus Busch (10 July 1839 – 10 October 1913) was the German-born co-founder of Anheuser-Busch with his father-in-law, Eberhard Anheuser. He introduced numerous innovations, building the success of the company in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He became a philanthropist, using his great wealth for education and humanitarian needs. His great-great-grandson, August Busch IV is now on the board of Anheuser-Busch InBev.”
  13. Budweiser - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 22 September 2016. “Introduced in 1876 by Carl Conrad & Co. of St. Louis, Missouri, it has grown to become one of the highest selling beers in the United States, and is available in over 80 markets worldwide—though, due to a trademark dispute, does not necessarily do so under the Budweiser name. It is made with up to 30% rice in addition to hops and barley malt.[2] Produced in various breweries around the world, Budweiser is a filtered beer available in draft and packaged forms.”
  14. Tributary - definition of tributary (2016). Retrieved on 22 September 2016. “A ruler or nation that pays tribute.”
  15. Nikolaus Otto - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 22 September 2016. “Over 50,000 engines in 17 years following introduction.”
  16. Otto engine - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 22 September 2016. “Otto found a way to layer the fuel mixture into the cylinder to cause the fuel to burn in a progressive, as opposed to explosive fashion. He referred to this as being a layered or stratified charge. This resulted in controlled combustion and a longer push of the piston in the cylinder rather than the explosion which destroyed all the engines attempted previously.”

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