ASME History & Heritage

ASME History & Heritage ASME's History and Heritage program celebrates and landmarks the significant contributions of mechanical engineers in creating a better society.

Founded in 1880 as the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, ASME is a not-for-profit professional organization that enables collaboration, knowledge sharing and skill development across all engineering disciplines. Learn more @ www.asme.org

Founded in 1880 as the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, ASME is a not-for-profit professional organization that enables collaboration, knowledge sharing and skill development across all engineering disciplines. Learn more @ www.asme.org

Operating as usual

For #TBT we're going way back...all the way to 1908! Thanks to our History and Heritage Commitee, we got our hands on an...
09/02/2021

For #TBT we're going way back...all the way to 1908! Thanks to our History and Heritage Commitee, we got our hands on an issue of Scientific American dating back to December 8, 1908. We've selected a few ads, excerpts, and photos to share here. It's amazing how much some technology has changed, and how some things haven't changed much at all!

Would you ever pose for a photo with a nuclear reactor? These engineers are doing just that! They're standing next to a ...
08/31/2021

Would you ever pose for a photo with a nuclear reactor? These engineers are doing just that! They're standing next to a vertical reactor at what's now the Idaho National Laboratory. The reactor weighed a whopping 297 tons, and was situated in the lab's "hot shop," where reactors were maintained and studied. In addition to the lab's groundbreaking work on reactors, it tested nuclear propulsion for aircraft, which the Soviets were also thought to be working on.

Much of our knowledge about how reactors behave was discovered at INL. Learn more about the successes and failures of nuclear power development and other key milestones in engineering history in ASME's new book, "Chronicles of Mechanical Engineering in the United States," edited by Thomas H. Fehring, P.E. and Terry S. Reynolds, Ph.D.

Buy the book today:
🔗 ASME.org, with a discount for ASME members: https://asmedigitalcollection.asme.org/ebooks/book/278/Chronicles-of-Mechanical-Engineering-in-the-United
🔗 Amazon.com Kindle edition: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0973DYTQ8/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_hsch_vapi_taft_p1_i0

📸 : Courtesy Idaho National Laboratory

Would you ever pose for a photo with a nuclear reactor? These engineers are doing just that! They're standing next to a vertical reactor at what's now the Idaho National Laboratory. The reactor weighed a whopping 297 tons, and was situated in the lab's "hot shop," where reactors were maintained and studied. In addition to the lab's groundbreaking work on reactors, it tested nuclear propulsion for aircraft, which the Soviets were also thought to be working on.

Much of our knowledge about how reactors behave was discovered at INL. Learn more about the successes and failures of nuclear power development and other key milestones in engineering history in ASME's new book, "Chronicles of Mechanical Engineering in the United States," edited by Thomas H. Fehring, P.E. and Terry S. Reynolds, Ph.D.

Buy the book today:
🔗 ASME.org, with a discount for ASME members: https://asmedigitalcollection.asme.org/ebooks/book/278/Chronicles-of-Mechanical-Engineering-in-the-United
🔗 Amazon.com Kindle edition: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0973DYTQ8/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_hsch_vapi_taft_p1_i0

📸 : Courtesy Idaho National Laboratory

How do you make a railway run uphill—and do it safely? Let’s take a look at the Pilatusbahn in Switzerland, the steepest...
08/28/2021

How do you make a railway run uphill—and do it safely? Let’s take a look at the Pilatusbahn in Switzerland, the steepest cog railway in the world and an #ASMELandmark.

The railway’s route covers almost 3 miles (4.62 km) over a maximum gradient of 48%, but designing a rack railway on such a steep incline was not without its challenges. The railway was opened in 1889, and the cog systems used at the time would not work on a such a steep incline. Plus, Switzerland would not permit the railway to operate using a conventional system, fearing it was unsafe. So engineer Eduard Locher devised a unique system that turned the rack sideways, which served two purposes: the rack guided the steam-powered train cars, and it kept the cars locked to the mountainside.

The train still operates today, though now the carriages are electric rather than steam-powered. The Pilatusbahn was designated an ASME landmark in 2001.

You can read ASME's landmark report here: https://www.asme.org/about-asme/engineering-history/landmarks/220-pilatusbahn

📸 : Wikimedia Commons; By Maria Feofilova - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0; By JuergenG, CC BY-SA 3.0; By Audriusa - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

The year is 1926, and a new steam turbine-generator at the Lakeside Power Plant in St. Francis, Wisconsin, is starting u...
08/19/2021

The year is 1926, and a new steam turbine-generator at the Lakeside Power Plant in St. Francis, Wisconsin, is starting up. Engineers Fred Dornbrook (left) and John Anderson are there, as is Anderson’s daughter Miriam, who was then the only female mechanical engineering student at the University of Wisconsin. It's an engineering marvel—a model for plants throughout the world and a landmark in the development of modern electric power.

Learn more about power development milestones in the United States, significant early engineers, and other engineering topics in ASME's new book, "Chronicles of Mechanical Engineering in the United States," edited by Thomas H. Fehring, P.E. and Terry S. Reynolds, Ph.D.

Buy the book today:
🔗 ASME.org, with a discount for ASME members: https://asmedigitalcollection.asme.org/ebooks/book/278/Chronicles-of-Mechanical-Engineering-in-the-United
🔗 Amazon.com Kindle edition: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0973DYTQ8/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_hsch_vapi_taft_p1_i0
📸 : We Energies

The year is 1926, and a new steam turbine-generator at the Lakeside Power Plant in St. Francis, Wisconsin, is starting up. Engineers Fred Dornbrook (left) and John Anderson are there, as is Anderson’s daughter Miriam, who was then the only female mechanical engineering student at the University of Wisconsin. It's an engineering marvel—a model for plants throughout the world and a landmark in the development of modern electric power.

Learn more about power development milestones in the United States, significant early engineers, and other engineering topics in ASME's new book, "Chronicles of Mechanical Engineering in the United States," edited by Thomas H. Fehring, P.E. and Terry S. Reynolds, Ph.D.

Buy the book today:
🔗 ASME.org, with a discount for ASME members: https://asmedigitalcollection.asme.org/ebooks/book/278/Chronicles-of-Mechanical-Engineering-in-the-United
🔗 Amazon.com Kindle edition: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0973DYTQ8/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_hsch_vapi_taft_p1_i0
📸 : We Energies

Carpet isn't as popular today as it once was, but for years, it was reserved only for the homes of very wealthy American...
08/11/2021

Carpet isn't as popular today as it once was, but for years, it was reserved only for the homes of very wealthy Americans. That was until 1928 when Ernest Moench designed his Carpet Tufting Apparatus which mechanized the long and expensive tufting process, bringing carpets to most American homes!

Cut-pile manufacturing consists of two techniques: repeated insertion of loops of thick fiber thread through a backing material and then cutting the exposed loops to produce the cut piles. This #ASMELandmark was the first to combine the techniques in one mechanized device.

Did you know that descendants of this machine are responsible for creating over three-quarters of all American carpets?

Do you recognize the woman in this photo? Before she became world famous, Marilyn Monroe, then called Norma Jeane Doughe...
08/02/2021

Do you recognize the woman in this photo? Before she became world famous, Marilyn Monroe, then called Norma Jeane Dougherty, worked at the Radioplane Company factory in Van Nuys, California. She was photographed there in 1945 with the engine from Radioplane's OQ-3 drone.

Learn more about the history of mechanical engineering in the United States, the history of ASME, significant early engineers, and more, in ASME's new book, "Chronicles of Mechanical Engineering in the United States," edited by Thomas H. Fehring, P.E. and Terry S. Reynolds, Ph.D.

Buy the book today:
🔗 ASME.org, with a discount for ASME members: https://bit.ly/3lt7ay7
🔗 Amazon.com: https://amzn.to/37kNsw4

📸 : Wikimedia Commons

Do you recognize the woman in this photo? Before she became world famous, Marilyn Monroe, then called Norma Jeane Dougherty, worked at the Radioplane Company factory in Van Nuys, California. She was photographed there in 1945 with the engine from Radioplane's OQ-3 drone.

Learn more about the history of mechanical engineering in the United States, the history of ASME, significant early engineers, and more, in ASME's new book, "Chronicles of Mechanical Engineering in the United States," edited by Thomas H. Fehring, P.E. and Terry S. Reynolds, Ph.D.

Buy the book today:
🔗 ASME.org, with a discount for ASME members: https://bit.ly/3lt7ay7
🔗 Amazon.com: https://amzn.to/37kNsw4

📸 : Wikimedia Commons

Today is #MoonDay—and it's the 52nd anniversary of Apollo 11's successful landing on the moon! The Apollo 11 command mod...
07/20/2021

Today is #MoonDay—and it's the 52nd anniversary of Apollo 11's successful landing on the moon! The Apollo 11 command module, lunar module, the Saturn V rocket that carried Apollo 11 to space, and the space suit worn by astronauts on the moon are all #ASMElandmarks!

On July 20, 1969, NASA astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin E. Aldrin Jr. took the lunar module to the moon's surface, while Michael Collins orbited the moon alone in the command module.

After eight days in space—including about 21 hours on the moon for Armstrong and Aldrin—the Apollo 11 crew splashed down in the Pacific Ocean.

Eventually, a total of six crews would walk on the moon before the final Apollo mission in 1972. More than 400,000 engineers worked on the Apollo program between 1961 and 1972. "When I was there working on it, it was more like, 'We've got a job to do, we're engineers, we can get the job done,'" engineer Peter Kachmar told ASME in 2019. "And I've come to realize what a tremendous feat it really was."⁣

📸 : NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration

07/14/2021
Holland Tunnel

Commuting is back on the schedule for thousands of employees returning to in-person work.

For residents of New Jersey and surrounding areas, the Holland Tunnel, the world's first mechanically ventilated underwater tunnel, brings them across state lines and to offices across New York City!

Let's learn a bit about #ASMElandmark No. 93 🚗 📁

For a long time we've been sharing photos of videos of #ASMELandmarks, but today we wanted to take a step back and expla...
06/30/2021

For a long time we've been sharing photos of videos of #ASMELandmarks, but today we wanted to take a step back and explain what the landmarks program is! Check out the images below to learn a little more about the program, run by ASME's History and Heritage Committee, and check out the full list of landmarks here: https://www.asme.org/about-asme/engineering-history/landmarks What engineering achievement would you add to the list?

📸: Saturn V rocket, NASA; Disneyland monorail, Wikimedia Commons; Monongahela Incline, Wendy Felton

Air travel is on the rise again, but it hasn't always been the safe experience that it is now. In the early years of avi...
06/15/2021

Air travel is on the rise again, but it hasn't always been the safe experience that it is now. In the early years of aviation, aircraft engines were considered unreliable -- they were too heavy, and they depended on liquid cooling.⁣

It wasn't until 1925 when Pratt & Whitney's R-1340 Wasp Radial Engine came onto the scene and forever changed the aviation industry.⁣

Honored as an #ASMELandmark in August 2015, the Wasp Engine was created by a team of engineers led by Chief Executive Officer Fredrick Rentschler, Vice President of Engineering George Mead, and Chief Engineer Andy Willgoos. ⁣

To improve the engine’s manufacturability and reduce its assembly time and complexity, they implemented a number of improvements including: a single piece master rod to allow the engine to operate at a higher number of revolutions per minute; a two-piece crankshaft that was able to maintain required tolerances – making the single piece master rod possible; and a split crankcase with two identical halves. ⁣

Did you know that over 90 versions of the R-1340 engine are in operation today? 😯

Imagine working in a mine more than 80 years ago. You’re thousands of feet underground, the work is physically difficult...
06/02/2021

Imagine working in a mine more than 80 years ago. You’re thousands of feet underground, the work is physically difficult, and temperatures can reach 101 °F (38 °C)

In 1937, the Magma Copper Company Mines in Superior, Arizona, addressed one aspect of this situation: They installed air conditioning 3,600 feet (1,097 m) below the surface.

Two centrifugal refrigeration machines with 140-ton capacities were lowered into the mineshafts. The dimensions of the shafts where the air conditioners could be lowered limited their size, so two smaller units were used instead of one larger one. Each unit had a 200-hp, 2200-volt, three-phase, 25-cycle induction motor operating at 1440 RPM, and could be increased up to 6,750 RPM.

By the time the air conditioners had been in place for four months, underground temperatures had been lowered more than 20 degrees.

Dr. Willis H. Carrier, credited as the inventor of air conditioning, personally designed Magma’s system and oversaw the equipment’s construction.

For many years, the Magma mines were the only ones in North America to be air conditioned. Once the mines had been depleted of ore, the air conditioning units were abandoned underground—the company determined it would be too expensive to bring them back to the surface.

The Magma Copper Company Mine's air conditioning system became an #ASMELandmark in 1976.

We post about 3D printing pretty often, so let's go back in time to talk about the first 3D printer for commercial sale ...
04/14/2021

We post about 3D printing pretty often, so let's go back in time to talk about the first 3D printer for commercial sale and use!

It started with inventor Chuck Hull ⬇️

- 1983: Hull created the first-ever 3D printed part, inventing stereolithography

- 1984: Hull filed his patent for Stereolithography Apparatus (SLA)

- 1986: Hull founded @3dsystems, the first 3D printing company in the world

- 1987: 3D Systems commercialized the SLA-1 Stereolithography (SLA) printer

- 2016: 3D Systems' SLA-1 printer was honored as an #ASMELandmark

Since then, 3D printing has expanded into almost every industry, changing the way that we create and innovate.

Wow! An incredible look inside the #ASMELandmark Ho**er Telescope.
04/02/2021

Wow! An incredible look inside the #ASMELandmark Ho**er Telescope.

Today, almost all high-rise offices are cooled—but when the Milam Building opened in San Antonio, Texas, in 1928, it was...
03/29/2021

Today, almost all high-rise offices are cooled—but when the Milam Building opened in San Antonio, Texas, in 1928, it was the world's first high-rise air-conditioned office building. It contained Willis H. Carrier’s “Manufactured Weather” system. In addition to creating a comfortable temperature in the building, it allowed doors and windows to be closed, which had the added benefit of reducing dirt and noise from the street. The Manufactured Weather setup promised a comfortable temperature of 75 degrees Fahrenheit, with 56 percent relative humidity.

At 21 stories tall, the Milam was also the tallest brick and concrete-reinforced structure in the United States. Smaller buildings had installed air conditioning prior to 1928, but the Milam was different because the infrastructure needed for the system was part of the original construction. The building was named an #ASMELandmark in August 1991, and the Milam Building is still filled with offices today.

Read more about the Milam Building here: https://bit.ly/2PFYVki

Images: ASME and Wikimedia Commons (By Ling Li Yeoh - San Antonio Building/Uploaded by xnatedawgx, CC BY 2.0, https://bit.ly/3deKcFj)

Researchers at University College London (UCL) have made some exciting discoveries about the Antikythera Mechanism, the ...
03/15/2021

Researchers at University College London (UCL) have made some exciting discoveries about the Antikythera Mechanism, the world's first analog computer!

A 2006 study suggested that there was a missing Cosmos display that was a moving set of rings charting out the motion of Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. The UCL team revealed a new display of the ancient Greek order of the Universe (Cosmos) within a complex gearing system on the front of the device.

This 2nd century BC device, also known as #ASMELandmark #271, was used to predict lunar and solar eclipses, maintain calendar accuracy, and predict the dates of the Panhellenic Games. Until now, a full understanding of the device's front has remained a mystery, as only one-third of it survived the shipwreck where it was discovered in 1901.

The team is now working to someday replicate the full machinery of their model using ancient Greek technologies and methods. How amazing is that?

Get ready for takeoff! Today, we're learning about #asmelandmark #36, the RL-10 Rocket Engine. The RL-10, which served a...
02/16/2021

Get ready for takeoff! Today, we're learning about #asmelandmark #36, the RL-10 Rocket Engine. The RL-10, which served as the power plant for NASA's upper-stage Centaur space launch vehicle, was the first rocket engine to use high-energy liquid hydrogen as a fuel.⁣

Design of the RL-10 began in the fall of 1958 at the Pratt & Whitney Aircraft Florida Research and Development Center. Its design led to the development of larger⁣ engines that made possible man’s greatest engineering achievement, the lunar landing in July 1969.⁣

In the first flight demonstration on November 27, 1963, a pair of RL-10s successfully boosted a Centaur space vehicle into orbit around the earth. Two months later, on January 29, 1964, a six-engine cluster of RL-10s generated 90,000 pounds of thrust to lift the first test flight of the Saturn S-IV stage, pioneering hydrogen technology on the Saturn I booster. ⁣

Did you know that you can see a mock-up of the RL-10 at the aerospace museum at the National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution? #airandspace

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Stand by us with your donation, and then come "Stand by us" when we pour iron in 2021. The Foundry non-profit board is asking for your support on Giving Tuesday – December 1st. All #GivingTuesday donations must be made ON TUESDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2020 THROUGH THIS LINK: www.giveamador.org OR Drop off CHECKS DATED 12/1/2020 or CASH 11AM – 3PM December 1st, 2020 At Miners Bend Park in Sutter Creek OR Drop off CHECKS DATED 12/1/2020 in Mail Slot 12:01AM TO MIDNIGHT December 1, 2020 OR in person 9AM – 5PM at Amador Community Foundation 571 S. Hwy 49, Jackson, CA 95642, Phone: 209-223-2148 OR Drop off CHECKS DATED 12/1/2020 11AM – 3PM December 1, 2020 St. Katharine Drexel 11361 Prospect Drive, Jackson, CA 95642
Transit, Light and Power Company - Bakersfield, California 1897...... The first hydro-electric power development on the Kern River was done at the mouth of the river in the valley east of Bakersfield as part of the Bakersfield and Kern Electric Railway. "In December 1894, the Power Development Company was founded. Its owners were H. A. Blodgett, C. N. Beale, S. W. Fergusson, W. S. Tevis and Henry Jastro. The company began work on constructing a hydroelectric power plant at the base of the Kern River Canyon. The construction was completed in 1897. It also would provide enough power for an electric streetcar line." Knight & Co. supplied four turbine sets with governors and controls as shown in the 1912 Knight Catalog. These wheels operated with a head of 190 feet and a large volume water. Later hydro development on the Kern River in the early 1900s was done by Southern California Edison. https://en.wikipedia.org/…/Bakersfield_and_Kern_Electric_Railway