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

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 Hooker Telescope.
04/02/2021

Wow! An incredible look inside the #ASMELandmark Hooker 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

The weather in the United States is getting colder, bringing snow along with it. ❄️ That's why we're going back in time ...
01/14/2021

The weather in the United States is getting colder, bringing snow along with it. ❄️ That's why we're going back in time to 1887 to learn about the Northern Pacific Rotary Snow Plow #2, also known as #ASMElandmark No. 257. ⁣⁣
⁣⁣
Manufactured by Cooke Locomotive & Machine Works of Paterson, New Jersey in 1887, the Northern Pacific Rotary Snow Plow #2 is the oldest surviving rotary snowplow in the world. ⁣⁣
⁣⁣
Before its invention, railways were forced to rely on snow sheds and fixed plows which tended to be inefficient and sometimes dangerous. The rotary snowplows were safer because they moved at slow, consistent speeds to remove the snow with a large cutting wheel that would cut the snow and pass it to a throwing wheel behind it. ⁣

Did you know that in one hour, a rotary plow could do the same amount of work as a regular plow could in one day? 🚆

Practically everything about #ASMELandmark #58 is historic: 1934’s Pioneer Zephyr train was the second internal combusti...
12/31/2020

Practically everything about #ASMELandmark #58 is historic: 1934’s Pioneer Zephyr train was the second internal combustion-powered streamliner; the first one to be diesel-powered; and the first to enter revenue service. Its cars were made of stainless steel, held together by processes that were new at the time, like shotwelding and unibody construction. The train weighed 97.5 tons and was 196 feet (59.7 m) long.

Perhaps more crucially, it advanced the train as a mode of transport for passengers—not just for freight—in an era when cars were replacing trains as the preferred way to travel. In addition to its innovative construction, its interior design was carefully crafted to contrast with old-fashioned dark, ornate train cars. The ASME Landmark report notes that “each individual compartment had a distinctive color harmony coordinating wall colors, window drapes, upholstery, and floor covering.”

On May 26, 1934, the train traveled from Chicago to Denver in just 13 hours, at an average speed of almost 78 mph (124 km/h). For one section of the run, it reached a speed of 112.5 mph (181 km/h)! This dawn-to-dusk run inspired a 1934 movie called "The Silver Streak."

By the time it was retired in 1960, the Pioneer Zephyr had traveled an incredible 3.2 million miles. Today, it is in the collection of the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago. It was named an ASME Landmark in November 1980.

It's always amazing to see ASME Landmarks in person! We took a drive to visit the Great Falls Raceway and Power System, ...
12/16/2020

It's always amazing to see ASME Landmarks in person! We took a drive to visit the Great Falls Raceway and Power System, also known as #ASMElandmark #28, in Paterson, New Jersey.⁣

The project, conceived by Alexander Hamilton in 1791 and designed by Pierre Charles L'Enfant and Peter Colt, is the first major water power system and basis for integrating urban planning with industrial development in the U.S.

Honored as a landmark by ASME in 1977, the Great Falls Raceway and Power System provided an abundance of inexpensive energy, which helped improve industries such as textiles and textile machinery, the Colt revolver, Rogers' and other steam locomotives, silk manufacturing, flax and jute production, early Wright aircraft engines, apparel manufacturing, and many more.

Have you ever visited an #ASMElandmark in person? If so, let us know below!

11/23/2020

All aboard for a look at a super-fast #ASMELandmark!

Noria [nawr-ee-uh]: a noria raises water from a stream or river and discharges it at a higher elevation. Among the large...
11/12/2020

Noria [nawr-ee-uh]: a noria raises water from a stream or river and discharges it at a higher elevation.

Among the largest and oldest existing waterwheels ever constructed, the Noria al-Muhammadiyya is the most famous of many norias in Hama, Syria, and was built in 763 AH, or 1361 CE and became #ASMElandmark #241 in 2006.

Some facts: the diameter of its wheel is 21 meters (69 feet). Fourteen of the arches of its aqueduct still exist. Compared to the typical known size of waterwheels of 2 to 3 meters (7 to 9 feet), the Noria al-Muhammadiyya is among the largest water wheels ever constructed. It was restored in 1977 and is currently in service!

This noria supplied water to the Grand Mosque and provided water
to the public bath of Hammam al-Dahab, to the gardens around the mosque, and to the houses and the fountains of the same quarters or neighborhood.

Learn more about the intriguing history of norias here: bit.ly/3eRcRAJ

Diamonds -- they're shiny and beautiful, and are used to celebrate the importance of events ranging from marriage to ann...
11/05/2020

Diamonds -- they're shiny and beautiful, and are used to celebrate the importance of events ranging from marriage to anniversaries to birthdays and more. But where and when did commercial diamond production actually begin? #ASMElandmark #198 may give you a hint.

A research group, known as Project Superpressure, that was formed in 1951 at GE's Research Laboratory in Schenectady, New York paved the way for the first apparatus to consistently produce industrial diamonds.

The apparatus demonstrated the fundamentals of producing and containing very high pressures (65 kbar (65,000 atmospheres) at 1800 C (3272 F)) to be exact, and became the basis for the industrial-diamond production that followed!

Welcome to the Windmill City! Batavia, Illinois, USA is known for its windmill manufacturing. In the early twentieth cen...
10/30/2020

Welcome to the Windmill City! Batavia, Illinois, USA is known for its windmill manufacturing. In the early twentieth century, nearly all of the windmills in the United States were made in one of Batavia’s facilities.

Although windmills have been used in North America since the 1600s, the rapid growth westward of the U.S. in the nineteenth century increased the need for a way to pump water in dry, flat regions. Batavia’s mass-produced windmills spread across the growing United States, a key part of the growing country’s infrastructure.

Batavia was home to the U.S. Wind Engine & Pump Company, the first mass-production windmill factory in the U.S. Two key innovations in windmills were made there: machinist Daniel Halladay patented the self-governing wind engine in 1854. In 1883, engineer Thomas Perry developed optimum metal-bladed windmills, using his unique wind resistance test machine.

In 2013, ASME declared the city’s collection of windmills an #ASMElandmark of mechanical engineering. Today, seven windmills are on display at the Batavia Riverwalk.

Nothing's better than waking up in the morning and pouring yourself a big glass of juice, right?#ASMElandmark #82, the F...
10/21/2020

Nothing's better than waking up in the morning and pouring yourself a big glass of juice, right?

#ASMElandmark #82, the FMC Citrus Juice Extractor, revolutionized high-quality citrus juicing and is probably the reason why you can easily buy and enjoy fruit juices from any supermarket!

Fun fact: the first unit was operated experimentally on grapefruit at the Sunkist Exchange plant in Tempe, Arizona, during late May of 1946.

This #ASMElandmark is going for the gold! The Fairbanks Exploration Company Gold Dredge Number 8 was used to mine gold i...
10/15/2020

This #ASMElandmark is going for the gold! The Fairbanks Exploration Company Gold Dredge Number 8 was used to mine gold in Alaska.

During its 31-year run from 1928 to 1959, it covered a 4.5 mile track and produced more than 7.5 million ounces of gold. That’s more than $14 billion worth of gold at today’s rates!

This dredge was manufactured in Pennsylvania, and sent to Alaska in pieces via railroad and barge. It worked by using warm water to soften the frozen tundra, melting the earth at a rate of 9 inches a day. The melted soil was then scooped up in buckets, carried to the top of the machine, and deposited into a dredge for sorting.

It had a 43-foot 9-inch high bow gantry supporting the bucket line, which held 70 steel buckets. Each bucket held 6 cubic feet and 1,583 pounds. The buckets were mounted on a ladder more than 84 feet tall, discharging gravel at 22.2 buckets per minute. Once the gold was separated, the remaining dirt was carried off by a 32-inch wide, belt-driven stacker conveyor moving at 262 feet per minute.

Today, you can visit Gold Dredge Number 8—and pan for gold!—in Fox, Alaska. The dredge was named ASME Landmark #113 in May 1986.

Images of Gold Dredge Number 8 and gold mined near Fairbanks, Alaska, via Wikimedia Commons

Do you know the history behind those little tags on the clothes and shoes that you can't stop buying? #ASMElandmark #150...
10/06/2020

Do you know the history behind those little tags on the clothes and shoes that you can't stop buying? #ASMElandmark #150 holds the answer.

The distribution and sale of merchandise evolved from trading posts and general stores to larger, more specialized stores in the 19th century. As a result, the sheer number of products that had to be marked with sale information increased, growing beyond the manual capabilities of workers.

Thankfully, a base model of the pin-ticketing machine was developed by Frederick Kohnle of Dayton in the early 1900s.

At a single stroke of the operating handle, the machine formed a tag from a roll of stock, imprinted it with the price and other information, formed a wire staple, and stapled the tag to the merchandise.

The landmark artifact is the earliest known model, believed to be either the device or a companion model to the table-top test device of 1902!

California's Mount Wilson Observatory, home to the #ASMELandmark Hooker Telescope, has survived a nearby wildfire.
09/29/2020
Mount Wilson Observatory Survives a Trial by Fire

California's Mount Wilson Observatory, home to the #ASMELandmark Hooker Telescope, has survived a nearby wildfire.

The birthplace of modern cosmology “has been declared safe” from the wildfires that have ravaged the surrounding area in Southern California.

On November 30, 1973 at 10:45 AM in San Francisco, California, a crowd of dignitaries, ASME members, officers and friend...
09/21/2020

On November 30, 1973 at 10:45 AM in San Francisco, California, a crowd of dignitaries, ASME members, officers and friends of the society, local journalists and even a jazz band gathered together.

These are the details of the ceremony of the first-ever #ASMELandmark - The Ferries & Cliffhouse Cable Railway Power House.

Step back in time and check out these photos of the F&CH Cable Railway, which opened in 1887 and was designed and built by civil engineer Howard C. Holmes.

It was one of the most complicated cable-car systems to run from a single station and had been under construction two years prior to its opening!

While your family may have missed their annual trip to the water park this year, the end of summer is the perfect time t...
09/07/2020

While your family may have missed their annual trip to the water park this year, the end of summer is the perfect time to plan for when it's safe to travel again -- and this might have to be your next spot!

Inspired by the surfers he saw on his commute home from work, construction engineer Phil Dexter had an idea to create his own wave pool in 1966...right in his own backyard!

This paved the way for the Big Surf Waterpark, which houses the U.S.'s first wave pool with a singular traveling wave, to open in 1969 in Tempe, Arizona. The waterpark later became an #ASMElandmark in 2013 and is still open today.

While Big Surf still operates as a waterpark today, it also hosted concerts from musical acts like Pink Floyd, Elton John, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Beach Boys, Chicago, Sting, Rod Stewart, and more.

The waterpark uses 15 gates that empty water into a 2.5 acre lagoon with contours that replicate a natural beach. Its waves are produced by pumping water to a pre-selected height and are released through underwater gates.

The water released breaks over a baffle (similar to a natural reef), forming one wave per cycle. Water is then recirculated to the lagoon through pumps.

Fun fact: Although a few tweaks have been made, Big Surf currently runs on the same equipment that was installed in 1969!

08/28/2020
ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers)

Here’s a look at a railroad knuckle coupler connecting train cars—the same style of coupler as #ASMElandmark 267, the Janney Coupler!

Ever wondered how the cars of a train are connected? The semi-automatic coupler style shown here represented a big step forward in train operation. Previous couplers required a railroad worker to physically get between the train cars to operate a link-and-pin coupler—a dangerous task that resulted in frequent injuries and even deaths. The link-and-pin couplers had no standardized design, so rail workers spent hours trying to pair the pins with the links. And as railroad technology advanced, the trains became too heavy to be managed by the link-and-pins, which left slack between the cars.

The type of coupler shown here, commonly called a knuckle or buckeye coupler, was invented by Eli H. Janney, who received a patent for his design in 1873. With the introduction of knuckle couplers, operating a train became dramatically safer. Between 1877 and 1902, accidents involving rail workers dropped about 81 percent, even though the number of workers had increased significantly. Eventually, more than 8,000 different designs for knuckle couplers were patented.

Today, many trains have moved on to fully automatic couplers, which connect the cars as well as electrical and pneumatic lines. Still, the knuckle coupler represents a major advancement in rail technology—it’s hard to imagine what travel in the first half of the 20th century would have looked like without it.

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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