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April 18, 1942: G.E. Engineers Test Jet Engine

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The Great Republic Burns: December 26, 1853
On this day in 1853, the Great Republic burned to the waterline in New York harbor the day before she was to set sail on her maiden voyage. Built by Donald...

Henrietta Leavitt Buried in Cambridge: December 14, 1921
On this day in 1921, Henrietta Leavitt, a scientist at the Harvard Observatory, was buried in Cambridge. Her premature death cut short a brilliant career...

Erastus Bigelow Dies: December 6, 1879
On this day in 1879, Erastus Bigelow, the father of the modern carpet industry, died in Boston. Born in West Boylston, Bigelow and his brother followed...

Workers Complete Hoosac Tunnel: November 27, 1874
On this day in 1874, workers in the small western Massachusetts town of Florida finished the Hoosac Tunnel, bringing to completion one of the world's...

Quincy’s Granite Industry Begins: November 16, 1825
On this day in 1825, a Boston newspaper carried a notice seeking 9,000 tons of "the best Quincy granite" for the Bunker Hill Monument....

King Gillette Patents Safety Razor: November 15, 1904
On this day in 1904, Boston-based inventor King Camp Gillette received a patent for an improved safety razor with a disposable blade. After almost 10...

First Artificial Snow Falls on Mt. Greylock: November 13, 1946
On this day in 1946, an airplane flew over Mount Greylock in western Massachusetts and seeded the clouds with super-cooled ice crystals. The first-ever...

Boston Celebrates Opening of Aqueduct: October 25, 1848
On this day in 1848, 300,000 people from all over New England gathered on Boston Common. They came to celebrate the completion of the city's first...

Boston Dentist Demonstrates Ether: October 16, 1846
On this day in 1846, a crowd gathered in the operating theater at Massachusetts General Hospital. A Boston printer with a tumor on his jaw lay on the...

Balloonist Takes First Aerial Photograph: October 8, 1860
On this day in 1860, Boston newspapers carried an advertisement for an extraordinary event: photographer James Wallace Black would photograph Boston from...

Polaroid Wins Patent Suit Against Kodak: September 13, 1985
On this day in 1985, Polaroid won a huge victory in federal court. A judge ruled that Kodak had violated Polaroid's patents for instant photography....

Boston Wheelmen Sponsor Nation’s First 100-Mile Bicycle Race: September 6, 1882
On this day in 1882, seven men took over 12 hours to cover the distance from Worcester to Boston in the nation's first 100-mile bicycle race. Boston...

Boston Receives First Transcontinental TV Broadcast: September 4, 1951
. . . in 1951, anyone in Boston with access to a television set could be part of history — a program was transmitted live from coast-to-coast...

Watertown-built Car Climbs Mt. Washington: August 31, 1899
On this day in 1899, Newton inventor F.O. Stanley took his wife Flora for a drive — into the record books. Leaving home in a steam-powered Locomobile,...

Tupperware Inventor Born: July 28, 1907
On this day in 1907, Earl Tupper, inventor of Tupperware, was born. Raised in central Massachusetts, birthplace of the plastics industry, he was a compulsive...

Quincy Shipyard Launches First Nuclear Powered Cruiser: July 14, 1959
On this day in 1959, the nation's first nuclear-powered cruiser was launched from Fore River Shipyard in Quincy. With its deep and sheltered harbor,...

Patent Office Rules in Favor of Elias Howe: July 1, 1854
On this day in 1854, the battle ended over who owned the patent for the first sewing machine. A federal commission ruled that the patent held by Elias...

Dr. Boylston Experiments with Smallpox Inoculation: June 26, 1721
On this day in 1721, Boston doctor Zabdiel Boylston took a gamble with his young son's life and inoculated him against smallpox. Puritan minister...

American Optical Celebrates 150th Anniversary: June 18, 1983
On this day in 1983, Southbridge celebrated the 150th anniversary of the nation's oldest optical company — the American Optical Company,...

Charles Goodyear Receives Patent for Vulcanized Rubber: June 15, 1844
On this day in 1844, after a decade of hardship and perseverance, Charles Goodyear received a patent for vulcanized rubber. The first boots and clothing...

Matzeliger Demonstrates Revolutionary Machine: May 29, 1885
On this day in 1885, Jan Matzeliger demonstrated his invention — a machine that could finish 75 shoes in a 10-hour day. The most skilled craftsmen...

Dewey Proposes Library Classification System: May 8, 1873
On this day in 1873, Amherst College junior Melvil Dewey made a proposal to the faculty. He had been working in the college library and was frustrated...

Springfield Armory Closes: April 30, 1968
On this day in 1968, there was great sadness in Springfield as the city's historic armory closed its doors after nearly two centuries as the leading...

Annie Oakley Purchases Smith & Wesson Gun: April 25, 1888
On this day in 1888, Annie Oakley, the star female sharpshooter in Buffalo Bill Cody's Wild West Show, purchased a Model 3 handgun made by the Springfield...

G.E. Engineers Test Jet Engine: April 18, 1942
On this day in 1942, after months of highly secret work, GE engineers in Lynn successfully tested the engine they called by the innocuous name "I-A."...

Boston Burns: March 20, 1760
On this day in 1760, the dreaded cry of "Fire!" roused sleeping Bostonians. Over the next ten hours, the worst fire to strike a colonial...

Robert Goddard Launches Space Age: March 16, 1926
On this day in 1926, Clark University physics professor Robert Goddard launched the world's first liquid fuel rocket — and with it the space...

Eli Whitney Patents the Cotton Gin: March 14, 1794
On this day in 1794, Westborough native Eli Whitney applied for a patent on the cotton gin. Raised on a farm in Massachusetts, he invented a machine that...

Alexander Graham Bell Receives First Patent: March 7, 1876
On this day in 1876, Alexander Graham Bell received a patent for the telephone. Born in Scotland, Bell settled in Boston when he was in his early 20s....

Clarence Birdseye Tests Frozen Food: March 6, 1930
On this day in 1930, shoppers in Springfield became the first Americans to find frozen food in their grocery stores. A test marketing program was designed...

Northampton Bank Receives Ransom Note: February 28, 1876
On this day in 1876, a ransom note was sent to the Northampton National Bank. Just a month earlier, a notorious gang of New York thieves had managed to...

Lewis Latimer Awarded First Patent: February 10, 1874
On this day in 1874, inventor Lewis Latimer received his first patent. The son of a Virginia couple who had escaped from slavery, he was born and raised...

UMass Researchers Clone Calves: January 20, 1998
On this day in 1998, two researchers affiliated with the University of Massachusetts drew worldwide attention when they went public with a birth announcement....

Marconi Transmits Radio Message: January 18, 1903
On this day in 1903, Guglielmo Marconi, the Italian inventor of wireless telegraphy, arrived on Cape Cod hoping to make history. The night was cold but...

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