Germany’s 1930 Schienenzeppelin was a propeller-driven train that could pull forty passengers at speeds faster than 200 kilometres per hour.
In a kiln, a set of three drooping cones can monitor the effects of temperature on the pottery items being fired.
The famed philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein was also an early pioneer of jet-engine propellers.
The Sweet Track in Somerset, Britain, was built exactly 5,828 years ago.
What do the bicycle, Marmite, Mormonism, and Frankenstein have in common? A volcano in Indonesia.
In 1978 the structural engineer of the Citigroup Center skyscraper learned of a fatal flaw in the design that could cause the tower to topple in high winds. Over the next three months a team raced to secretly repair it at night.
In 1950 Leo Szilard warned the world that a single device capable of annihilating all life on Earth was theoretically possible.
The inventor of the diesel engine died at sea under mysterious and still unexplained circumstances.
How do you test Moon landers, or lunar excavation and construction processes? Get some fake moon dust, of course.
What do the first postage stamps, Fabergé eggs, and watch backs have in common? Rose engine lathes.
Thomas Selfridge was a passenger in one of the Wright brothers’ early planes when it crashed in 1908; he was the first person to die in a plane crash.
The 19th century mystery watch was a genuine engineering puzzle: a pocket watch whose face was entirely transparent.
Gated reverb drums, one of the core sounds of 1980s rock music and most famously played in Phil Collins’ “In the Air Tonight,” were the result of an accident in the recording studio.
A bump key can be used to open most standard pin tumbler locks.
Sputnik 1 orbited the Earth for three months; Sputnik 2 for nearly six months. Explorer 1 stayed in orbit for twelve years, but the fourth artificial satellite, Vanguard 1, is still flying today.
In 1962 the United States detonated a nuclear bomb in outer space over Hawai’i. It caused an artificial aurora in the sky over Honolulu – and another one over Samoa, more than four thousand kilometres away.