Technology History Fun Facts for July

Summer is in full swing and we hope everyone is getting plenty of time outside. When you’re not soaking in the sun, chances are you’re relaxing with your favorite piece of technology like a smartphone or tablet. Since technology is such a part of our everyday life, it’s interesting to see how it has evolved. That being said, we thought we’d give you summer entertainment with technology history fun facts for the month of July. Enjoy!

July 17, 1850

The first photograph of a star, Vega, was taken at Harvard Observatory.


July 2, 1907

Emil Haefely got obtained the patented for his method of wrapping electrical conductors.


July 29, 1914

The first call was made on the transcontinental phone line, shortly after its completion. The call was made between New York and San Francisco. Commercial service did not commence until January 25 of 1915 so that AT&T could advertise at San Francisco’s 1915 World’s Fair.


July 4, 1933

A patent was obtained by William Coolidge for the X-ray tube, which was also called the Coolidge tube.


July 16, 1945

The first atomic bomb was detonated in New Mexico.


July 24, 1950

The first successful rocket launch took place at Cape Canaveral. The Bumper 8 rocket was a captured V-2, which had been modified with a US Army Corporal second stage.


July 9, 1968

Frederick R. Schollhammer was granted the patent for a Portable Beam Generator, popularly known as a hand-held laser ray gun.


July 19, 1969

Apollo 11 orbited the Moon.


July 20, 1969 

Neil Armstrong was the first man to walk on the Moon.


July 31, 1971

Astronaut David Scott used a Lunar Roving Vehicle (LRV), powered by batteries, and became the first man to drive a car on the surface of the moon. The LRV was used during the Apollo 15, 16 and 17 missions. Three LRVs still remain on the Moon’s surface.


July 30, 1979

Apple starts work on the Lisa, which became the world’s fist computer offered commercially with a graphical user interface. The Lisa eventually sold in 1983 for $10,000. Being ahead of its time and expensive, the Lisa did not take off. Much of the technology used in making the Lisa was influential in the development of the Macintosh.


July 28, 1981

IBM’s first desktop computer, the System/23 Deskmaster was introduced. It was aimed at small businesses to be used as a word processor and data processor. Two weeks later their IBM PC was introduced.


July 2, 2001

The file sharing service, Napster is shut down. After court battles, Napster was forced to pay $26 million in damages and $10 in future royalties.


July 25, 2008

The FCC approves the merger of Sirius and XM, two satellite radio companies


July 17, 2014

Microsoft announced that it would lay off approximately 18,000 employees, due to recently acquiring Nokia.