On this day in science history: 21 November

From the days of ancient technology to modern science - find out what happened on this day in the history of science.

21st November 2017
1953 - The Piltdown Man skull announced a hoax © Maurice Ambler/Picture Post/Getty Images

© Maurice Ambler/Picture Post/Getty Images

1953 - The Piltdown Man skull announced a hoax

Supposedly one of the greatest finds of the 20th century, the Piltdown Man is exposed as a hoax by the Natural History Museum. The Piltdown Man was initially discovered in 1912 by Charles Dawson in Pleistocene, East Sussex. Until being discovered as a hoax 40 years later it was believed to be one of the most important fossils to link humans and apes. In 1953 Dr Joseph Weiner and Wilfred Le Gros Clark found the skull and jaw fragments actually came from two different species, a human and an orangutan. There was also evidence the teeth had been filed down to look like a human and the skull had been artificially stained to be the colour of the local gravels.

1877 - Thomas Edison announces his invention of the phonograph

Thomas Edison announces his invention of the phonograph  © Hulton Archive/Getty Images
© Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Thomas Edison announces his invention of the phonograph after successfully playing back his recording of ‘Mary had a little lamb’. The phonograph would later be known as a gramophone, and later still, electric phonographs would become record players or recently turntables. This was the first major invention by Thomas Edison; it consisted of a hand cranked, tinfoil covered cylindrical drum. Sound was recorded by engraving indentations onto a rotated cylinder or disc known as a record, which could then be played back using a stylus to trace the grooves.

1969 - The first permanent ARPANET link is established

The first permanent ARPANET link is established  © Apic/Getty Images
© Apic/Getty Images

The Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET) connects four computers and unwittingly forms the basis of the internet. The ARPANET involved sending small ‘packets’ of information that could then be reconstructed at their destination at geographically separated computers. This was invented by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and also became the first network to implement the protocol suite TCP/IP, a program now found on every computer as a direct access to the internet.

Discover more history of science

 


Follow Science Focus on TwitterFacebook, Instagram and Google+

You are currently reading: On this day in science history: 21 November - 21st November