On this day in science history: 26 November

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

26th November 2017
1805 - The official opening of Thomas Telford's Pontcysyllte Aqueduct © Kean Collection/Archive Photos/Getty Image

© Kean Collection/Archive Photos/Getty Image

1805 - The official opening of Thomas Telford's Pontcysyllte Aqueduct

Great Britain’s longest and highest aqueduct, the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, designed by Thomas Telford is opened. The aqueduct allows a single narrow boat through to link two towns in Wales, Froncysylite and Llangollen. It took nearly ten years to design and build and cost £47,000 to construct, around £3.5m at today’s prices. Such a construction would cost far more in today’s market due to factors that did not exist in the early 19th Century such as higher real wages, safety measures, new regulations and taxes, financing fees and so on.

1966 - The world’s first tidal power station inaugurated

1966 - The world’s first tidal power station inaugurated  © DeAgostini/Getty Images
© DeAgostini/Getty Images

After five years in construction, the Rance Tidal Power Station, the world’s first tidal power station, is opened for business. The whole construction cost a total of €95 million. The Rance estuary has the highest tidal range in France, on average being eight metres. Special reversible turbines were designed so they could produce energy from both the rising and falling tide, doubling the tidal barrages efficiency. Although there has been an environmental impact on the region, increased silting causing sand eels and plaice to move from the area, 50 years on the power plant pays for itself, is a thriving tourist attraction and provides transport links across the estuary.

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