Benjamin Franklin, holds a paper with his drawing for his invention © Bettmann/Getty Images
1785 – Benjamin Franklin announces invention of bifocals
Benjamin Franklin writes to his friend George Whatley describing his ‘double glasses’.
Franklin made his first pair of bifocals by cutting the lenses of two pairs of spectacles in half and mounting them in the same frame.
1962 – World’s first successful reattachment of limb
Everett Knowles, 12, has his right arm successfully reattached, after it was torn off when he tried to catch a ride on a freight train.
It took eight and a half hours of surgery, but Eddy’s arm was saved by Dr Ronald Malt, in Massachusetts General Hospital. Eddy made a good recovery and became a truck driver and garage mechanic.
1995 – First version of Java released
The programming language Java is released in its first public implementation.
Java was created by James Gosling of Sun Microsystems (later acquired by Oracle). He sought to develop C++ programs that were compatible with the widest possible variety of platforms, leading to a mantra of ‘write once, run anywhere’. Java is now one of the most popular programming languages in the world, used to create desktop apps, mobile apps, and even some games such as Minecraft.
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