Sunday, January 16, 2005
1730: Lawyer Jean-Baptiste-Gaspard Bochart de Saron is born. He is best remembered for his hobby, which was astronomy; he financed Laplace's work and accumulated one of the finest collections of telescopes and scientific equipment of his day.
1868: William Davis, a Detroit fish dealer, receives a patent for the first refrigerated rail car.
1883: At-will employment ends in the federal government, as the United States Civil Service Commission is formed.
1909: Explore Ernest Shackleford finds the magnetic South Pole. It had been lost for several years.
1936: The father of modern photography, Oskar Barnack, dies at age 56. Working for the Ernst Leitz optical firm in Wetzlar, Germany, he develops the "Leica I," the first small, hand-held 35mm camera.
1936: Speaking of cameras, the first race track camera designed to decide close horse races (the "photo finish") is installed at Hialeah, Florida.
1961: Yankee center fielder Mickey Mantle signs a contract that makes him the highest-paid player in the American League, at $75,000 a season.
1976: Herb Alpert's A&M Records releases Frampton Comes Alive, which will go on to become the biggest-selling album until that time.