Eleanor Johnson Shuman: A Titanic Survivor’s Tale of Resilience

Eleanor Johnson Shuman was a remarkable survivor of the Titanic disaster, whose tale of resilience continues to inspire many. Despite facing unimaginable challenges, Eleanor’s story is a testament to the strength of the human spirit and the power of hope in the face of adversity. Key Takeaways Eleanor’s childhood in England shaped her character and … Read more

What Is the Highest Score Ever Recorded In Scrabble and How Did Scrabble Get Its Name?

what is the highest score ever recorded in scrabble and how did scrabble get its name scaled

According to the folks at Guinness Records, the highest score ever recorded in Scrabble is 1,049, set by Phil Abbleby in 1989. His opponent scored 253. The highest single move score was Dr. Saladin Karl Khoshnaw’s 392 for the word CAZIQUES, which means “native chiefs of West Indian aborigines”, set in a 1982 competition in … Read more

Will The Vactrain Ever Be Built?

will the vactrain ever be built

The Vactrain hasn’t been built probably because it still costs too much. The Vactrain is also known as the Planetran. This new type of train could speed at 6,000 miles an hour and cover the distance between New York and Los Angeles in only 54 minutes. The 54 minutes includes time for a stop in … Read more

Who Invented Magnetic Levitation Trains?

who invented magnetic levitation trains

Experimental trains of this type are already in use. The trains use some very basic, simple rules of magnetism to permit them to travel at very great speeds. Remember that opposite magnetic poles attract and similar ones repel. Both the train and the track on which it runs are made into electromagnets, but both have … Read more

Who Invented Gunpowder and When?

who invented gunpowder and when

The Chinese invented gunpowder during the 9th century. Europeans didn’t learn about gunpowder until Italian merchants visited China about 500 years later. Gunpowder explodes only if touched by flame. It can be used for simple cannons and guns but cannot blast out the inside of a mountain to make a railroad tunnel. The world had … Read more

Who Made The Terracotta Warriors In China?

who made the terracotta warriors in china scaled

They stand ready for battle, exactly as they did when they were part of the emperor’s palace guard. But look again. Although each has a different face and carries real weapons, they are not real. They are life-size statues six feet tall and made of clay. There are 6,000 of them. There are scores of … Read more

Can An Avalanche Be Prevented?

can an avalanche be prevented scaled

Nobody can control an avalanche, but people in some areas are trying to make them less dangerous. When snow builds up on slopes where avalanches are known to occur, we try to make the avalanches fall before they get too big. The idea is that it is better to have three or four small avalanches … Read more

Is The Sarah William Winchester Mystery House Haunted?

is the sarah william winchester mystery house haunted

Why would someone build a staircase that ends at the ceiling? The reason one lady did is because she believed that if she ever stopped building her house, she would be plagued by ghosts. She was Sarah Winchester, heiress of the Winchester Arms fortune, and her house in Santa Clara Valley, California, is now a … Read more

What Japanese Oil Tanker Has Sails To Save Fuel?

what japanese oil tanker has sails to save fuel scaled

Quite surprisingly, it is a Japanese Oil Tanker. The big ships have no rigging the way the old sailing ships used to, and sailors don’t have to climb to the crow’s nest anymore to sight land, but they are sailing ships alright. Or, at least, they are partly sailing ships. The name of one of … Read more

How was The Natchez Trace In Mississippi Created?

how was the natchez trace in mississippi created

For thousands of years, buffalo pounded their hoofs into the earth as they moved from one feeding ground to another. The most famous of these buffalo trails is runs from Nashville, Tennessee, to Natchez, Mississippi. It has been followed by Indians, pioneers, armies, and robbers. It is called the Natchez Trace. Trace means a trail … Read more

Can Satellites In Space Track Ocean Currents And Fish?

can satellites in space track ocean currents and fish

Some satellites in space can spot the movement of fish. A satellite called NOAA-6 is scanning the waters of the Pacific Ocean from Baja, California, to Alaska with some very special equipment. These special devices are able to “see” cold patches of ocean water. These patches are caused by the rise of cold currents, or … Read more

What Did NASA Use To Map The Surface of Venus?

what did nasa use to map the surface of venus

That’s what the Spacecraft Pioneer was doing. Pioneer was a NASA space machine that has been orbiting the planet Venus since December 1978. NASA scientists wanted to make a map of Venus. The problem is that the planet is always covered by heavy clouds. The surface of the planet cannot be seen by the cameras … Read more

What Is The Biggest Ship In The World?

what is the biggest ship in the world

Huge oil tankers are so big that it can take over 38 minutes just to bring one to a full stop. They are bigger than 14 blue whales laid end to end. Fourteen hundred feet long, they are the length of a 130-story building. They are bigger than any building ever built. They can carry … Read more

What Library In The World Had No Books?

what library in the world had no books

During the 16th century, in Germany, there was a library that had no books. Instead of books, it had shelf after shelf of boxes. Each box was of book size. The binding of each box was made of the wood of one tree, and the name of the tree was marked on the side of … Read more

Which Bridge In China Has To Be Tuned?

which bridge in china has to be tuned

There is a 1,000-year-old bridge over the Min River in Sichuan, China, that hangs from bamboo cables. Since the year 1000, Chinese engineers have had the job of adjusting the tension of these mighty seven-inch cables, sometimes tightening them, sometimes loosening them, by turning the great drums around which they are wrapped. Bamboo is a … Read more

What Is The Tallest Chimney In The World?

what is the tallest chimney in the world

The International Nickel Company’s huge chimney at Sudbury, Ontario, Canada, was the tallest chimney in the world in 1972 and was constructed by Inco Limited. It is often referred to as The Inco Superstack. It is also the second tallest structure in Canada. It is only five feet shorter than the Empire State Building. The … Read more

Who Invented Coca-Cola and When?

who invented coca cola and when

Old “Doc” Pemberton was well known in Atlanta, Georgia, for his “patent medicines,” which people took to cure a variety of ills. One day in 1886, he appeared at the local soda fountain with a new drink. His friends and neighbors liked the flavor of the new drink. It was not too sweet and not … Read more

Who Became a Major League Star at Age 42?

who became a major league star at age 42

He pitched ten no-hitters. As a matter of fact, he pitched over 100 no-hit, no-run games during the course of his baseball career. Who was he? Satchell Paige, of course. He was one of the greatest pitchers who ever lived and a great star of both the black baseball leagues and the major leagues. In … Read more

Who Was the Greatest Hitter in Baseball?

who was the greatest hitter in baseball scaled

Did you say Babe Ruth? Well, maybe you are right. He’s the man most people would agree on. But there was another player who was pretty good, too. He was not only an expert at getting the wood of the bat to meet the ball, but he was one of the strongest men who ever … Read more

What Was The First Human Powered Aircraft In The World?

what was the first human powered aircraft in the world

It first happened on August 23, 1977, at a Shafter, California, airport. An airplane powered only by a man pumping away at bicycle pedals flew over a mile-long course. The plane was called the Gossamer Condor, and it was the first man-powered airplane ever to really fly. The pilot pumping the bicycle pedals was Bryan … Read more

When Did Thomas Edison Invent The Phonograph?

when did thomas edison invent the phonograph

No! But the first recording was made on exactly the same kind of wax paper that is used in a kitchen to wrap foods. As a matter of fact, Thomas Edison got the wax paper he used from his kitchen. On July 18,1877, Edison attached a blunt needle to the little vibrator that is part … Read more

Who Really Reached the North Pole First?

who really reached the north pole first

Matthew Alexander Henson was the first man to reach the North Pole. He was a member of an exploration team headed by Robert E. Peary, and he was a black man. Henson was 42 years old when, in 1909, he set out with Admiral Peary and four Eskimos for the final leg of the trip … Read more

Who Invented Eyeglasses?

who invented eyeglasses

Eyeglasses are one of the most astonishing and important inventions in history. We know that they were invented by one single individual who lived and worked in the town of Pisa, Italy, in the year 1286. We know that this individual was a craftsman who worked with glass, but we do not know his name. … Read more

Who Parachuted Into a Thunder Storm and Survived?

who parachuted into a thunder storm and survived

Believe it or not, Colonel William Rankin did exactly that. As far as anyone knows, he is the only man who has ever bailed out of a plane directly into a thunderstorm and survived. Rankin was flying over the coast of North Carolina in a Marine Corps single engine jet fighter, when his engine failed. … Read more

What Was The First Balloon Flight Across America?

what was the first balloon flight across america

The first time anybody floated from coast to coast was in May 1980 when Maxie Anderson and his son Kristian flew one of the largest manned balloons ever built from California to northeast Canada. They launched their balloon in sight of the Pacific Ocean and saw the Atlantic Ocean before they landed. Kitty Hawk was … Read more

What Is Electron Beam Lithography?

what is electron beam lithography

Using the very latest methods, it is possible to print a book not on the head of a pin but on its point. How is it possible? New electron microscopes can make even the tiniest of things, such as an atom, appear to be large when we look at them on a screen. This “enlarging” … Read more

Who Invented The Scanning Electron Microscope?

who invented the scanning electron microscope

The new Scanning Electron Microscopes are huge, many times larger than even the most powerful standard microscopes. Nobody minds that they are so big, however, because they are very powerful. The Scanning Electron Microscope “sees” 10,000 times more than even the finest standard micropcope. By gathering light and focusing it with a system of mirrors … Read more

How Was The Photophone The First Wireless Telephone?

how was the photophone the first wireless telephone

Alexander Graham Bell invented a way to talk on a beam of sunlight. The year was 1880, and he called his strange device the photophone. While Bell’s telephone had to have wires connecting one caller with another, his photophone needed no such wires. It transmitted sound through the air on a beam of light using … Read more

Who Invented The Semaphore System Of Telegraphs?

who invented the semaphore system of telegraphs

Fifty years before the invention of the telegraph and almost 100 years before the telephone, the government of France was able to send messages to many parts of Europe at speeds of 1,500 miles an hour. From Paris, the emperor of France could send instructions to his generals on the Rhine River 150 miles away, … Read more

Who Was The First Woman To Run for President?

who was the first woman to run for president

One woman did it five times. Her name was Victoria Woodhull, and she led a very interesting life. As a young girl, she traveled across the country with her family, who ran a fortune-telling and medicine show. She later became involved in faith healing and wound up in New York City, where she met the … Read more

Who Was The Most Intelligent Person In The World?

who was the most intelligent person in the world

William James Sidis, born in 1898, was widely regarded as the most intelligent person in the world. His father, a psychologist, believed he could teach James to be a genius. When he was 3 years old, James studied very difficult math, the kind most people study in college. When he was 5, he wrote a … Read more

What Is the Deepest Hole In The World?

what is the deepest hole in the world

In the 1980s, it was just over six miles deep, 31,911 feet, to be exact. This was a drill hole made on the Kola Peninsula in Russia by workers looking for oil. This hole is 2,909 feet deeper than Mount Everest is high. The Russians are not alone in going to such depths to get … Read more

Who Invented The Icebox Refrigerator?

who invented the icebox refrigerator

Before the invention of the refrigerator, in 1800, a fresh chicken would spoil in just four hours in the summertime. Milk would spoil even faster. People knew that you could stop all this spoiling if food was kept cold, but ice was very expensive. It came in large pieces, and nobody had yet figured out … Read more

Why Did Thomas Edison Burn Down a Barn?

why did thomas edison burn down a barn

Thomas Edison wasn’t a bad boy, he just wanted to see “what would happen if.” That’s how the little fire he started in his father’s barn became a big one. It was all an experiment. He got into so much trouble experimenting, that his mother used to keep a special birch branch behind the old … Read more

Who Invented the Safety Pin?

who invented the safety pin

Walter Hunt was not a famous inventor. He certainly was no Thomas Edison or Alexander Graham Bell. In fact, he made only one small contribution as an inventor. But anyone who has ever been pricked by a pin knows how important Hunt’s invention is. One day in 1849, as Hunt sat in his New York … Read more

Who Was The First Person To Row Across the Atlantic?

who was the first person to row across the atlantic scaled

Believe it or not, it has been done at least twice. On June 6, 1896, two oyster fishermen from New Jersey began a voyage that ranks as one of the world’s greatest sea going feats. George Harvo and Fred Samuelson climbed into their 18-foot rowboat and began rowing across the Atlantic Ocean, traveling from New … Read more

Who Invented The Stanley Steamer?

who invented the stanley steamer scaled

The Flying Tea Kettle was the nickname given to the Stanley Steamer, a steam-powered automobile, after it raced at an astonishing 127 miles an hour in January of 1906. This speed was better than 20 miles an hour faster than anything that had ever been driven before. Driving on regular roads was done much more … Read more

What Was The Longest Glider Flight In The World?

what was the longest glider flight in the world scaled

The official world record for long distance soaring is 1,015 miles. It was set on May 9, 1977, by glider pilot Karl Striedieck. Imagine flying like a bird, with no engine and no noise, from dawn to dusk over a distance of 1,000 miles. In setting the record, Striedieck took off from a small airport … Read more

What Is the Real Story of the Invention of the Potato Chip?

what is the real story of the invention of the potato chip

Certain people like to tell a tale according to which the potato chip was invented by two down-on-their-luck prospectors during the gold Rush years in California. Don’t believe it. The birth of the potato chip actually took place near Saratoga, New York, not long after that town became a favorite vacation spot for the rich. … Read more

Who Invented The Steam Boat?

who invented the steam boat

“Fulton’s Folly” was the name given to Robert Fulton’s steamboat by newspapers in 1806. At that time, few people in the United States believed that it was possible to build a workable steamboat, and many people made fun of the idea. One year later, in 1807, Fulton proved how wrong they all were. In August … Read more

Who Invented The Elevator And When?

who invented the elevator and when

In 1853, a man named E. G. Otis invented the first elevator safe enough to be used for passengers. After he had invented the elevator, Otis couldn’t find anybody who wanted to buy it. In 1853, office buildings were only three or four stories high, and everybody walked up and down stairs. A few buildings … Read more

Who Invented Root Beer?

who invented root beer

Charles Hires did right after he and his wife returned from their honeymoon on a New Jersey farm in the early 1860’s. While on the farm, the farmer’s wife served them a drink she had mixed up of 16 different wild roots and berries. Included in this mixture were juniper, spikenard, wintergreen, hops, pipsissewa, and … Read more

Who Invented Rubber Tires?

who invented rubber tires

Charles Goodyear invented the process of turning raw rubber into a usable product. Before Goodyear’s invention, rubber melted, decomposed and became sticky in heat. The process Goodyear invented, called vulcanization, solved these problems and created a major world industry. Goodyear was the first American to vulcanize rubber, a process which he discovered in 1839. Unfortunately, … Read more

Who Invented Air Conditioning And When?

who invented air conditioning and when

Willis Carrier took the heat out of the desert by inventing air conditioning. Without his invention, many of the hot, dry areas of our country, such as, parts of New Mexico, Arizona, California, and Florida, would be too hot for most people to live in. Whole cities might never have grown up if it weren’t … Read more

Who Invented The Disposable Razor Blade?

who invented the disposable razor blade scaled

He was a traveling salesman. He had always wanted to invent something, but he didn’t know what to invent. He once sat down at a desk and went through the alphabet from A to Z trying to figure out what he might invent that people needed. It was no help. He still didn’t know what … Read more

Who Invented Corn Flakes?

who invented corn flakes

Before the invention of packaged breakfast cereals, American families ate big breakfasts that included such foods as steak, fried potatoes, corn meal mush or oatmeal, thick slices of bread with molasses, and maybe a piece of pie. A man named Will Kellogg changed all that and put cold corn flakes, or some other cold cereal, … Read more

Who Invented The Vacuum Tube?

who invented the vacuum tube

A man named Lee De Forest invented the vacuum tube in the year 1907. It was a little glass-and-wire device that could send the sound of the human voice out on the airwaves so that it could be picked up and listened to on the radio. Until De Forest’s invention, radio could send and receive … Read more

When Was The First Traffic Light Invented?

when was the first traffic light invented scaled

It blew up. Believe it or not, the first traffic light was put up long before there were cars. The first traffic signal was installed in 1868 in London, England, on a corner outside the British Houses of Parliament. It had a set of arms that were used during the day. These arms were small … Read more

Who Invented The Ice Cream Cone?

who invented the ice cream cone

Flowers was how the ice-cream cone was invented. It all happened at the World’s Fair in St. Louis, Missouri in 1904. Charles E. Menches, young ice-cream salesman, gave his girlfriend an ice-cream sandwich and a bouquet of flowers. The girl took the lid off the sandwich and rolled it into a cone to hold the … Read more

When Did Mark Twain Write Huckleberry Finn?

when did mark twain write huckleberry finn

Mark Twain was 12 when his father died. He left school and began working at the first of a series of many different jobs. He started as a printer’s helper and had soon learned enough to become a full-fledged printer. One of his very earliest dreams came true in 1857 when, at the age of … Read more

Who Invented The Ferris Wheel?

who invented the ferris wheel

In 1893, Chicago, Illinois, decided to have a World’s Fair. The people in charge invited inventors from all over America to send in their ideas for something that would make the fair a great success. One American came up with a wonderful idea. He built a huge wheel that was 25 stories high. He had … Read more

Why Do Hurricane Hunters Hunt Hurricanes?

why do hurricane hunters hunt hurricanes

Not the way you might think. Hurricane hunters is the name given men who have the very dangerous job of flying directly into the eye of newly forming hurricanes. Hurricane hunters are the crew of the planes that are sent out by the air force, the navy, or the Hurricane Center of the Environmental Science … Read more

How Did the Zipper Get Its Name?

how did the zipper get its name

The little slide fastener we know as a zipper was never officially called a zipper. When it was first invented, in 1891, by Whitcomb L. Judson, it was called a “clasp locker or unlocker.” It was unsuccessful. Judson had invented his device with the idea that it might be used on boots and other articles … Read more

How Long Was the Royal Road to the Sun That The Incas Built?

how long was the royal road to the sun that the incas built

The Incas lived in the Andes Mountains of South America, and their civilization was at its peak in the 1400s. Their civilization was destroyed by the Spanish conquistadores who followed Christopher Columbus. These amazing people built 10,000 miles of roads throughout the mountains from what is now Argentina to Colombia. These roads were all exactly … Read more

Why Did John Banvard Paint a Picture Three Miles Long?

why did john banvard paint a picture three miles long scaled

Yes, it’s possible. An artist named John Banvard did it. He began by traveling up and down the Mississippi River, making thousands of sketches. When he had sketched enough, he went home and, on separate pieces of canvas, painted a continuing picture of the scene along the great river. Eventually, the picture was three miles … Read more

Who Invented The Microwriter?

who invented the microwriter

It doesn’t look like a typewriter. It doesn’t sound or feel like a typewriter. It doesn’t even work like a typewriter, but it does the same job. And it does it just as fast. It is easier to learn how to use. And, perhaps best of all, it will be cheaper. Besides all of that, … Read more

Which Mouse Trap Had A Bell?

which mouse trap had a bell

Most people don’t like to poison rats and mice. They’d rather just chase them away. Edward Markoff and Joseph Barad of Providence, Rhode Island, were certain they had found the perfect answer to household rats and mice when they invented a new trap in 1908. This “better mousetrap” was very special. When a rat or … Read more

Which Flying Machine Flew By Bird Power?

which flying machine flew by bird power scaled

Mankind has come a long way in only 100 years. In 1887, an inventor from Paris, France, was certain that we could use the power of eagles to help us fly. He patented an invention that was a balloon that was pulled upward, forward, or downward by a team of eagles. If eagles were not … Read more

Who Invented The Scarecoyote?

who invented the scarecoyote

It was a special scarecrow designed to scare away coyotes. It was invented by John S. Barnes of Idaho, a farmer whose sheep and chickens were always being eaten by local coyotes. The scarecoyote wore a suit of farmer’s clothes but had a special surprise for all the coyotes in the area. Just before sundown … Read more

Which Was The First Balloon To Cross the Atlantic?

which was the first balloon to cross the atlantic

Thirteen times men have climbed into the cockpits of balloons and tried to be the first to float across the Atlantic. The first attempt was made in 1873 in a balloon called Daily Graphic. Its crew of three managed to sail only 45 miles from their starting point. Most of the balloonists ditched their balloons … Read more

Did Samuel Pierpont Langley Invent the Airplane?

did samuel pierpont langley invent the airplane

It was only sixteen feet long and was shaped like a needle or, better still, a dragonfly. On board, it had a tiny steam engine that could deliver one horsepower to the wooden propeller. It was a lazy day in the month of May, 1896, when it was launched by catapult from the deck of … Read more

What Is The Biggest Airport In The World?

what is the biggest airport in the world

The biggest airport in the world in the 1980s was the Atlanta, Georgia, airport, which was officially called the William B. Hartsfield Atlanta International Airport. Its building covers 2.2 million square feet, enough space for seven 31-story office buildings. It has a subway, 13 newsstands, 12 gift shops, 17 snack bars, and 138 airplane gates … Read more

Which Dance Lasts for Four Days?

which dance lasts for four days

You can dance that long if you happen to be a 13 or 14 year old Apache girl. The Sunshine Dance, as it is called, is a dance that goes on for four days and is danced only by one person. It is done by a dancer who is celebrating the fact that she is … Read more

Which Police Force Solves The Most Crimes?

which police force solves the most crimes

The United States has Kojak, Dick Tracy and the F.B.I. England has Sherlock Holmes and Scotland Yard. However, these greats can’t, compare with the Japanese when it comes to solving crimes. The Japanese police solve 96 percent of all the murders committed in their country. The West Germans and the Austrians are close behind. The … Read more

Who Flew Ten Years Before the Wright Brothers?

who flew ten years before the wright brothers

Otto von Lilienthal and his brother Gustav and were fascinated by the huge storks that came to rest on the roof of their house in Germany. They watched as the great birds took off, circled, and landed. The two brothers decided to become “storks” themselves. They wanted to fly. This was during the 1890’s, when … Read more

What Spy During The French Revolution Was a Midget?

what spy during the french revolution was a midget

His enemies may have thought he was an infant, but actually he was a midget, less than two feet tall. His name was Richebourg, and he worked for the Duchess of Orleans. When the French Revolution began, the little fellow was living and working with the duchess’s family outside Paris. The duchess wanted to send … Read more

When Did The Mayflower’s Pilgrims See Their First Indian At Plymouth Massachusetts?

when did the mayflowers pilgrims see their first indian at plymouth massachusetts scaled

It is only a myth that the Mayflower’s Pilgrims were welcomed to the New World by Indians. Three months after they landed at Plymouth, Massachusetts, they were surprised to see their very first Indian. He calmly walked into the village they called Plymouth and announced that his name was Samoset. The Pilgrims were surprised to … Read more

Who Was the First Stagecoach Robber?

who was the first stagecoach robber

It is hard to believe, but the first stagecoach robbery in the United States was done by a gang headed by a doctor. Tom Bell, whose real name was Tom Hodges, was a California doctor. He decided that robbing stages would make him more money, and was a lot more fun, than practicing medicine. In … Read more

Did The Irish Really Make Leather Boats?

did the irish really make leather boats

That is what many people wondered. There is an Irish legend that has been around for 1,400 years. It says that an Irish monk explorer named St. Brendan sailed over 2,600 miles of open sea and through all sorts of stormy weather in a leather boat. Sounds ridiculous, right? Well, recently, Timothy Severin, a teacher, … Read more

How Did Ancient Hunters Hunt Bison?

how did ancient hunters hunt bison

It was dangerous work, for 10,000 years ago the bison were one-third larger than those killed by Buffalo Bill during the late 1800s. But early Americans had little choice, as the bison provided them with food, blankets, tools, clothing, and the materials from which many of their homes were built. They could not kill the … Read more