13 November-First Helicopter Flight

Paul Cornu was an engineer who was a native of France. He made first successful manned helicopter flight in 1907. Though the flight lasted just 20 seconds it began the development of an aircraft which can take off and land vertically. The helicopter can also hover, fly forward, backward, and laterally.

The idea of vertical flight dates back over 2500 years to the spinning top with which Chinese children played. During the following centuries various attempts were made to develop flying machines based on the toy. Leonardo da Vinci designed a flying machine in the 1480’s.

By the early 1900’s several unmanned flights were made. Manned flights were attempted but the machine was tethered to the ground. Following Cornu’s flight, development of the helicopter continued. In 1942 a helicopter designed by Igor Sikorsky went into production in the United States. Cornu failed to get support for his development and devoted his time to manufacturing bicycles. He was killed in 1944 during the Allied World War II landings in Normandy.

The first successful manned helicopter flight in history was made by French engineer Paul Cornu in the year 1907 On This Day.

AW139 landing in Baldonnel at sundown by Irish Air Corps on 2011-01-17 16:30:41


17 October-Marconi

Guglielmo Marconi was a Nobel Prize-winning physicist who was a native of Italy. His father Giuseppe was from Bologna, Italy. His mother was Annie Jameson from Daphne Castle, Co Wexford, Ireland. Marconi’s great grandfather was John Jameson, founder of Irish whiskey distillers Jameson & Sons. Through his own research and using research carried out by others Marconi developed the first effective system of radio communication.

On December 12th 1901 Marconi succeeded in sending the first wireless signal across the Atlantic to America. He routed the signal through Marconi House, Rosslare, Co Wexford and Clifden in Co Galway. The signal was received 3,500km (2,200 Miles) in Newfoundland.

Marconi founded the Marconi Telephone Company and became a successful businessman. He continued to experiment with radio technology. In 1907, having built high-powered radio transmission stations on both sides of the Atlantic, he established regular transatlantic transmissions. Marconi died in Rome on July 20th 1937.

Guglielmo Marconi began offering limited commercial wireless telegraph service between Ireland and Nova Scotia in the year 1907 On This Day.

Marconi Wireless Telegraph Station, Malin Head, Co. Donegal

Guglielmo Marconi.jpg


Library of Congress 




20 January-Agnes Mary Clerke

Agnes Mary Clerke was an astronomer and writer who was a native of Co Cork, Ireland. The author of several books and reviews, she played a major role in bringing astronomy and astrophysics to the public during the Victorian era. The Clerke Crater on the moon is named in her honour. The crater is located near the landing site of the Apollo 17 Lunar mission.

Agnes Mary Clerke was born in Skibbereen, Co Cork on February 10th 1842. She was educated at home by her parents. Her father, who had taken courses in astronomy, owned a 4” telescope. From a young age Agnes regularly observed Saturn’s rings and Jupiter’s moons using her father’s telescope.

Having studied advanced mathematics, physics and astronomy, Agnes moved to Florence, Italy. She lived there for ten years studying science and languages before moving to live in London in 1877. She published her best known book ‘A Popular History of Astronomy during the Nineteenth Century’. She wrote several other books and contributed articles to Encyclopaedia Britannica and the Catholic Encyclopaedia.

Agnes Mary Clerke, astronomer and writer who was a native of Co Cork, Ireland, died aged 64 in the year 1907 On This Day.


Agnes Mary Clerke

Agnes Mary Clerke, 19th century astronomer, born in Skibbereen, County Cork.

Wiki Commons


28 July-Tupperware

Tupperware is a range of food preparation and storage products for the home. The product was invented by American businessman Earl Tupper in 1942. He used a waste product from oil refining to make lightweight, non-breakable containers. Today Tupperware is sold by direct marketing in over 30 countries around the world.

Earl Silas Tupper was born on his family’s farm in New Hampshire, USA in 1907. Having graduated from school he established a landscaping business. He later worked for the Du Pont chemical company before establishing the Tupperware Company in 1948.

Tupperware was initially sold in stores. However following the success of Brownie Wise’s ‘party-plan’ marketing it was decided to sell Tupperware products by direct marketing. Today the products are sold by almost 2 million people in over 30 countries. Tupper sold his company and retired to Costa Rica in 1973. He died aged 76 in 1983.

Earl Tupper, the founder of Tupperware was born in New Hampshire, USA in the year 1907 On This Day.




26 May-John Wayne

John Wayne was an actor and filmmaker who was a native of Iowa, USA. He was one of the most popular film actors for over three decades of the 20th century. Wayne was nominated for an Academy Award on three occasions. He won an Academy Award for best actor in the film True Grit in 1969.

John Wayne was born Marion Robert Morrison in Winterset, Iowa in 1907. At the age of seven his family moved to California where Wayne grew up. He was successful both academically and in athletics and was awarded a football scholarship to the University of Southern California. He was forced to leave university due to an injury and began working film studios.

Wayne played minor roles in several films before he was given his first leading role in the film The Big Trail in 1930. He became a star following his performance in the John Ford film The Stagecoach in 1939. During his career, Wayne played starring roles in westerns, war pictures, romantic comedies, police dramas and historical dramas. He starred opposite Maureen O’Hara in The Quiet Man, which was shot on location in Cong, Co Mayo.

John Wayne was born in the year 1907 On This Day.

John Wayne