Windmills

Lead: Evoking visions of the charming Dutch countryside, the tilting object of slightly confused Spanish knights, and fights between green power and wealthy islanders, one of things that modernized rural America was the windmill.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: In 1854, Daniel Halladay, a New England inventor, submitted a patent application for a self-regulating windmill, an ingenious device that automatically closed its blades during high winds so as to protect itself from damage. According to essayist Stuart Leuthner, this inaugurated the era of the American windmill.

Voyage of Magellan IV

Lead: Seeking a passage through the American land mass as a short cut to the rich spice islands of East Asia, Ferdinand Magellan and a crew sailed south along the coast of South America in the early months of 1520, looking for strait to take them through.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: While wintering in San Julian, a harbor in present day southern Argentina, three of his captains led a mutiny that threatened the expedition, but Magellan ruthlessly suppressed it, killing one leader, beheading another and leaving the third stranded on the beach. The rest of the mutineers Magellan wisely pardoned.

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Voyage of Magellan III

Lead: Commissioned by King Charles I of Spain to find a short cut through the Americas to the islands of southeast Asia, Ferdinand Magellan in command of five ships left the Spanish port of Seville in August, 1519. Thus began one of history's greatest voyages of exploration.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Prior to the voyages of Columbus beginning in 1492 and the systematic exploration of Africa by the Portuguese in the 1480s and 90s, Europeans had little accurate information about the earth's size. Their knowledge was based on the theories of the second century Greek writer Ptolomy who underestimated it. Because of this geographers were convinced that Japan and China lay only a few thousand miles west of Europe. Columbus's trips proved those estimates to be wrong. With the first accounts of Vasco de Balboa who reported finding a new Pacific Ocean on the other side of the new world in 1513, it appeared that the earth was quite large indeed.

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Voyage of Magellan II

Lead: In 1519 Ferdinand Magellan sailed from the port of Seville in Spain. Three years later one of his ships returned, having circumnavigated the globe. Such a voyage was possible because of a revolution in the technology of exploration.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: That Europeans should increasingly find themselves on shores far from home came about as a result of advances in the design of ships, expansion in the understanding of navigation and a sea change, as it were, in the way overseas exploration was financed.

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Voyage of Magellan I

Lead: On August 10, 1519, Ferdinand Magellan, a Portuguese sailing master of noble upbringing in service to the King of Spain, set sail on one of history's greatest voyages of discovery.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In 1400 Europeans knew little more than the Romans about the rest of the world. The tantalizing stories brought back by exploring merchant traders such as Marco Polo told of an advanced civilization in the Far East. This served to stimulate the European imagination but did little to expand contacts with a much wider world.

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Robert Goddard III

Lead: Robert Goddard, one of the pioneers of rocket research, worked in secret, almost alone.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: One of the important features of successful scientific research in the modern era has been collaboration. To a certain degree, scientists have recognized the importance of sharing the results of their research with their colleagues, if nothing more than to prevent a duplication of effort. Progress is hampered if researchers are constantly re-inventing the wheel in their particular area of research.

Robert Goddard II

Lead: On March 26, 1926 at Effie Ward's farm near Auburn, Massachusetts, a man with a blow torch stepped forward and ignited a contraption looking strangely like a backyard swing. 30 seconds later, the space age began.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The device which Robert Goddard retrieved from Aunt Effie's cabbage patch that day was the first liquid fuel rocket. It rose 41 feet in the air and then sputtered on the ground until it came to rest 184 feet away. The rocket was the culmination of three decades of dreaming and design by the part-time physics professor who by the 1920s was scratching out a bare living on pitifully small grants from his school, the Navy, and the Smithsonian Institution.

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Robert Goddard I

Lead: On October 19, 1899 a teenager in Worcester, Massachusetts climbed up to trim dead branches from a cherry tree. While suspended above the meadow he began to dream of building a device to escape the earth and travel to Mars.Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Robert Hutchings Goddard spent his adult years giving life to that dream. He grew up in the Boston suburbs, the child of a prosperous manufacturer who encouraged his son's scientific curiosity. Goddard excelled in basic science courses and physics. While at the university, he published an article in Scientific American on the use of the gyroscope in the steering of airplanes. As a graduate student at Clark University and Princeton, he speculated on many variations of space flight, including the use of solar and atomic propulsion and even conceived an early version of multi-staged rockets.

 

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