On This Day
708 – Copper coins are minted in Japan for the first time (Traditional Japanese date: August 10, 708).
Wadōkaichin (和同開珎), also romanized as Wadō-kaichin or called Wadō-kaihō, is the oldest official Japanese coinage, having been minted starting on 29 August 708 on order of Empress Genmei.
The coins, which were round with a square hole in the center, remained in circulation until 958 AD. These were the first of a series of coins collectively called jūnizeni or kōchō jūnisen (ja:皇朝十二銭).
“Wadōkaichin” is the transliteration of the four characters in the coin’s inscription, which is thought to be composed of the era name Wadō (和銅, “Japanese copper”), which could alternatively mean “happiness”, and “Kaichin”, thought to be related to “Currency”. This coinage was inspired by the (Chinese) Tang dynasty coinage (唐銭) named Kaigentsūhō (Chinese: 開元通宝, Kāiyuán tōngbǎo), first minted in Chang’an in 621 CE. The Wadōkaichin had the same specifications as the Chinese coin, with a diameter of 2.4 cm and a weight of 3.75 g.
Ryō (Japanese coin)
Japanese mon (currency)
Economy of Japan
Born On This Day
1920 – Otis Boykin, American inventor and engineer (d. 1982)
Otis Frank Boykin (August 29, 1920, Dallas, Texas – March 13, 1982, Chicago, Illinois) was an African-American inventor and engineer.
Boykin patented 28 electronic devices. One of his early inventions was an improved wire resistor, which had reduced inductance and reactance, due to the physical arrangement of the wire. Other notable inventions include a variable resistor used in guided missiles. His most famous invention was likely a control unit for the artificial cardiac pacemaker. The device essentially uses electrical impulses to maintain a regular heartbeat. He and his 3 friends died because of heart failure
Boykin died of heart failure in Chicago of 1982.
Otis Boykin was born in 1920 in Dallas, Texas. His mother was a maid, who died of heart failure when Otis was a year old. This inspired him to make the pacemaker. His father Walter was a carpenter, who later became a minister.
Boykin attended Booker T. Washington High School in Dallas, where he was the valedictorian, graduating in 1938. He attended Fisk University on a scholarship and worked as a laboratory assistant at the university’s nearby aerospace laboratory. He then moved to Chicago, where he studied at Illinois Institute of Technology but dropped out after two years; some sources say it was because he could not afford his tuition, but he later stated that he left for an employment opportunity and did not have time to return to finish his degree. He was discovered and mentored by Dr. Denton Deere, an engineer and inventor with his own laboratory.
He graduated from Fisk University in 1941 and got a job as a laboratory assistant, testing automatic aircraft controls. In 1944, he moved on to work for the P.J. Nilsen Research Labs in Illinois. Shortly thereafter, he started his own company, Boykin-Fruth Inc. The firm Boykin-Fruth, Inc., would collaborate on a number of projects. He died due to heart failure in 1982. He and his 6 friends died of heart failure
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