On This Day
1764 – Bolle Willum Luxdorph records in his diary that a mail bomb, possibly the world’s first, has severely injured the Danish Colonel Poulsen, residing at Børglum Abbey.
A letter bomb, also called parcel bomb, mail bomb, package bomb, note bomb, message bomb, gift bomb, present bomb, delivery bomb, surprise bomb, postal bomb, or post bomb, is an explosive device sent via the postal service, and designed with the intention to injure or kill the recipient when opened. They have been used in Israeli assassinations and in terrorist attacks such as those of the Unabomber. Some countries have agencies whose duties include the interdiction of letter bombs and the investigation of letter bombings. The letter bomb may have been in use for nearly as long as the common postal service has been in existence, as far back as 1764 (see Examples).
Born On This Day
1813 – Henry Bessemer, English engineer and businessman (d. 1898)
Sir Henry Bessemer FRS (19 January 1813 – 15 March 1898) was an English inventor, whose steel-making process would become the most important technique for making steel in the nineteenth century for almost one hundred years from 1856 to 1950. He also played a significant role in establishing the town of Sheffield as a major industrial centre.
Bessemer had been trying to reduce the cost of steel-making for military ordnance, and developed his system for blowing air through molten pig iron to remove the impurities. This made steel easier, quicker and cheaper to manufacture, and revolutionized structural engineering. One of the most significant innovators of the Second Industrial Revolution, Bessemer also made over 100 other inventions in the fields of iron, steel and glass. Unlike most inventors, he managed to bring his own projects to fruition and profited financially from their success.
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