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Technology

Adolf Adam Riggenbacher and his parents arrive in New York City, USA, aboard the liner La Bretagne. The family has emigrated from Basel, Switzerland, to start a new life in America. In the 1920s, after having adapted his name to Adolph Rickenbacker, he will found The Rickenbacker Manufacturing Company and, with vaudeville musician George Beauchamp, he will design and patent the world's first electric guitar, known as The Frying Pan, because of its long neck and round body.
Hans G. Osterberg of Auburn, New York State, USA, is granted Patent No. US713336A in respect of his invention of an improved type of piano tuning pin.
J.D. Philipps files U.S. Patent Application No. 730,565, in respect of a new type of Pneumatic Action for Musical Instruments such as the Wurlitzer Style 17 PianOrchestra.
Nicola Turturro of New York City, USA, applies for a patent in respect of an improved design for an instrument of the mandolin type, intended to achieve a largely-increased volume of sound while retaining the peculiar tone quality of the mandolin. His application carries the Serial No. 140,702.
Charles Cretors of Chicago, Illinois, USA, is awarded US Patent No. US728550 A for his invention of a new and improved Corn-Popping Apparatus. The machine will enable the popularity of popcorn to increase hugely, which will in due course inspire such songs as 1955's The Popcorn Song by Cliffie Stone, 1972's Popcorn by Ike And Tina Turner, and 1972's Popcorn by Hot Butter. A longer listing of popcorn-related songs can be found by clicking this link.
Henry Schwesinger of Detroit, Michigan, USA, is granted Patent No.US895803A in respect of his invention of a pneumatic piano-playing apparatus.
Australian engineer Ray Allsop demonstrates his new invention, the Raycophone sound projector, and exhibits four short sound-on-disc musical films he has produced. By mid-1937, 345 Raycophone systems will have been installed in Australian cinemas.
Kodak announces the launch of Kodachrome, a new type of film. Paul Simon's 1973 song, Kodachrome, will be inspired by this invention.
Guy Hart of Gibson Guitars in the USA applies for a patent for the Gibson EH-150 Pickup, also known as The Charlie Christian Pickup. This is the first electric guitar pickup, and will revolutionise popular music.
As the year begins, it is revealed that over 50,000 RCA Victor automatic 45rpm record changers are being sold every month in the USA. The changer costs $12.95 and 'plays thru any set'. This will be the decade in which rock'n'roll - sold mostly on 45rpm discs - becomes the most popular music on the planet.
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John L. Burnett and Bert Smith of Kansas City, Missouri, USA, are granted US patent No.US2595510 A in respect of their invention of an apparatus for the transmission of music from a central studio to a plurality of subscribers.
In his year-end statement, David Sarnoff, Chairman of RCA, hails the newly-developed transistor as a scientific marvel which is likely to revolutionise electronics and communications.
It is reported in the press in the USA that the movie musical Paint Your Wagon (adapted from the popular stage musical) will probably be the first feature-length film made using the newly developed Cinerama process.
The patent for the Gibson Maestro Fuzz-Tone guitar effects pedal is filed in the USA.
The USA detonates three large nuclear devices at heights of sixty and several hundred kilometers with the intention of modifying the Earth's Van Allen Radiation Belt. These atomic tests produce some serious effects, knocking out a number of satellites and substantially changing the intensity and orientation of the Van Allen Belt. Popular folk singer Malvina Reynolds will write and record her song Leave My Van Allen Belt Alone as a protest against this activity.
Motown Records of Detroit, Michigan, USA, issues a press release claiming that the label "Leads pack in Auto Tape Cartridge sales."
Keith Relf, vocalist of The Yardbirds, aged 33, dies at his home in Hanworth Road, Whitton, Middlesex, England, UK, Europe, after being electrocuted in a mishap involving his guitar.
The Voyager 2 spacecraft is launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, USA, to begin a Grand Tour of the Solar System and beyond. On board (as was the case with Voyager 1) is the Voyager Golden Record, carrying a collection of 116 images plus a variety of natural sounds, including surf, wind, thunder and animal sounds. Examples of music by Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Chuck Berry, Louis Armstrong, Blind Willie Johnson and others are also included.
The North American Sam Goody chain of record shops is convicted of dealing in pirate tapes, after Billy Joel testifies that he cannot distinguish between a bootleg version of his LP, The Stranger, and the officially released CBS version.
Motorhead, Ozzy Osbourne, Mahogany Rush, Triumph, Riot and Vardis play in The Heavy Metal Holocaust, at Port Vale Football Stadium, Stoke on Trent, England, UK, Europe. The sound system is so huge that it causes the local electricty substation to crash.
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An estimated 35m people worldwide watch a live satellite transmission of a Rod Stewart concert at The Forum, Los Angeles, California, USA. It is the first broadcast of its kind since Elvis Presley's Aloha from Hawaii special in 1973.
A 19-year-old is arrested by the FBI in New York City, USA, and charged with selling bootleg videocassettes of The Jacksons' Victory tour.
Robert Summer, president of RCA, delivers a speech at the International Music Industry Conference in Munich, Germany, Europe, stating that home taping of records is threatening "the viability of the music business as we know it".
Ray Dolby, the billionaire audio engineer who pioneered noise reduction in audio recordings and founded Dolby Laboratories, is presented with The Charles F. Jenkins Lifetime Achievement Award from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in The Shrine Auditorium, Los Angeles, California, USA.
It is reported that sales of legally downloaded songs increased more than tenfold in 2004, reaching a total of 200m tracks bought online in the USA and Europe during the twelve month period.
The EVH Wolfgang, an allegedly unbreakable guitar designed by Eddie Van Halen and named after his son, makes its public debut at the NAAM Show in Anaheim, California, USA.
Texan teenager Danny Johnson enters the Guinness Book of World Records after scoring close to one million points on the computer game Guitar Hero during an official record-breaking attempt in New York City. Johnson achieved his record-breaking score during a seven-minute bout of playing Through The Fire And Flames by Dragonforce.
The government of France, Europe, passes legislation that would allow internet service providers to cut the internet connections of customers who download copyright-protected music and video files illegally after "three strikes".
Jack Johnson releases a new album, To The Sea, on Island Records in the USA. The album was recorded in Johnson's native Hawaii using 100% solar power.
U.S. District Judge Nancy Gertner rules that Joel Tenenbaum, a Boston University student ordered to pay $675,000 for copyright infringement, need only pay one tenth of that fine. The judge states that the fine was "unconstitutionally excessive." . Tenenbaum had downloaded and shared music files to millions of people by uploading the files onto P2P networks including Napster and Limewire.
It is announced that, one week after licensing their music for download exclusively via iTunes, The Beatles have sold more than 2m tracks and 450,000 albums digitally worldwide.
It is announced that more than 1m Google+ users are following Britney Spears, making her account Google's first to break through the seven-figure threshold. In reaching the milestone, Spears retains her title as the most-followed person on Google+, ahead of Google CEO Larry Page and rapper Snoop Dogg.
Katy Perry makes a surprise appearance at the invitation-only preview of her 3-D movie, Katy Perry : Part Of Me, at The Apollo West End in London, UK. Perry hands out 3-D glasses and popcorn to the invited crowd, then introduces the movie.
Multiple-Grammy-winning producer Phil Ramone dies aged 72, at New York Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan, New York City, USA, of a brain aneurysm.
The book Predators: The CIA's Drone War on al Qaeda by Brian Glyn Williams is published by Potomac Books in the USA and UK. When Matt Bellamy of Muse reads this book, he will be inspired to write the songs for the band's concept album Drones.
Spotify drops a totally silent LP called Sleepify, by a Los Angeles funk band called Vulfpeck, citing "violations of the service's content policies" as a reason. The album was intended as a protest against Spotify as well as a means of raising tour funding. Up to the time it was pulled off Spotify it had been streamed 5.5m times, earning the band almost $20,000.
In the early hours of the morning, after playing a gig in Santiago, Chile, South America, Liam Payne of One Direction posts several emotional Tweets which fuel speculation that he has split up with his girlfriend Sophia Smith.
Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina of politically-active punk band Pussy Riot, having previously tweeted in Russian, sign up for a new English Twitter account.
Having spent two years on the run, Pirate Bay founder Peter Sunde is arrested during a raid on a farm in the south of Sweden, Europe.
Biophilia, an app designed by Icelandic singer-songwriter Bjork to accompany her 2011 album of the same name, becomes the first app to be included in the Museum Of Modern Art, New York City, USA.
It is announced that a group of Iranian youths who posted a video of themselves dancing to the Pharrell Williams hit Happy have been sentenced to up to a year in jail and 91 lashes.
According to research carried out by The Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester, UK, the most recognisable pop song ever is announced as Wannabe by The Spice Girls. The complete Top 10, with the lengths of time required to recognise them, is as follows :

1. Spice Girls, Wannabe - 2.29 seconds
2. Lou Bega, Mambo No. 5 - 2.48 seconds
3. Survivor, Eye of the Tiger - 2.62 second
4. Lady Gaga, Just Dance - 2.66 seconds
5. Abba, SOS and Roy Orbison, Pretty Woman - 2.73 seconds
6. Michael Jackson, Beat It - 2.8 seconds
7. Whitney Houston, I Will Always Love You and The Human League, Don’t You Want Me - 2.83 seconds
8. Aerosmith, I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing - 2.84 seconds
9. Lady Gaga, Poker Face - 2.88 seconds
10. Hanson, Mmmmbop - 2.89 seconds
When Madonna presents 26-year-old dancer Lil Buck with his award at the WSJ Innovator of the Year Awards in the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York City, USA, the audience barely responds. Madonna then instructs the audience to applaud, declaring, 'I'll tell you when there are applause moments. You need help. This is a museum crowd.' Dr. Dre and his Beats Electronics partner Jimmy Iovine are also presented with awards by Eminem.
Robbie Williams releases a new album, Under The Radar Volume One excusively through his website. Variously described as a "surprise release" and "low-key", it features b-sides, demos and some tracks that failed to make official releases.
Britney Spears posts a picture on Instagram in which she clearly has a bruise on her face. The accompanying caption reads, "Good morning 2016! Don't mind the little bruise on my forehead... Ran into a pole."
The Jonas Brothers reactivate their Instagram account, which starts rumours that the trio might be getting back together after having broken up in 2013.
An obsessive Miley Cyrus fan from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA, is taken into police custody in Los Angeles, California, after having written disturbing Facebook posts about the singer, stating that he knew her address and how to get into her property and couldn't wait to finally be together with her. He had travelled from Milwaukee to Los Angeles in search of Miley.
Kanye West reactivates his Instagram account, after a year's absence, to share a Valentine's Day message - "Happy Valentine's Day Babe," - to his wife Kim Kardashian.
The BPI announces that record label income in the UK for 2017 increased by 10.6% on the previous year - the fastest rate of growth since the height of Britpop in 1995. Much of the increase is driven by a strong rise in subscriptions to streaming services, as well as by the success of British artists.
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