The week that was; Marks& Spencer started small, Americans got internet access, and we heard yabba-dabba-doo for the first time.
1894 28 SEPTEMBER
Michael Marks and Tom Spencer opened their Penny Bazaar in Leeds Kirkgate market. Marks, a Jewish immigrant, was looking for a partner for his business, so he approached a local cashier for a PS300 investment and the rest is high-street history. Their gimmick was 'everything for a penny' and 'admission free' - unheard of at the time. Now M&S is worth PS10.6 billion - that's a lot of prawn sandwiches and pants.
1885 29 SEPTEMBER
The first public electric tramway in the world opened in Blackpool. The route started between Cocker Street and Dean Street on the Promenade. It wasn't the best place for it, as sea water would wash over the track and short-circuit the power supply and sand would block the channels. A few years later, overhead wiring was installed and the line could go all the way along to the Pleasure Beach, where it continues today.
1906 25 SEPTEMBER
The first ever remote control was demonstrated. Where would we be without our hoofer doofers, whatsits and thingamajigs that change channels or open doors? Spanish civil engineer Leonardo Torres Quevedo invented a 'telekino' - sending messages via a wireless telegraph transmitter - that could manoeuvre a boat from a mile away. King Alfonso was on hand to see this miracle. Leo also pioneered designs for an airship, an automatic chess machine and the forerunner of the calculator.
1979 24 SEPTEMBER
The American public got internet access. The world wide web - the system that links us all together - hadn't yet been invented, but a prototype of what we'd think of as an early form of networking was available. For $5 an hour, customers could dial up (remember that buzzing sound as it connected?) on a computer (more likely a company's big mainframe than a personal one) to CompuServ's MicroNET in the US and connect with others. Within eight years, this service was bringing in half of the company's revenue. In the UK, we had to wait until 1991 for a similar privilege.
2015 24 SEPTEMBER
At least 1,100 people were killed and another 934 wounded during the Hajj in Saudi Arabia. More than two million people had made the journey to Mecca and Mina to complete a once-in-a-lifetime five-day ritual. But a deadly combination of extreme heat (over 43C/110F) and a crush of pilgrims pushing against each other caused a huge stampede. A witness said, 'It's literally a pile of bodies of people who pushed, they shoved, they panicked, they screamed.'
1981 26 SEPTEMBER
Tennis legend Serena Williams was born. Happy 36th birthday to the woman who is frequently referred to as a GOAT - and it's a compliment. She is the Greatest Of All Time, having won 23 Grand Slam titles in total, and is the only player in history (man or woman) to have won at least six singles titles in three Grand Slam tournaments. She even won two while she was pregnant. She's also the world's top-earning female athlete - and an inspiration to women everywhere.
1960 30 SEPTEMBER
The Flintstones made their first appearance on TV.
The modern Stone Age family from the town of Bedrock used to be the most popular cartoon relatives in the world, until those yellow Springfield residents came along. The Flintstones was full of 20th century jokes - the films at the cinema starred Stony Curtis and Cary Granite. Do you remember Fred and Wilma's daughter and Betty and Barney's son's names?*
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|Publication:||The People (London, England)|
|Date:||Sep 24, 2017|
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