Today in TIME Tech History: Bullet-Proof Vest (1926), Loch Ness Monster (1968), the Rise of Blogs (2004) and More

Let’s hop in the TIME Wayback Machine to see which notable tech-related stories were published on December 27 between 1923 and today.

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Let’s hop in the TIME Wayback Machine to see which notable tech-related stories were published on December 27 between 1923 and today.

If you’re a TIME subscriber, you can click each headline to read the entire story.

Science: Marvel (Dec. 27, 1926):

Members of the Danville, Ill., Rotary club assembled last week to behold a marvel. Awe was in every heart as a man stood among them, all unafraid, and bade an assistant fire revolver bullets at him point blank. “Blam! Blam-blam!” The Rotarians could scarcely believe their eyes as the bullets quite obviously smote their target and still he stood unhurt. The Rotarians drew closer . . . “Blam-blam!” . . . and soon three of them were writhing with pain. Baker Walter C. Spitz, Banker John Telling and Reporter H. V. Streeter suffered cuts, scratches and contusions as chunks of lead, ricocheting from the entertainer’s fancy waistcoat—now proved bullet-proof beyond the shadow of a doubt—whirred among craning necks and peering heads, luckily injuring only three and those but slightly.

Science: Experiments (Dec. 27, 1926):

Before the St. Louis section of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers, Consulting Engineer Ernst Frederik Werner Alexanderson of the General Electric Co. and the Radio Corporation of America, described his progress in the projection of motion pictures by radio…

The possibilities: synchronized with sound-carrying radio, the sight-carrying radio might some day bring before the eyes of a man in Kankakee, Ill., the coronation of a king in Westminister; it might enable folk to “go to the theatre” by turning a switch. Immediate possibilities: “air letters” (facsimiles) transmitted faster than they could be read; radio-cinema.

Science: Radiation v. Fog (Dec. 27, 1937):

Visible light does not penetrate thick fog, but visible light is only a small segment on the wide spectrum of electro-magnetic radiation. Radiation which is too long in wave length to be seen, called infra-red and embracing wireless waves of all lengths, has the faculty of sliding around obstacles such as fog particles. Therefore an artificial eye which “sees” by infra-red radiation appears to offer the best hope of piercing fog.

Science: In Man’s Image (Dec. 27, 1948):

Once in a great while a scientific book is published that sets bells jangling wildly in a dozen different sciences. Such a book is Cybernetics (John Wiley; $3) by Professor Norbert Wiener of M.I.T…

Out of such primitive beginnings has grown what Dr. Wiener considers the most startling (and ominous) development in human evolution. Engines and production machines replace human muscles; control mechanisms replace human brains. Even a thermostat thinks, after a fashion. It acts like a man who decides that the room is too cold and puts more coal in the stove.

GOODS & SERVICES: New Ideas (Dec. 27, 1954):

Dream Rug. For small fry afraid to go to sleep in the dark, Manhattan’s Firth Carpet Co. has designed a phosphorescent nursery rug (4 ft. 6 in. by 6 ft.) that absorbs daylight and lamplight, glows for hours after the lights go out. Price: about $40.

Automatic Hamburgers. K. M. Jesse, president of the Floating Henryburger System (38 hamburger stands in twelve states), has developed an automatic hamburger cooker. The hamburgers are shaped by hand, then loaded on a conveyor belt that automatically carries them through the cooker, dips them in sauce, turns them out at the rate of 480 an hour. Price: $1,240.

Hearing Glasses. For clients who are vainer about their hearing than their eyesight, Otarion, Inc., Dobbs Ferry, N.Y., has designed a hearing aid housed in standard, horn-rimmed glasses. The amplifier fits behind the ear and since no cord or attachment is needed, the glasses can be put on and off like an ordinary pair. Price: $265.

Space: House Trailer in Orbit (Dec. 27, 1963):

The orbiting lab is still a drawing-board dream, and few details have been settled on for sure. It will be a pressurized cylinder, about 25 ft. long and 10 ft. in diameter —approximately the size of a small house trailer. It will be attached to the blunt heat shield of one of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s two-man Gemini capsules, and it will be heaved aloft by a hefty Titan III rocket, which, with its two solid-fuel boosters, develops as much as 2,000,000 Ibs. of thrust.

Marine Biology: Clue to the Loch Ness Monster (Dec. 27, 1968):

The startling observation was made by a University of Birmingham team armed with a modern monster detector: sophisticated sonar equipment. Setting up operations on a Loch Ness pier, the scientists projected a beam of high-frequency sound waves through the water. During one 13-min. period, the sonar echoes defined large moving objects that Birmingham Electrical Engineer D. Gordon Tucker says were “clearly” made by animals.

Moving through the water at speeds as high as 17 m.p.h. and diving at a rate of 450 ft. per min., an object that could have been “several meters” in length traced a clear pattern on the sonar screen. Two other large bodies, moving more slowly, were also detected. “The high rate of ascent and descent,” Tucker says, “makes it seem very unlikely that they are fish.”

Jeffrey Preston Bezos: 1999 PERSON OF THE YEAR (Dec. 27, 1999):

The fast-moving Internet economy has a jungle of competitors… and here’s the king.

Jeff Bezos: Bio: An Eye On The Future (Dec. 27, 1999):

Jeff Bezos merely wants Amazon.com to be Earth’s biggest seller of everything.

Cruising Inside Amazon (Dec. 27, 1999):

It’s like a three-ring circus that adds more rings each day.

From Your Mouse To Your House (Dec. 27, 1999):

What goes on behind the scenes when you place an order at Amazon.com.

The Year of E-Tailing (Dec. 27, 1999):

Blogs Have Their Day (Dec. 27, 2004):

The word blog, in case you’ve managed to avoid it until now, is short for weblog, a personal website that offers short, intense bursts of commentary and opinion, usually accompanied by a link to a news story elsewhere online. Some blogs are diaries; some focus on highly specific topics, like knitting, car repair or sex.

More tech history here…

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