- In 1804, the first self-propelling steam locomotive made its debut at the Pen-y-Darren Ironworks in Wales. One of the best vacations I ever had put me a train that traveled from Skagway, Alaska to the Canadian Rockies. It probably wouldn’t have happened without the first self-propelling steam locomotive.
- Across the pond some 38 years later in 1842, the first U.S. patent is granted for the sewing machine. I’ve never used a sewing machine, but we had one in the house when I was a kid and the cabinet it came in provided a stylish place for a television to sit upon thanks to that patent.
- On February 21, 1878, the first telephone book is issued in New Haven, Conn. One has to wonder if this event, over 130 years ago, was the inspiration for Steve Martin’s “The Jerk”. The new phone book arriving was a huge part of that movie.
- In 1925, “The New Yorker” published its first issue on this day. I’m fairly certain my love for the short story can be attributed to this magazine.
- The Polaroid Camera, the world’s first instant camera, made its debut on February 21, 1947. Can you remember snapping the perfect shot and waiting for it to develop right before your eyes? It was almost as awe-inspiring as watching the first made for television video game, Pong.
- Speaking of video games, “The Legend of Zelda”, the first in a series, was released in Japan on this date in 1986. I’m not a video game fan, but I’m sure someone appreciates this important first.
When is the last time you experienced a first? My goal to day is to find something new to accomplish. Wish me luck.