The Holland Tunnel – Innovation at Work

Today in History, November 21, 1927:

Time magazine places the recently opened Holland Tunnel between New York City and Jersey City on its cover. On its first day nearly 52,000 vehicles used the tunnel. Running a tunnel beneath the Hudson River, or any river, would have been suicidal before engineer Holland designed a ventilation system that took up four ten story towers, two on each end of the tunnel. Fresh air is pumped through vents at the bottom of the roadway while the air is drawn out simultaneously through vents in the ceiling. All of the air in the tunnel is changed every 90 seconds.

Wiley Post Circumnavigates the Earth

Today in History, July 22, 1933:

We all know that Wiley Post died with his more famous Oklahoma brother Will Rogers at Point Barrow, Alaska in a plane crash. Will was a favorite Oklahoma son and a national hero as a humorist.

But on this date in 1933 Will’s friend Wiley, born in Texas but raised in Oklahoma, was the first man to circumnavigate the Earth by air in the Winnie Mae.

He also was an original innovator of the pressurized suit to allow high altitude flight, and made several attempts at cross country high altitude flight. He also discovered the Jet Stream, which has become so important to weather and aviation history.

Innovation in Taxation 

Today in History, July 16: 1935 – The world’s first parking meter, Park-o-meter No. 1, is installed in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Newspaperman Carl McGee came up with the idea after local businessmen became concerned that an ever increasing number of automobiles were taking up parking spaces. The idea was that parkers (customers) would be encouraged to move along so that more parkers (customers) could fill their spots. The incidental new tax on citizens was a happy by product. The idea was popular amongst city governments and by 1940 there were 140,000 meters in operation in the country.