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Seismology: Robert Mallet
We often think of Silicon Valley as the cradle of American technological innovation. Intel, Apple, Oracle, Cisco, Hewlett Packard — just to name a few, are all headquartered there.
But Silicon Valley, as well as the entire San Francisco Bay Area and many parts of the world that are susceptible to siesmic activity, would have no understanding of earthquakes and how to anticipate and record their activity, and the entire science of earthquake-proofing buildings and other structures would not have come to fruition, if it were not for the development of Instrumental Seismology in the 1840s, which was invented by Robert Mallet, an Irishman.
Time Machines: DeLorean Motor Company
Ok, maybe the DeLorean DMC-12 can't really travel through time, but the iconic vehicle that became famous in the Back to the Future trilogy was originally made and manufactured at a facility in Dunmurry, a suburb of Belfast, Northern Ireland.
For a brief period from 1981 to 1982, approximately 9,000 DMC-12 cars were built before the company had massive financial issues and had to cease operations.
Today, there is a new DeLorean Motor Company based in Texas which supplies parts to the owners of over 6,500 DMC-12 cars still in operation, and plans to resume production on an updated car using a combination of surplus parts and new fabrication.
Starting your Car and basically Doing Anything: Nicholas Callan
The Induction Coil sounds like a buzzword piece of technology that might be thrown around as techno-garble on a classic episode of Star Trek. But actually, without it, your car would not start.
Induction coils are a type of discharge coil which are used to create high-voltage pulses from low-voltage direct (DC) current.
Invented in 1836 by Irish priest Nicholas Callan, it was an early type of transformer that led the way towards modern electrical transformer technology, which in turn enabled AC current to be transmitted and distributed over high-tension wires over long distances, thus enabling all modern forms of electrical consumption as well as electricity used in many types of consumer applications.
Without the transformer and the pioneering work of Nicholas Callan, there would have been no Edison, no Nikola Tesla, no Westinghouse.
Induction Coils were widely used in X-Ray machines, radio transmitters, and arc lighting from the 1880s to the 1920s. Today they are used almost exclusively in ignition systems for internal combustion engines.