April 22: Innovation On This Day


Mosaic, the browser credited with popularizing the web, was released on this day in 1993. Although the internet had existed for decades, Mosaic displayed images inline and was ported to Windows.  This made brought the web to the general public.

It was developed by the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA)[4] at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Many of the original authors went on to develop Netscape Navigator.


The first combat rescue using a helicopter was on this day in 1944. U.S. Army Lieutenant Carter Harman used a Sikorsky in the China-Burma-India theater to rescue a pilot and three British soldiers. Although the helicopter could just seat the pilot and one passenger, Harman took two at a time in the rescue mission.


On the darker side of human inventiveness and innovation, the use of poison gas was stepped up in the First World War with the release of Chlorine by Germany against French positions. Although the gas cloud caused the French to break ranks and leave a 7 km gap in the front line. German troops, however, were just as wary and they failed to exploit their temporary advantage.


Pioneering Irish aviator, Denys Corbett Wilson, was the first person to fly across the Irish Sea. Taking off in Wales, he landed in Co. Wexford 1 hour 40 minutes later. A previous attempt almost succeeded when,  on 11 September 1910, Robert Loraine crashed in the Irish Sea just 300 metres short of the Irish coast.

Image of Sikorsky courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.