Tag Archives: France

Fastest train on a national rail system

The highest speed recorded by a train on any national rail system (as opposed to dedicated test track) is 574.8 km/h (357.2 mph; 159.6 m/s) by a French SNCF modified version of the TGV called V150 (with larger wheels than usual and two engines driving three double-decker cars) on 3 April 2007. The peak speed was achieved near to the village of Le Chemin between the Meuse and Champagne-Ardenne TGV stations that will service the high-speed rail line from Paris to Strasbourg, France (TGV Est, Continue reading →

First air launch from a ship

The first time that a ship was used for airborne operations occured in 1806 when Lord Thomas Cochrane of the British Royal Navy launched kites from HMS Pallas (a 32-gun frigate) in order to drop propaganda leaflets on French territory.

First aircraft electric powered

On 23 December 2006, a wood and fabric single seat aircraft (the Electra F-WMDJ) flew for 48 minutes for 50 km (30 miles) around the southern Alps in France powered by an electric, 25-horsepower British-made motor used often to power golf carts!

First commercial exhibition of a projected motion picture (film)

Often hailed as the ‘founding fathers of modern film’, the Lumiere Brothers, Louis and Auguste, can take credit for the first commercial exhibition of a projected motion picture to a paying public in 1895, in the world’s first movie theatre – the Salon Indien, at the Grand Cafe on Paris’ Boulevard des Capucines. The 20-minute program included ten short films with twenty showings a day.

First documented animal execution

The capital punishment of animals dates back to at least the early medieval period, with the earliest known documented case involving a pig tried and burnt for eating a child. The trial of the infanticidal pig took place in 1266 in Fontenay-aux-Roses, France, and was overseen by the monks of St Genevieve. It was usually illegal to execute without trial in Medieval Europe, so everyone and anything would face a judge if suspected of a capital crime. Dogs, pigs, cows, horses and even bulls went Continue reading →

First full-scale automobile

The earliest full-scale automobile was the first of two military steam tractors, completed at the Paris Arsenal in October 1769 by Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot (1725-1804). It reached a maximum speed of 4km/h (2.5mph). Cugnot’s second, larger tractor, completed in May 1771, today survives in the Conservatoire Nationale des Arts et Métiers in Paris. The first of Cugnot’s vehicles, the voiture et petit (‘carriage in miniature’) was authorized by the Minister of War for the carrying of cannons. It was tested early in 1770 and could carry Continue reading →