Here are some one liners...
The Big Die and the End of the Range Cattle Era -- A VERY bad winter in the Western USA causes a 90% die-off of open range cattle.
The Second Scientific Revolution Has Begun -- Two scientists prove that the ether that was supposed to carry light waves does not exist... yet light travels.
IBM and the Growing Problem with the US Census -- Hollerith invents a card punch and sorting machine to handle the US census. I talk about collection of data to find people.
In Other News -- Dunlop tires, Bosch ignition and Pearl Harbor.
The Big Die and the End of the Range Cattle Era
- "It would have been all right, if it hadn't been for the weather"
- --An old rancher, remembering the Hard Winter of 1887. 
The Second Scientific Revolution Has BegunSomething fundamental in the way scientists view the Universe has just changed. The basic assumption about light and gravity is that they are carried along like waves on a pond. Scientists have assumed that some medium like water must exist to carry those waves. By tradition they call this invisible medium "the ether." Since (presumably) the Earth is traveling through this ether, it should be possible to measure our relative speed in relation to it by measuring the time it takes for light to travel in a vacuum, going in perpendicular directions. There should be a difference if the ether exists, but when Michelson and Morley take their measurements there is no difference. They have proven that the photons do not require an invisible medium to convey them through a vacuum.... Oh dear God! This is like primitive man suddenly realizing that the Earth is not traveling on the back of a giant turtle. What is holding it up? If light is not a wave then it must be a particle, but it doesn't act like a particle. It is going so fast it should drill holes through everything! And what about gravity? How can that possibly work if there is not an underlying medium? The Universe has just taken a flying leap into the void. They must rethink everything.   
IBM and the Growing Problem with the US CensusInternational Business Machines does not yet exist as a company, but the founder, Herman Hollerith does. He is an intense and meticulous man, born of German immigrants. He graduated as an engineer, but he was hired as an census assistant by his former professor who is working for the government on the US census. The department has been handed an impossible task... the tabulation of data from the USA census... seven years ago. Yes. They are still working on it. They fear that population growth will soon require the NEXT census to start before the PREVIOUS census is compete. That is why Hollerith's old professor has come to him for an answer. Hollerith works out an ingenious system called the Hollerith Code, a series of holes punched into cards to encode data. Each card represents a record filled with basic data. Then he builds a sorting machine that "reads" the code on the card, sorting for specific criteria such as marital status, age, number of children, etc. This produces new stacks of cards that can be sorted in additional ways. He puts in a bid for the next census. What took 7.5 years to process, he will complete in 2.5 years. He calls his business the Tabulating Machine Company which will be renamed IBM. Hollerith will lease these machines rather than sell them to allow closer control over their usage. He likes control. So does the government. In a few years, the Nazis will be delighted with IBM. Without those sorting machines they will never be able to sort out the so-called "Master Race" from the undesirables. You can guess what will happen next.
In Other News
- Dunlop tires for all your tricycle needs. John Dunlop develops the first inflatable tire. He mounts it on a wooden disk for his kid's tricycle. 
- Robert Bosch adapts a magneto ignition system to a stationary engine. Ten years later he will adapt a similar magneto system to fire the spark plugs on a vehicle. 
- The US Navy signs the lease on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. It begins as a coal and repair station.