Ray-Ban is an American brand of sunglasses and eyeglasses created in 1937 by the American company Bausch & Lomb. The brand is known for their Aviator lines of sunglasses. In 1999, Bausch & Lomb sold the brand to the Italian eyewear conglomerate, Luxottica Group, for a reported US$640 million. In 1929, US Army Air Corps Colonel John A. Macready worked with Bausch & Lomb, a Rochester, New York-based medical equipment manufacturer, to create aviation sunglasses that would reduce the distraction for pilots caused by the intense blue and white hues of the sky. MacCready was concerned about how pilots' goggles would fog up reducing visibility at high altitude; the prototype, created in 1936 and known as ‘Anti-Glare’, had plastic frames and green lenses that could cut out the glare without obscuring vision. They added impact-resistant lenses in 1938; the sunglasses were redesigned with a metal frame the following year and patented as the Ray-Ban Aviator. According to the BBC, the glasses used “Kalichrome lenses designed to sharpen details and minimise haze by filtering out blue light, making them ideal for misty conditions.”In 1999, the Global Eyewear Division of Bausch & Lomb, including Ray-Ban was acquired by Luxottica Group for US$640 million.
Ray-Ban's most popular sunglasses are the Aviator models. During the 1950s, Ray-Ban released the Echelon. In 1965, the Olympian I and II were introduced; the company has produced special edition lines, such as The General in 1987, bearing similarity to the original aviators worn by General Douglas MacArthur during the Second World War. Official website
Luxottica Group S.p. A. is the world's largest company in the eyewear industry. It is based in Italy; as a vertically integrated company, Luxottica designs, manufactures and retails its eyewear brands, including LensCrafters, Sunglass Hut, Apex by Sunglass Hut, Pearle Vision, Sears Optical, Target Optical, Eyemed vision care plan, Glasses.com. Its best known brands are Ray-Ban and Oakley. Luxottica makes sunglasses and prescription frames for designer brands such as Chanel, Giorgio Armani, Versace and Gabbana, Miu Miu, DKNY, Tory Burch. In January 2017, Luxottica announced a merger with Essilor The combined entity would command more than one quarter of global value sales of eyewear. In March 2018, the European Commission unconditionally approved the merger of Luxottica. On October 1, 2018 the new holding company EssilorLuxottica was born, resulting in combined market capitalization of €57 billion. Leonardo Del Vecchio started the company in Agordo north of Belluno, Italy. Del Vecchio began his career as the apprentice to a tool and die maker in Milan, but decided to turn his metalworking skills to making spectacle parts.
So in 1961, he moved to Agordo in the province of Belluno, home to most of the Italian eyewear industry. The new company was Luxottica s.a.s. a limited partnership with Del Vecchio as one of the founding partners. In 1967, he started selling complete eyeglass frames under the Luxottica brand, which proved successful enough that by 1971 he ended the contract manufacturing business. Convinced of the need for vertical integration, in 1974, he acquired Scarrone, a distribution company. In 1981, the company set up its first international subsidiary, in Germany, the first in a rapid period of international expansion; the first of many licensing deals with a designer was struck with Armani, in 1988. The company listed in New York in 1990, in Milan in December 2000, joining the MIB-30 index in September 2003; the listing raised money for the company and allowed it to use its shares to acquire other brands, starting with Italian brand Vogue Eyewear in 1990, Persol and the United States Shoe Corporation in 1995, Ray-Ban in 1999 and Sunglass Hut, Inc. in 2001.
Luxottica increased its presence in the retail sector by acquiring Sydney-based OPSM in 2003, Pearle Vision and Cole National in 2004. Luxottica acquired Oakley in November 2007 for US$2.1 billion. Oakley had tried to dispute their prices because of Luxottica's large marketshare, Luxottica responded by dropping Oakley from their stores, causing their stock price to drop, followed by Luxottica's hostile take over of the company. In August 2011, Luxottica acquired Erroca for €20 million. In March 2014, it was announced that Luxottica would partner with Google on the development of Google Glass and its integration into Luxottica's eyewear. On 1 September 2014, a new organizational structure was announced, composed of two co-CEOs, one focusing on market development and the other overseeing corporate functions. After the exit of former CEO Andrea Guerra, Enrico Cavatorta was appointed CEO of Corporate Function and Interim CEO of Market. Cavatorta left the company 40 days after being appointed CEO.
In 2016, it was reported that Luxottica had lost its third chief executive in a year and a half as Adil Mehboob-Khan stepped down a year after he replaced Cavatorta. In January 2017, the company agreed on a merger with Essilor; the deal will help to offer a succession plan for Leonardo Del Vecchio, the company's founder. On October 1, 2018 the new holding company EssilorLuxottica was founded, resulting in combined market capitalization of €57 billion. In August 2018, Luxottica restored Accademia Bridge in Venice. Luxottica's two main product offerings; the company operates in two sectors: manufacturing & wholesale distribution, retail distribution. The house brands include the following: The company makes eyewear under license for the following designer labels: These brands are sold in the company's own shops, as well as to independent distributors such as department stores, duty-free shops, opticians. Luxottica Retail has 9,000 retail locations in the United States, Latin America, China, New Zealand, South Africa, the United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates.
The headquarters of the retail division is in Mason, United States. Their retail banners include the following: Luxottica is the largest optical retailer in the United States, with 7.3% of US retail sales in 2015. With its merger with Essilor in 2018 the company owns Coastal/Clearly, an online contacts and glasses retail giant bought in 2014 that ships to over 200 countries beside its original North American market. Luxottica owns EyeMed Vision Care, a managed vision care organization in the United States; as of 2014, it is the second largest vision benefits company in the United States. The company has been criticised for the high price of its brand-name glasses, such as Ray-Ban and several others. A 2012 60 Minutes segment focused on whether the company's extensive holdings in the industry were used to keep prices high. Luxottica owns not only a large portfolio of brands such as Ray-Ban and Oakley but retailers such as Sunglass Hut and Oliver Peoples, the optical departments at Target and Sears, as well as key eye insurance groups including the second largest glasses insurance firm in the US.
It has been accused of operating a complete monopoly on the optical industry and overcharging for its products—for example, temporarily dropping competitor Oakley fr
A microscope is an instrument used to see objects that are too small to be seen by the naked eye. Microscopy is the science of investigating small structures using such an instrument. Microscopic means invisible to the eye. There are many types of microscopes, they may be grouped in different ways. One way is to describe the way the instruments interact with a sample to create images, either by sending a beam of light or electrons to a sample in its optical path, or by scanning across, a short distance from the surface of a sample using a probe; the most common microscope is the optical microscope, which uses light to pass through a sample to produce an image. Other major types of microscopes are the fluorescence microscope, the electron microscope and the various types of scanning probe microscopes. Although objects resembling lenses date back 4000 years and there are Greek accounts of the optical properties of water-filled spheres followed by many centuries of writings on optics, the earliest known use of simple microscopes dates back to the widespread use of lenses in eyeglasses in the 13th century.
The earliest known examples of compound microscopes, which combine an objective lens near the specimen with an eyepiece to view a real image, appeared in Europe around 1620. The inventor is unknown. Several revolve around the spectacle-making centers in the Netherlands including claims it was invented in 1590 by Zacharias Janssen and/or Zacharias' father, Hans Martens, claims it was invented by their neighbor and rival spectacle maker, Hans Lippershey, claims it was invented by expatriate Cornelis Drebbel, noted to have a version in London in 1619. Galileo Galilei seems to have found after 1610 that he could close focus his telescope to view small objects and, after seeing a compound microscope built by Drebbel exhibited in Rome in 1624, built his own improved version. Giovanni Faber coined the name microscope for the compound microscope Galileo submitted to the Accademia dei Lincei in 1625; the first detailed account of the microscopic anatomy of organic tissue based on the use of a microscope did not appear until 1644, in Giambattista Odierna's L'occhio della mosca, or The Fly's Eye.
The microscope was still a novelty until the 1660s and 1670s when naturalists in Italy, the Netherlands and England began using them to study biology. Italian scientist Marcello Malpighi, called the father of histology by some historians of biology, began his analysis of biological structures with the lungs. Robert Hooke's Micrographia had a huge impact because of its impressive illustrations. A significant contribution came from Antonie van Leeuwenhoek who achieved up to 300 times magnification using a simple single lens microscope, he sandwiched a small glass ball lens between the holes in two metal plates riveted together, with an adjustable-by-screws needle attached to mount the specimen. Van Leeuwenhoek re-discovered red blood cells and spermatozoa, helped popularise the use of microscopes to view biological ultrastructure. On 9 October 1676, van Leeuwenhoek reported the discovery of micro-organisms; the performance of a light microscope depends on the quality and correct use of the condensor lens system to focus light on the specimen and the objective lens to capture the light from the specimen and form an image.
Early instruments were limited until this principle was appreciated and developed from the late 19th to early 20th century, until electric lamps were available as light sources. In 1893 August Köhler developed a key principle of sample illumination, Köhler illumination, central to achieving the theoretical limits of resolution for the light microscope; this method of sample illumination produces lighting and overcomes the limited contrast and resolution imposed by early techniques of sample illumination. Further developments in sample illumination came from the discovery of phase contrast by Frits Zernike in 1953, differential interference contrast illumination by Georges Nomarski in 1955. In the early 20th century a significant alternative to the light microscope was developed, an instrument that uses a beam of electrons rather than light to generate an image; the German physicist, Ernst Ruska, working with electrical engineer Max Knoll, developed the first prototype electron microscope in 1931, a transmission electron microscope.
The transmission electron microscope works on similar principles to an optical microscope but uses electrons in the place of light and electromagnets in the place of glass lenses. Use of electrons, instead of light, allows for much higher resolution. Development of the transmission electron microscope was followed in 1935 by the development of the scanning electron microscope by Max Knoll. Although TEMs were being used for research before WWII, became popular afterwards, the SEM was not commercially available until 1965. Transmission electron microscopes became popular following the Second World War. Ernst Ruska, working at Siemens, developed the first commercial transmission electron microscope and, in the 1950s, major scientific conferences on electron microscopy started being held. In 1965, the first commercial scanning electron microscope was developed by Profess
Binoculars or field glasses are two telescopes mounted side-by-side and aligned to point in the same direction, allowing the viewer to use both eyes when viewing distant objects. Most are sized to be held using both hands, although sizes vary from opera glasses to large pedestal mounted military models. Unlike a telescope, binoculars give users a three-dimensional image: for nearer objects the two views, presented to each of the viewer's eyes from different viewpoints, produce a merged view with an impression of depth. From the invention of the telescope in the 17th century the advantages of mounting two of them side by side for binocular vision seems to have been explored. Most early binoculars used Galilean optics; the Galilean design has the advantage of presenting an erect image but has a narrow field of view and is not capable of high magnification. This type of construction is still used in cheap models and in opera glasses or theater glasses; the Galilean design is used in low magnification binocular surgical and jewelers' loupes because they can be short and produce an upright image without extra or unusual erecting optics, reducing expense and overall weight.
They have large exit pupils making centering less critical and the narrow field of view works well in those applications. These are mounted on an eyeglass frame or custom-fit onto eyeglasses. An improved image and higher magnification is achieved in binoculars employing Keplerian optics, where the image formed by the objective lens is viewed through a positive eyepiece lens. Since the Keplerian configuration produces an inverted image, different methods are used to turn the image right way up. In aprismatic binoculars with Keplerian optics each tube has one or two additional lenses between the objective and the ocular; these lenses are used to erect the image. The binoculars with erecting lenses had a serious disadvantage: they are too long; such binoculars were popular in the 1800s, but became obsolete shortly after the Karl Zeiss company introduced improved prism binoculars in the 1890s. Optical prisms added to the design are another way to turn the image right way up in a Porro prism or roof-prisms design.
Porro prism binoculars are named after Italian optician Ignazio Porro who patented this image erecting system in 1854, refined by makers like the Carl Zeiss company in the 1890s. Binoculars of this type use a pair of Porro prisms in a Z-shaped configuration to erect the image; this results in binoculars that are wide, with objective lenses that are well separated and offset from the eyepieces, giving a better sensation of depth. Porro prism designs have the added benefit of folding the optical path so that the physical length of the binoculars is less than the focal length of the objective. Binoculars using roof prisms may have appeared as early as the 1870s in a design by Achille Victor Emile Daubresse. In 1897 Moritz Hensoldt began marketing roof prism binoculars. Most roof prism binoculars use either the Abbe-Koenig prism or the Schmidt-Pechan prism designs to erect the image and fold the optical path, they have objective lenses that are in line with the eyepieces. Roof-prisms designs create an instrument, narrower and more compact than Porro prisms.
There is a difference in image brightness. Porro-prism binoculars will inherently produce a brighter image than Schmidt-Pechan roof-prism binoculars of the same magnification, objective size, optical quality, because this roof-prism design employs silvered surfaces that reduce light transmission by 12% to 15%. Roof-prisms designs require tighter tolerances for alignment of their optical elements; this adds to their expense since the design requires them to use fixed elements that need to be set at a high degree of collimation at the factory. Porro prisms binoculars need their prism sets to be re-aligned to bring them into collimation; the fixed alignment in roof-prism designs means the binoculars will not need re-collimation. Binoculars are designed for specific applications; these different designs require certain optical parameters which may be listed on the prism cover plate of the binoculars. Those parameters are: Given as the first number in a binocular description, magnification is the ratio of the focal length of the objective divided by the focal length of the eyepiece.
This gives the magnifying power of binoculars. A magnification factor of 7, for example, produces an image 7 times larger than the original seen from that distance; the desirable amount of magnification depends upon the intended application, in most binoculars is a permanent, non-adjustable feature of the device. Hand-held binoculars have magnifications ranging from 7x to 10x, so they will be less susceptible to the effects of shaking hands. A larger magnification leads to a smaller field of view and may require a tripod for image stability; some specialized binoculars for astronomy or military use have magnifications ranging from 15x to 25x. Given as the second number in a binocular description, the diameter of the objective lens determines the resolution and how much light can be gathered to form an image; when two different binoculars have equal magnification, equal quality, produce a sufficiently matched exit pupil, the larger objective diameter produces a "brighter" and sharper
Bausch & Lomb
Bausch + Lomb is a Canadian eye health products company based in Laval, Canada. It is one of the world's largest suppliers of contact lenses, lens care products, intraocular lenses, other eye surgery products. Founded in Rochester, New York in 1853 by optician John Bausch and financier Henry Lomb, Bausch + Lomb is one of the oldest continually operating companies in the US. Bausch + Lomb was a public company listed on the NYSE until it was acquired by private equity firm Warburg Pincus in 2007. In May 2013, it was announced that Canadian-based Valeant Pharmaceuticals would acquire Bausch + Lomb from Warburg Pincus for $8.57 billion in cash. The deal, approved by shareholders, included $4.2 billion earmarked to pay down Bausch + Lomb debt and closed on August 5, 2013. Today, the company employs about 12,000 people in 36 countries. In 1853, John Bausch and Henry Lomb, both German immigrants, established a small but ambitious workshop producing monocles in Rochester, New York. By 1861, their operation had expanded to manufacturing vulcanite rubber eyeglass frames and other precision vision products.
During the American Civil War, the Union blockade caused the price of gold and European horn to rise dramatically. This resulted in a growing demand for the Lomb spectacles made from vulcanite. In 1876, Ernst Gundlach joined the company; that year, the Bausch & Lomb Optical Company won a distinction at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition. The company produced photographic lenses, spectacle lenses, microtomes and telescopes. From 1892 in cooperation with Zeiss in Germany, the company produced optical lenses. In this manner, at the end of the 19th century, the product range included eyeglasses and binoculars, as well as projectors, camera lenses and camera diaphragms. With the growth of the US army, under President Theodore Roosevelt and the buildup of the naval fleet, Bausch & Lomb received the commission, through the supplier Saegmuller, to manufacture high-precision lenses for optical measurement and founded a joint venture with Saegmuller. At the same time as this new expansion, a research department with five members was started to develop new products and improve old ones.
A new alliance with the Zeiss company in Germany ensured competitive advantages for the three participants, Bausch & Lomb and Zeiss, in terms of patent use and opening new markets. In 1902, William Bausch, the son of the founder, developed a process to create the desired lens shape directly by casting molten glass; the glass parts for the lenses had to be separated and polished in a complicated process, this brought significant savings in time and materials. The company produced the first optical-quality glass in America during the early to mid-1900s. By the year 1903 the company began manufacturing microscopes and camera shutters; the further development of the firm was affected by political events. Because of the World Wars and the consequent need for optical instruments such as field glasses, range finders, camera lenses, binocular telescopes, searchlight mirrors, torpedo tube sights, periscopes, the product range could be broadened; until World War I, optical glass and the instruments made from it were imported into most European and North American countries from Germany.
The same was true of chemical products and laboratory equipment. The outbreak of the war, with Germany's new enemy status, created a scramble to enhance the domestic industries. In 1933, Bausch + Lomb started to honor outstanding high school science students with the Bausch+Lomb Honorary Science Award. In the 1930s, military products represented 70% of total production; the Ray-Ban brand of sunglasses was developed for pilots in 1936. At a time when the cinema was being superseded by television, Bausch & Lomb developed improved optics for the CinemaScope process, which popularized the film-based anamorphic format and led most cinemas to double the widths of their screens. After three years of development work, two years for the medical approval by the United States Food and Drug Administration and an investment of three million USD, Bausch + Lomb brought the first contact lenses made of Poly-HEMA on the market in 1971. In contrast to the contact lenses available up to that time, made of glass and Lucite, the new lenses were softer, were marketed with the brand name "Soflens".
In the 1970s, Bausch + Lomb became a major producer of spectrophotometers for the dye and chemical business such as the Spectronic 20. A massive restructuring of the company began in the mid-80s. What had been the core divisions, the production of lenses for various purposes, were sold off; the sunglasses division was continued as Ray-Ban and kept selling well due to effective product placement. By the planned acquisition of other firms, such as Polymer Technology Corporation and Dr. Mann Pharma, existing business areas such as contact lens production were strengthened and new ones were initiated. In 1997, as a result of a series of company acquisitions, the division for the production of surgical products was established; the Ray-Ban brand of was sold in 1999 to the Italian Luxottica Group. Since Bausch & Lomb has developed into a globally operating company, one of the largest producers of contact lenses. Today, about 13,000 employees in 36 countries work for the firm. Total turnover for the year 2006 was estimated at 2.29 billion USD.
The company's competitors in the international eye care products market are Johnson & Johnson, Allergan and Ciba Vision, MSD-Chibret and CooperVision. Business areas are divided into three large divisions
A modern torpedo is a self-propelled weapon with an explosive warhead, launched above or below the water surface, propelled underwater towards a target, designed to detonate either on contact with its target or in proximity to it. It was called an automotive, locomotive or fish torpedo; the term torpedo was employed for a variety of devices, most of which would today be called mines. From about 1900, torpedo has been used to designate an underwater self-propelled weapon. While the battleship had evolved around engagements between armoured ships with large-calibre guns, the torpedo allowed torpedo boats and other lighter surface ships, submersibles ordinary fishing boats or frogmen, aircraft, to destroy large armoured ships without the need of large guns, though sometimes at the risk of being hit by longer-range shellfire. Modern torpedoes can be divided into heavyweight classes, they can be launched from a variety of platforms. The word torpedo comes from the name of a genus of electric rays in the order Torpediniformes, which in turn comes from the Latin "torpere".
In naval usage, the American Robert Fulton introduced the name to refer to a towed gunpowder charge used by his French submarine Nautilus to demonstrate that it could sink warships. The concept of a torpedo existed many centuries before it was successfully developed. In 1275, Hasan al-Rammah described "...an egg which moves itself and burns". In modern language, a'torpedo' is an underwater self-propelled explosive, but the term applied to primitive naval mines; these were used on an ad hoc basis during the early modern period up to the late 19th century. Early spar torpedoes were created by the Dutchman Cornelius Drebbel in the employ of King James I of England. An early submarine, attempted to lay a bomb with a timed fuse on the hull of HMS Eagle during the American Revolutionary War, but failed in the attempt. In the early 1800s, the American inventor Robert Fulton, while in France, "conceived the idea of destroying ships by introducing floating mines under their bottoms in submarine boats".
He coined the term "torpedo" in reference to the explosive charges with which he outfitted his submarine Nautilus. However, both the French and the Dutch governments were uninterested in the submarine. Fulton concentrated on developing the torpedo independent of a submarine deployment. On 15 October 1805, while in England, Fulton put on a public display of his "infernal machine", sinking the brig Dorothea with a submerged bomb filled with 180 lb of gunpowder and a clock set to explode in 18 minutes. However, the British government refused to purchase the invention, stating they did not wish to "introduce into naval warfare a system that would give great advantage to weaker maritime nations". Fulton carried out a similar demonstration for the US government on 20 July 1807, destroying a vessel in New York's harbor. Further development languished as Fulton focused on his "steam-boat matters". During the War of 1812, torpedoes were employed in attempts to destroy British vessels and protect American harbors.
In fact a submarine-deployed torpedo was used in an unsuccessful attempt to destroy HMS Ramillies while in New London's harbor. This prompted the British Captain Hardy to warn the Americans to cease efforts with the use of any "torpedo boat" in this "cruel and unheard-of warfare", or he would "order every house near the shore to be destroyed". Torpedoes were used by the Russian Empire during the Crimean War in 1855 against British warships in the Gulf of Finland, they used an early form of chemical detonator. During the American Civil War, the term torpedo was used for what is today called a contact mine, floating on or below the water surface using an air-filled demijohn or similar flotation device; these devices were primitive and apt to prematurely explode. They would be detonated on contact with the ship or after a set time, although electrical detonators were occasionally used. USS Cairo was the first warship to be sunk in 1862 by an electrically-detonated mine. Spar torpedoes were used; these were used by the Confederate submarine H. L. Hunley to sink USS Housatonic although the weapon was apt to cause as much harm to its user as to its target.
Rear Admiral David Farragut's famous/apocryphal command during the Battle of Mobile Bay in 1864, "Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!" Refers to a minefield laid at Alabama. On 26 May 1877, during the Romanian War of Independence, the Romanian spar torpedo boat Rândunica attacked and sank the Ottoman river monitor Seyfi; this was the first instance in history when a torpedo craft sank its targets without sinking. In 1866 British engineer Robert Whitehead invented the first effective self-propelled torpedo, the eponymous Whitehead torpedo. French and German inventions followed and the term torpedo came to describe self-propelled projectiles that traveled under or on water. By 1900, the term no longer included mines and booby-traps as the navies of the world added submarines, torpedo boats and torpedo boat destroyers to their fleets. A prototype self-propelled torpedo was created by a commission placed by Giovanni Luppis, an Austro-Hungarian naval officer from Fiume, a port city of the
The United States of America known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U. S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D. C. and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico; the State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean; the U. S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The diverse geography and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
Paleo-Indians migrated from Siberia to the North American mainland at least 12,000 years ago. European colonization began in the 16th century; the United States emerged from the thirteen British colonies established along the East Coast. Numerous disputes between Great Britain and the colonies following the French and Indian War led to the American Revolution, which began in 1775, the subsequent Declaration of Independence in 1776; the war ended in 1783 with the United States becoming the first country to gain independence from a European power. The current constitution was adopted in 1788, with the first ten amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, being ratified in 1791 to guarantee many fundamental civil liberties; the United States embarked on a vigorous expansion across North America throughout the 19th century, acquiring new territories, displacing Native American tribes, admitting new states until it spanned the continent by 1848. During the second half of the 19th century, the Civil War led to the abolition of slavery.
By the end of the century, the United States had extended into the Pacific Ocean, its economy, driven in large part by the Industrial Revolution, began to soar. The Spanish–American War and World War I confirmed the country's status as a global military power; the United States emerged from World War II as a global superpower, the first country to develop nuclear weapons, the only country to use them in warfare, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Sweeping civil rights legislation, notably the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968, outlawed discrimination based on race or color. During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union competed in the Space Race, culminating with the 1969 U. S. Moon landing; the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 left the United States as the world's sole superpower. The United States is the world's oldest surviving federation, it is a representative democracy.
The United States is a founding member of the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization of American States, other international organizations. The United States is a developed country, with the world's largest economy by nominal GDP and second-largest economy by PPP, accounting for a quarter of global GDP; the U. S. economy is post-industrial, characterized by the dominance of services and knowledge-based activities, although the manufacturing sector remains the second-largest in the world. The United States is the world's largest importer and the second largest exporter of goods, by value. Although its population is only 4.3% of the world total, the U. S. holds 31% of the total wealth in the world, the largest share of global wealth concentrated in a single country. Despite wide income and wealth disparities, the United States continues to rank high in measures of socioeconomic performance, including average wage, human development, per capita GDP, worker productivity.
The United States is the foremost military power in the world, making up a third of global military spending, is a leading political and scientific force internationally. In 1507, the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller produced a world map on which he named the lands of the Western Hemisphere America in honor of the Italian explorer and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci; the first documentary evidence of the phrase "United States of America" is from a letter dated January 2, 1776, written by Stephen Moylan, Esq. to George Washington's aide-de-camp and Muster-Master General of the Continental Army, Lt. Col. Joseph Reed. Moylan expressed his wish to go "with full and ample powers from the United States of America to Spain" to seek assistance in the revolutionary war effort; the first known publication of the phrase "United States of America" was in an anonymous essay in The Virginia Gazette newspaper in Williamsburg, Virginia, on April 6, 1776. The second draft of the Articles of Confederation, prepared by John Dickinson and completed by June 17, 1776, at the latest, declared "The name of this Confederation shall be the'United States of America'".
The final version of the Articles sent to the states for ratification in late 1777 contains the sentence "The Stile of this Confederacy shall be'The United States of America'". In June 1776, Thomas Jefferson wrote the phrase "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" in all capitalized letters in the headline of his "original Rough draught" of the Declaration of Independence; this draft of the document did not surface unti