SciHi Blog

The Sugar Act and the American Revolution

The Sugar Act and the American Revolution

On April 5, 1764, the Sugar Act passed by the Parliament of Great Britain. The Sugar Act, also known as the American Revenue Act or the American Duties Act, was a revenue-raising act superseeding the earlier Molasses Act of 1733, which had imposed a tax of six pence per gallon of molasses, had never been effectively collected due to colonial evasion. By reducing the rate by half and increasing measures to enforce…
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The Encyclopaedia of Saint Isidore of Seville

The Encyclopaedia of Saint Isidore of Seville

On April 4, 636, Saint Isidore of Seville, Archbishop of Seville, passed away. He is referred to as “the last scholar of the ancient world. In his encyclopaedia Etymologiarum sive originum libri XX he compiled the knowledge of antiquity still existing in the west of the Mediterranean around 600, combined it with patristics and made it available to his time. Isidor was one of the most widely read authors of the Middle…
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Living as a Work of Art – Henry van de Velde and Art Nouveau

Living as a Work of Art – Henry van de Velde and Art Nouveau

On April 3, 1863, Belgian painter, architect, and interior designer Henry van de Velde was born. Together with Victor Horta and Paul Hankar, he is considered one of the founders of Art Nouveau in Belgium. Van de Velde spent the most important part of his career in Germany and became a major figure in the German Jugendstil. He had a decisive influence on German architecture and design at the beginning of the…
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Fizeau, Foucault and Astronomical Photography

Fizeau, Foucault and Astronomical Photography

On April 2, 1845, Armand Hippolyte Louis Fizeau and Jean Bernard Léon Foucault manage to make the very first photography of the Sun. Thereby, they both initiated astronomical photography. “To contribute usefully to the advance of science, one must sometimes not disdain from undertaking simple verifications.” – Léon Foucault (in The Life and Science of Léon Foucault : The Man Who Proved the Earth Rotates, 2003Fou by William Tobin) Before Astronomical Photography From…
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Abraham Maslow and the Hierarchy of Needs

Abraham Maslow and the Hierarchy of Needs

On April 1, 1908, American psychologist Abraham Harold Maslow was born. He is best known for creating Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, a theory of psychological health predicated on fulfilling innate human needs in priority, culminating in self-actualization. He stressed the importance of focusing on the positive qualities in people, as opposed to treating them as a “bag of symptoms.” Abraham Maslow Background Maslow was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, as…
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Joseph Haydn – the Father of the Symphony

Joseph Haydn – the Father of the Symphony

On March 31 (or April 1) 1732, Austrian composer Joseph Haydn was born. The composer of the Viennese Classicism was instrumental in the development of chamber music such as the piano trio. His contributions to musical form have earned him the epithets “Father of the Symphony” and “Father of the String Quartet”. “My language is understood all over the world.” – Joseph Haydn on Mozart’s objection that he speaks too few languages…
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Crawford Long and the Diethyl Ether Anesthesia

Crawford Long and the Diethyl Ether Anesthesia

On March 30, 1842, American surgeon and pharmacist Crawford Williamson Long for the very first time used inhaled diethyl ether as an anesthetic for surgery. Can you imagine a surgery without anesthetic? Standing the pain while a surgeon is cutting something somewhere in your body? I think better not to. But, anesthetics already have a long tradition, longer than you might think. Anesthetics before Crawford Long Already since antiquity, a variety of…
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Emanuel Swedenborg Visions of the Afterlife

Emanuel Swedenborg Visions of the Afterlife

On March 29, 1772, Swedish scientist, philosopher, theologian, and mystic Emanuel Swedenborg passed away. He is best known for his book on the afterlife, Heaven and Hell (1758). From Swedenborg’s inventive and mechanical genius came his method of finding terrestrial longitude by the Moon, new methods of constructing docks and even tentative suggestions for the submarine and the airplane. Swedenborg had a prolific career as an inventor and scientist. In 1741, at…
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Juan Bautista de Anza and the Route to San Francisco Bay

Juan Bautista de Anza and the Route to San Francisco Bay

On March 28, 1776, Basque New-Spanish explorer Juan Bautista de Anza was the first to reach the San Francisco Bay by land. De Anza was the first European to establish an overland route from Mexico, through the Sonoran Desert, to the Pacific coast of California. New World Spanish explorers had been seeking such a route through the desert southwest for more than two centuries. Background Juan Bautista de Anza Anza was born in 1736…
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Real Fantasies – The Photography of Edward Steichen

Real Fantasies – The Photography of Edward Steichen

On March 27, 1879, Luxembourgish American photographer, painter and curator Edward Jean Steichen was born. His were the photographs that most frequently appeared in Alfred Stieglitz‘s groundbreaking magazine Camera Work during its publication from 1903 to 1917.[1] “When I devoted myself to photography, it was my desire to see it recognized as art. Today I wouldn’t give a damn for that goal. The photographer’s job is to explain people to people and…
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