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Economist Henry James Carey

Economist Henry James Carey

On December 15, 1793, 19th-century economist of the American School of capitalism Henry Charles Carey was born. Carey was chief economic adviser to U.S. President Abraham Lincoln. Henry James Carey succeeded his father Mathew Carey, who was an influential economist, political reformer, editor, and publisher, in his publishing company. In 1835 he co-founded the Franklin Fire Insurance Company of Philadelphia. While publishing his 4-volume treatise Principles of Political Economy, Carey…
The Revenge of the 47 Ronin

The Revenge of the 47 Ronin

In Genroku 15, on the 14th day of the 12th month (元禄十五年十二月十四日, Tuesday, January 30, 1703), in revenge for the death of their prince Asano, 47 Ronin invade the house of the Japanese Shogunate official Kira Yoshihisa in Edo and kill him and his male followers. The story of the 47 Ronin is one of the most celebrated in the history of the samurai. Described by Japanese historians as a…
Franz Aepinius’ Theory of Electricity and Magnetism

Franz Aepinius’ Theory of Electricity and Magnetism

On December 13, 1724, German and Russian Empire natural philosopher Franz Ulrich Theodor Aepinus was born. Aepinius is best known for his researches, theoretical and experimental, in electricity and magnetism. His Tentamen theoriae electricitatis et magnetismi (1759; “An Attempt at a Theory of Electricity and Magnetism“) was the first work to apply mathematics to the theory of electricity and magnetism. Franz Aepinus studied medicine at first but soon became enthusiastic…
James Challis and his failure to discover the planet Neptune

James Challis and his failure to discover the planet Neptune

On December 12, 1803, English clergyman, physicist and astronomer James Challis was born. Challis investigated a wide range of physical phenomena though made few lasting contributions outside astronomy. He is best remembered for his missed opportunity to discover the planet Neptune in 1846. James Challis was born in Braintree, Essex, UK, where his father, John Challis, was a stonemason.After attending Braintree School, the Revd Daniel Copsey’s school, Braintree, and Mill…
Emil Rathenau and the German Electrical Industry

Emil Rathenau and the German Electrical Industry

On December 11, 1838, German entrepreneur and industrialist, Emil Moritz Rathenau was born. Rathenau was a leading figure in the early European electrical industry. He founded the Allgemeine Elektrizitats Gesellschaft (AEG), the German General Electric Company, with a product range including power stations, railways as well as electrical machines and devices. Rathenau was also the first to produce aluminium in Germany for industrial use. Emil Rathnau studied mechanical engineering at the Polytechnic…
Edmund Gunter and his Measuring Devices

Edmund Gunter and his Measuring Devices

On December 10, 1626, English clergyman, mathematician, geometer and astronomer Edmund Gunter passed away. Gunther is best remembered for his mathematical contributions which include the invention of the Gunter’s chain, the Gunter’s quadrant, and the Gunter’s scale. In 1620, he invented the first successful analog device which he developed to calculate logarithmic tangents. Edmund Gunter was born in Hertfordshire in 1581. Edmund attended Westminster School as a Queen’s Scholar, then…
Joseph Needham and the History of China

Joseph Needham and the History of China

On December 9, 1900, British historian and sinologist Joseph Needham was born. Needham is best known for his scientific research and writing on the history of Chinese science and technology. He wrote and edited the landmark history Science and Civilisation in China, a remarkable multivolume study of nearly every branch of Chinese medicine, science, and technology over some 25 centuries. Joseph Needham attended Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge. There he received his…
Johann Hedwig – the Father of Bryology

Johann Hedwig – the Father of Bryology

On December 8, 1730, German botanist Johann Hedwig was born. Hedwig is notable for his studies of mosses for which he is sometimes called the father of bryology, in particular the observation of sexual reproduction in the cryptogams. He dealt with the anatomy, fertilization, and reproduction of mosses and introduced a new method of classification based on the distribution of spores (reproductive bodies). Hedwig was the first to recognize the…
Eleanor J. Gibson and the Visual Cliff

Eleanor J. Gibson and the Visual Cliff

On December 7, 1910, American psychologist Eleanor Jack Gibson was born. Gibson focused on reading development and perceptual learning in infants and toddlers. In the 1960s and 1970s Gibson, with her husband James J. Gibson, created the Gibsonian ecological theory of development which emphasized how important perception was because it allows humans to adapt to their environments. Perhaps her most well-known contribution to psychology was the “visual cliff“, which studied depth…
Libbie Hyman and the Invertebrates

Libbie Hyman and the Invertebrates

On December 6, 1888, U.S. zoologist Libbie Henrietta Hyman was born. Hyman wrote two laboratory manuals and a comprehensive six-volume reference work, The Invertebrates, (1940-67) covering most phyla of its subject. This work, important for its organization, description and classification of invertebrates, is a reference still used today. Libbie Hyman was born in Des Moines, Iowa, USA, the third of four children and the only daughter of Joseph Hyman, a…
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