SciHi Blog

Carl Benz and the Invention of the Automobile

Carl Benz and the Invention of the Automobile

On January 29, 1886, German engineer and entrepreneur Carl Friedrich Benz patented the first successful gasoline-driven automobile,  the Benz Patent-Motorwagen 1. It was granted as DRP Nr. 37435 on November 12, 1886.  His patent motor car still reminds in many ways of bicycles and carriages. “My first customer was a lunatic. My second had a death wish.” – Carl Benz, in [8] Carl Benz – Youth and Education Carl Friedrich Benz was born as Carl Friedrich Michael Vaillant into…
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The Inventions of Luther George Simjian

The Inventions of Luther George Simjian

On January 28, 1905, Armenian-American inventor Luther George Simjian was born. Simjian probably is best known for his invention of the Bankmatic Automated Teller Machine. His more than 200 inventions also included the TelePrompter, a self-posing portrait camera, automatic postage metering equipment, and an indoor golf practice range. Early Years Luther Simjian emigrated to the United States in 1920 and started to work as a photographer at the age of 15 and…
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Carl Blegen – the Sack of Troy and the Truth in Homer’s Iliad

Carl Blegen – the Sack of Troy and the Truth in Homer’s Iliad

On January 27, 1887, American archaeologist Carl William Blegen was born. He is known for having unearthed evidence that supported and dated the sack of Troy recorded in Homer‘s Iliad. He worked on the site of Pylos in Greece and Troy in modern-day Turkey and directed the University of Cincinnati excavations of the mound of Hisarlik, the site of Troy, from 1932 to 1938. Carl Blegen’s Youth and Education Blegen was born…
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Ancel Keys and the Effect of Saturated Fats on Our Health

Ancel Keys and the Effect of Saturated Fats on Our Health

On January 26, 1904, American nutritionist and epidemiologist Ancel Keys was born. Keys studied the influence of diet on health. In particular, he hypothesized that saturated fat in the diet is unhealthy and should be avoided. He also was the first to identify the role of saturated fats in causing heart disease. Ancel Keys – Early Years Ancel Keys was born in Colorado Springs in 1904 to Benjamin Pious Keys (1883-1961) and Carolyn…
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Henry IV and his Walk to Canossa

Henry IV and his Walk to Canossa

On January 25, 1077, Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV arrived at the gates of the fortress at Canossa in Emilia Romagna beyond the Alpes to declare atonement and to pledge for forgiveness from Pope Gregory VII, who had excommunicated Henry earlier from church. Henry’s act of penance became known as the “Walk to Canossa”. It took wisdom, patience, and self-restraint. It was also a brilliant strategy because he basically forced the Pope to forgive…
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Ernst Heinkel and His Obsession with Highspeed Aircraft

Ernst Heinkel and His Obsession with Highspeed Aircraft

On January 24, 1888, German aircraft designer and manufacturer Ernst Heinkel was born. Heinkel’s company Heinkel Flugzeugwerke produced the Heinkel He 178, the world’s first turbojet aircraft and jet plane, and the Heinkel He 176, the first rocket aircraft. Ernst Heinkel – Early Years Ernst Heinkel was born in Grunbach, today a part of Remshalden, Germany. As a young man he was apprenticed as machinist at a foundry. In the autumn semester of 1907 Ernst Heinkel…
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Edouard Manet – Pioneer of Modern Painting

Edouard Manet – Pioneer of Modern Painting

On January 23, 1832, French modernist painter Édouard Manet was born. Manet was one of the first 19th-century artists to paint modern life, as well as a pivotal figure in the transition from Realism to Impressionism. “I was painting modern Paris while you were still painting Greek athletes.” – Edouard Manet, c. 1879 Edouard Manet – Family Background and Childhood Édouard Manet was born in the Saint-Germain-des-Prés district of Paris, directly opposite…
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Lev Landau – Superfluidity, the Hydrogen Bomb and Sarcastic Remarks

Lev Landau – Superfluidity, the Hydrogen Bomb and Sarcastic Remarks

On January 22, 1908, Soviet physicist and Nobel Laureate Lev Landau was born. Landau made fundamental contributions to many areas of theoretical physics. He received the 1962 Nobel Prize in Physics for his development of a mathematical theory of superfluidity that accounts for the properties of liquid helium II  at a temperature below 2.17 K (−270.98 °C). Lev Landau – Early Years Lev Landau was the son of the Caspian-Black Sea Joint-Stock Company…
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George Orwell’s Opposition to Totalitarism

George Orwell’s Opposition to Totalitarism

On January 21, 1950, British novelist and journalist Eric Arthur Blair, better known under his pen name George Orwell, passed away. Best known for the allegorical novella Animal Farm (1945) and the dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949), Orwell’s works focus on the awareness of social injustice, opposition to totalitarianism, and belief in democratic socialism. “We are in a strange period of history in which a revolutionary has to be a patriot and a…
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Alexandre-Émile Béguyer de Chancourtois and the Order of the Chemical Elements

Alexandre-Émile Béguyer de Chancourtois and the Order of the Chemical Elements

On January 20, 1820, French geologist and mineralogist  Alexandre-Émile Béguyer de Chancourtois was born. De Chancourtois was the first to arrange the chemical elements in order of atomic weights in 1862. De Chancourtois only published his paper, but did not publish his actual graph with the irregular arrangement. Although his publication was significant, it was ignored by chemists as it was written in terms of geology. It was Dmitri Mendeleev’s table published in 1869…
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