Monthly Archives: April 2014

The Passionate Life of Charlotte Brontë

The Passionate Life of Charlotte Brontë

Charlotte Brontë (1816-1854) by George Richmond, 1850 On April 21, 1816, English novelist and poet Charlotte Brontë, the eldest of the three Brontë sisters was born, whose novels are English literature standards. Most notably she wrote Jane Eyre under the pen name Currer Bell. Following the usual stereotype, computer scientists are nerds and the only literature they read – if they read any literature at all – are science fiction stories or…
Royal Botanist Charles Plumier

Royal Botanist Charles Plumier

Franipani (Plumeria) flowers in Perth, Western Australia Author: Renesis On April 20, 1646, French botanist Charles Plumier was born. He is considered one of the most important of the botanical explorers of his time. He made three botanizing expeditions to the West Indies, which resulted in a massive work Nova Plantarum Americanarum Genera (1703–04) and was appointed botanist to king Louis XIV of France. Charles Plumier (1646 – 1704) Charles…
August Wilhelm Iffland and the Iffland Ring

August Wilhelm Iffland and the Iffland Ring

August Wilhelm Iffland (1759-1814) On April 19, 1759, German actor and dramatic author August Wilhelm Iffland was born. He was the most important actor of his age and is best remembered for playing the main part of Franz Moor in Friedrich Schiller‘s ‘The Robbers‘. And there is this ring, the Iffland-Ring, which bears Iffland‘s likeness, and is borne by the most important German-speaking actor, as decided by his predecessor. When I…
The Natural History Museum in London

The Natural History Museum in London

The Natural History Museumimage: Wikimedia user Diliff On April 18, 1881, the Natural History Museum in London was opened for the public. It is one of the largest natural history museum‘s of the world. Sir Hans Sloane was an Irish physician, but also a collector who provided the foundation for the museum. He allowed his collections to be purchased by the British government below their actual value on the free…
William Wilson and the First German Railway

William Wilson and the First German Railway

William Wilson (1809-1862) On April 17, 1862, British mechanical engineer William Wilson passed away. He was the first engine driver of the locomotive Adler on the first German railway. There was a time, when every little boy wanted to become an engineer or engine driver. Master of the huge and powerful machine, driving the rails, faster and faster. But, this was already way before my time. I wanted to become…
Aviation Pioneer Harriet Quimby

Aviation Pioneer Harriet Quimby

Harriet Quimby (1875-1912) in the Moisant monoplane she learned to fly inImage: Library of Congress On April 16, 1912, Harriet Quimby became the first woman to fly across the English Channel. She was the the first woman to gain a pilot‘s license in the United States. Although Quimby lived only to the age of thirty-seven, she had a major influence upon the role of women in aviation. Harriet Quimby was…
Samuel Johnson and his Famous Dictionary

Samuel Johnson and his Famous Dictionary

Samuel Johnson reading the “Vicar of Wakefield“ On April 15, 1755, after nine years of intensive labor, Samuel Johnson publishes his “Dictionary of the English Language”, sometimes published as Johnson‘s Dictionary. It is among the most influential dictionaries in the history of the English language. Samuel Johnson showed signs of great intelligence quite early and his parents decided to start his educational program, when he was only three years old.…
The Kinetoscope and Edison’s Wrong Way to Invent the Cinema

The Kinetoscope and Edison’s Wrong Way to Invent the Cinema

The 1895 version of the Kinetoscope with earphones that lead to the cylinder phonograph within the cabinet On April 14, 1894, chief engineer William K. L. Dickson in the team of Thomas Alva Edison, presents the newly invented Kinetoscope, an early motion picture exhibition device designed for films to be viewed by one individual at a time through a peephole viewer window at the top of the device. Ok, according to…
Catherine de Medici and St. Bartholomew’s Day

Catherine de Medici and St. Bartholomew’s Day

Catherine and Henry‘s marriage On April 13, 1519, Italian noblewoman and Queen of France Catherine de’ Medici was born. Catherine played a key role in the reign of her sons, and is blamed for the excessive persecutions of the Hugenots in particular for the St. Bartholomew‘s Day massacre of 1572, in which thousands of Huguenots were killed in Paris and throughout France. Catherine de’ Medici was born into a very…
Robert Delaunay and Orphism

Robert Delaunay and Orphism

Graphic Champs de Mars: La Tour Rouge. Robert Delaunay On April 12, 1885, French artist Robert Delaunay was born. Together with his wife Sonia Delaunay and others, he cofounded the Orphism art movement, noted for its use of strong colours and geometric shapes. Robert Delauney grew up with his aunt and uncle near Bourges and when he failed his final schooling exam, he declared that he wanted to become a…
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