Monthly Archives: May 2014

The very first Printed Book

The very first Printed Book

The frontispiece of the Diamond Sutra from Tang Dynasty China, the world’s earliest dated printed book, AD 868 (British Museum) On May 11, 868, the earliest dated printed book was issued, a Chinese copy of the so-called Diamond Sutra, one of the most important textbooks of Buddhism, originally written in the 1st c. AD. You might think the it was Johannes Gutenberg who invented modern printing. But, he didn’t. Sure, printing with metal…
Caspar Monge and the Geometry

Caspar Monge and the Geometry

(1746 – 1818) On May 10, 1746, French mathematician Gaspard Monge, Comte de Péluse was born. He is best known for being the inventor of descriptive geometry as the mathematical basis of technical drawing, and being the father of differential geometry. During the French Revolution Monge served as the Minister of the Marine, and was involved in the reform of the French educational system, helping to found the École Polytechnique. Monge, the son…
Thomas Blood and the Crown Jewels of England

Thomas Blood and the Crown Jewels of England

Thomas Blood (1618 – 1680) On May 9, 1671, Anglo-Irish officer and desperado Colonel Thomas Blood attempted to steal the Crown Jewels of England from the Tower of London. Not much is known about Thomas Blood’s early life. It is assumed that he was born to a successful blacksmith in Ireland. His father owned some land across the country and his grandfather was a member of the Parliament. Historians believe,…
Mary the Jewess and the Origins of Chemistry

Mary the Jewess and the Origins of Chemistry

Mary the Prophetess (ca. 1st to 3rd century AD) Mary the Jewess (also known as Maria Prophetissima or Miriam the Prophetess) is a figure who first appeared in the works of the Gnostic Christian writer Zosimos of Panopolis, whose sources for this are not clear. On the basis of Zosimos’s comments, she lived between the first and third centuries A.D. She is credited with the invention of several kinds of chemical apparatus…
Carl Hagenbeck and the Modern Zoo

Carl Hagenbeck and the Modern Zoo

Portrait Carl Hagenbeck and Walrus Pallas 1911 On May 7, 1907, German merchant of wild animals Carl Hagenbeck founded Germany’s most successful privately owned zoo, the Tierpark Hagenbeck. He created the modern zoo with animal enclosures without bars that were closer to their natural habitat. Already his father, Gottfried Hagenbeck, who was originally a fish dealer started displaying and trading animals in the mid-19th century. In 1866, Carl Hagenbeck joined his…
Adolph von Knigge and Human Relations

Adolph von Knigge and Human Relations

Adolph von Knigge (1752 – 1796) On May 6, 1796, Freiherr Adolph Franz Friedrich Ludwig Knigge passed away. In Germany, Knigge is best remembered for his book ‘Über den Umgang mit Menschen‘ (On Human Relations), a treatise on the fundamental principles of human relations that has the reputation of being the authoritative guide to behaviour, politeness, and etiquette. Knigge grew up to a nobel, but poor family and when his…
You Press the Button and We Do the Rest – George Eastman revolutionized Photography

You Press the Button and We Do the Rest – George Eastman revolutionized Photography

George Eastman (1854-1932) On May 5, 1885, George Eastman filed a patent for a “Roll Holder for Photographic Films“, which was the first film in roll form to prove practicable. Based on his newly invented roll film and a rather simple camera for that film, he established the Eastman Kodak Company, in Rochester, New York. It was one of the first firms to mass-produce standardized photography equipment. Ok, please hold…
How the Pope divided the New World among Spain and the Rest of the World

How the Pope divided the New World among Spain and the Rest of the World

The Cantino planisphere of 1502 shows the line of the Treaty of Tordesillas. On May 4, 1493, Pope Alexander VI issued the papal bull ‘Inter caetera‘ (Among other [works]), which granted to Spain all lands to the “west and south” of a pole-to-pole line 100 leagues west and south of any of the islands of the Azores or the Cape Verde islands. In the late 15th century, Spain and Portugal had…
SPAM Rules the Internet

SPAM Rules the Internet

On May 3, 1978, the earliest documented spam (although the term had not yet been coined) was sent as a message advertising the availability of a new model of Digital Equipment Corporation computers sent by Gary Thuerk to 393 recipients on ARPANET. Today, spam has become a global issue that is not only restricted to email. There is spam in instant messaging, newsgroups, social networks, mobile phones, online gaming, search…
Johann Carolus and the First Newspaper

Johann Carolus and the First Newspaper

Title page of the Relation aller Fürnemmen und gedenckwürdigen Historien from 1609 Most likely in late September 1605, the very first weekly printed newspaper was published by Johann Carolus in Straßburg, the contemporary boomtown of printing. Not much is known about Johann Carolus’ life or his way of becoming a publisher. Carolus was probably born on 26 March, 1575 and was taught mostly by private teachers in Straßbourg. The well young educated man was…
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