Yearly Archives: 2014

Willy Ley – Founder of the German Rocket Society

Willy Ley – Founder of the German Rocket Society

Willy Ley (right), with Wernher von Braun (center), and Dr. Heinz Haber (left) On October 2, 1906, German-American engineer, science writer, spaceflight advocate, and historian of science Willy Ley was born. Ley is known for being the founder of the German Rocket Society, one of the first group of men to experiment with rockets. Fiercely anti-Nazi, unlike Wernher von Braun, in 1934, he emigrated to the U.S. rather than pursuing military applications of rocketry. In…
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The Unfortunate Inventions of Charles Cros

The Unfortunate Inventions of Charles Cros

Charles Cros (1842-1888) On October 1, 1842, French poet and inventor Charles Cros was born. He developed various improved methods of photography including an early color photo process. He also invented improvements in telegraph and paleophone technology. But lacking financial resources, he was unable to patent his devices before Thomas Edison and others developed the idea and started production. Émile-Hortensius-Charles Cros was born in Fabrezan, Aude, France, 35km to the East of Carcassonne.…
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Étienne de Condillac and the Importance of Language in Logical Reasoning

Étienne de Condillac and the Importance of Language in Logical Reasoning

Étienne Bonnot de Condillac (1714-1780) On September 30, 1714, French philosopher and epistemologist Étienne Bonnot de Condillac was born. A leading advocate in France of the ideas of John Locke de Condillac further emphasized the importance of language in logical reasoning, stressing the need for a scientifically designed language and for mathematical calculation as its basis. Étienne de Condillac was born at Grenoble as the youngest of three brothers to Gabriel Bonnot, Vicomte de Mably, and…
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Fritz Kahn and the Mensch Maschine

Fritz Kahn and the Mensch Maschine

The Original Poster of the Industrial Palace From: Fritz Kahn. Das Leben des Menschen Franckh’sche Verlagshandlung, Stuttgart On September 29, 1888, German Jewish physician Fritz Kahn was born. He is best known for his publication of popular science books and especially for his illustrations, which pioneered infographics. Fritz Kahn was born in Halle, Germany and grew up with Jewish orthodox traditions and a decent education. In his early years, the Kahn family relocated several…
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Seymour R. Cray – the Father of Supercomputing

Seymour R. Cray – the Father of Supercomputing

CRAY 1 with exposed interiors On September 28, 1925, American electrical engineer and supercomputer architect Seymour Roger Cray was born. He designed a series of computers that were the fastest in the world for decades, and founded Cray Research which built many of these machines. Called “the father of supercomputing,” Cray has been credited with creating the supercomputer industry. Seymour Cray was born in 1925 in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, a small town situated…
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Pavlov and the Conditional Reflex

Pavlov and the Conditional Reflex

Ivan Petrovich Pavlov (1849-1936) On September 27, 1849, Russian physiologist and Nobel Laureate Ivan Petrovich Pavlov was born. He is primarily known primarily for his work in classical conditioning. And what is the first thing you will think about when you hear Pavlov‘s name? Well, probably his experiments with dogs, where he conditioned dogs to salivate when hearing a bell ringing because they expected to get food. But, let’s take a closer…
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Joseph Proust and the Law of Constant Composition

Joseph Proust and the Law of Constant Composition

Joseph Proust (1754-1826) On September 26, 1754, French chemist Joseph Louis Proust was born. He was best known for his discovery of the law of constant composition in 1799, stating that in chemical reactions matter is neither created nor destroyed. Joseph L. Proust was born on September 26, 1754 in Angers, France as the second son of Joseph Proust, an apothecary, and Rosalie Sartre. Joseph studied chemistry in his father’s shop and later came to…
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Abraham Werner and the School of Neptunism

Abraham Werner and the School of Neptunism

Abraham Gottlob Werner (1749-1817) On September 25, 1749, German geologist Abraham Gottlob Werner was born. He is best known for his early theory about the stratification of the Earth’s crust. Moreover, he propounded an earth history that others labeled Neptunism that states that holding that all rocks have aqueous origins. While most tenets of Neptunism were eventually set aside, science is indebted to Werner for clearly demonstrating the chronological succession of rocks,…
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William F. Friedman and the Art of Cryptology

William F. Friedman and the Art of Cryptology

William F. Friedman (1894-1969) On September 1894, US cryptologist William F. Friedman was born. He is considered one of the world’s greatest cryptologists, who helped decipher enemy codes from World War I to World War II. Friedman was born as Wolfe Frederick Friedman, then part of imperial Russia, now Chisinau, capital of Moldova, as the son of Frederick Friedman, a Jew from Bucharest who worked as a translator and linguist for the Russian Postal Service, and the…
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Hippolyte Fizeau and the Speed of Light

Hippolyte Fizeau and the Speed of Light

Hippolyte Fizeau (1819-1896) photo: Charles Reutlinger, Académie des Sciences, Smithsonian Institution Libraries On September 23, 1819, French physicist Armand Hippolyte Louis Fizeau was born. He is well known for his calculation of the speed of light and his suggestion to use length of a light wave be used as a length standard. Hippolyte Fizeau was born in Paris as the eldest son of Béatrice and Louis Fizeau, who was professor of Pathology at the…
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