Monthly Archives: February 2015

Octave Chanute – One of the Fathers of Aviation

Octave Chanute – One of the Fathers of Aviation

On February 18, 1832, French-born American railway engineer and aviation pioneer Octave A. Chanute was born. He provided many budding enthusiasts, including the Wright brothers with help and advice, and helped to publicize their flying experiments. At his death he was hailed as the father of aviation and the heavier-than-air flying machine. Immigrating to the United States with his father in 1838, Chanute attended private schools in New York City. His first…
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Frederic Eugene Ives and the Halftone Printing Process

Frederic Eugene Ives and the Halftone Printing Process

On February 17, 1856, American photographer and inventor Frederic Eugene Ives was born. He is probably best known for his invention of the halftone process, a method of reproducing photographs on a printing press. In 1881, he was the first to make a three-colour print from halftone blocks. Further inventions in photography and color printing yielded 70 patents. Born near Litchfield, Connecticut, Ives after receiving a public school education apprenticed as a young…
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Georg Joachim Rheticus’ Achievements for Astronomy

Georg Joachim Rheticus’ Achievements for Astronomy

On February 16, 1514, mathematician, cartographer, navigational-instrument maker, medical practitioner, and teacher Georg Joachim Rheticus was born. He is perhaps best known for his trigonometric tables and as Nicolaus Copernicus’s [4] sole pupil, who facilitated the publication of his master’s famous work De revolutionibus orbium coelestium (On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres). Georg Joachim Rheticus was the son of a doctor and government official. He was taught by his father in his early life,…
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Henry Steinway and the Grand Pianos

Henry Steinway and the Grand Pianos

On February 15, 1797, German-born American inventor and entrepreneur Henry Steinway was born. He invented the overstrung iron-frame grand piano (1859) and is founder of the piano company Steinway & Sons. Steinway was born Heinrich Engelhard Steinweg in Wolfshagen im Harz, Duchy of Brunswick in the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation (modern Germany). His childhood was marked by many tragedies and twists of fate. He attended the common schools of…
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Fritz Zwicky and the Dark Matter

Fritz Zwicky and the Dark Matter

On February 14, 1898, Swiss astronomer Fritz Zwicky was born. He is best known for his proposal of he existence of dark matter and counts as one of the most important astronomers of the 20th century. Fritz Zwicky attended a grammar school in Zurich, Switzerland and enrolled at the ETH Zurich in order to study physics and mathematics afterwards. Zwicky became a research assistant around 1922 and worked at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena…
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Lejeune Dirichlet and the Mathematical Function

Lejeune Dirichlet and the Mathematical Function

On February 13, 1805, German mathematician Johann Peter Gustav Lejeune Dirichlet was born. Dirichlet is best known for his papers on conditions for the convergence of trigonometric series and the use of the series to represent arbitrary functions. He also proposed in 1837 the modern definition of a mathematical function. Gustav Lejeune Dirichlet was born in Düren, halfway between Aachen and Cologne in Germany, a town on the left bank of the Rhine which…
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Barnum Brown and the Tyrannosaurus Rex

Barnum Brown and the Tyrannosaurus Rex

On February 12, 1873, paleontologist Barnum Brown was born. He is best known for his discovery of the first documented remains of Tyrannosaurus rex during a career that made him one of the most famous fossil hunters working from the late Victorian era into the early 20th century. Barnum Brown was born in 1873 in Carbondale, Kansas, and grew up to farmers. He attended Kansas University, and there, Brown came under the influence…
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Leo Szilard and the Atomic Bomb

Leo Szilard and the Atomic Bomb

On February 11, 1898, Hungarian-American physicist and inventor Leo Szilárd was born. He conceived the nuclear chain reaction in 1933, patented the idea of a nuclear reactor with Enrico Fermi, and in late 1939 together with Albert Einstein wrote the letter that resulted in the Manhattan Project that built the atomic bomb. He also conceived the electron microscope, the linear accelerator, and also the cyclotron. Szilárd was born in Budapest, Hungary, as son of Louis Spitz, a…
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The Caricatures of Honoré Daumier

The Caricatures of Honoré Daumier

On February 10, 1879, French printmaker, caricaturist, painter, and sculptor Honoré Daumier passed away. A rather prolific draftsman, Daumier produced over 500 paintings, 4000 lithographs, 1000 wood engravings, 1000 drawings and 100 sculptures. He was perhaps best known for his caricatures of political figures and satires on the behavior of his countrymen, although posthumously the value of his painting has also been recognized. Honoré Daumier was born in 1808 in Marseille, France. His…
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Erich von Drygalski’s Antarctic Expeditions

Erich von Drygalski’s Antarctic Expeditions

On February 9, 1865, German geographer, geophysicist and polar scientist Erich Dagobert von Drygalski was born. Drygalski discovered a volcano, free of ice, on the Antarctic continent. He named it Gaussberg, after the name of his research ship Gauss in which he led the German South Polar Expedition (1901-03). Erich von Drygalski was born in Köningsberg, East Prussia. At age 17, Drygalski began to study mathematics and natural science at the University of Königsberg,…
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