Monthly Archives: August 2016

Mary Putnam Jacobi – Physician and Suffragist

Mary Putnam Jacobi – Physician and Suffragist

On August 31, 1842, American physician, writer and suffragist Mary Corinna Putnam Jacobi was born. Putnam Jacobi crusaded for the integration of clinical and laboratory studies. Disparaging anecdotal evidence and traditional approaches, she demanded scientific research on every question of the day. As a leading feminist, she rejected the traditional wisdom about the weaknesses of women. Her work with reformers and suffragists made her a leading spokesperson for women’s health. Mary…
John William Mauchly and the Electronic Computer

John William Mauchly and the Electronic Computer

On August 30, 1907, US-American physicist John William Mauchly was born. Along with J. Presper Eckert, Mauchly designed ENIAC, the first general purpose electronic digital computer, as well as EDVAC, BINAC and UNIVAC I, the first commercial computer made in the United States. Together they started the first computer company, the Eckert-Mauchly Computer Corporation (EMCC), and pioneered fundamental computer concepts including the stored program, subroutines, and programming languages. John W.…
Christian Friedrich Schönbein – Ozone and Explosives

Christian Friedrich Schönbein – Ozone and Explosives

On August 29, 1868, German-Swiss chemist Christian Friedrich Schönbein passed away. Schönbein is best known for inventing the fuel cell (1838) at the same time as William Robert Grove and his discoveries of guncotton and ozone, of which he also coined its name. Christian Friedrich Schönbein was apprenticed to a chemical and pharmaceutical firm at Böblingen when he was 13 years old. Due to his hard work and the sufficient…
Bruno Bettelheim and Child Psychology

Bruno Bettelheim and Child Psychology

On August 28, 1903, Austrian-born American child psychologist and writer Bruno Bettelheim was born. The controversially discussed Bettelheim gained an international reputation for his work on Freud, psychoanalysis, and emotionally disturbed children. He was a revered author of influential clinical studies on the lives of autistic children as well as popular Freudian interpretations of myth and fairy tale; and founder of the Orthogenic School of psychoanalysis in Chicago. Bruno Bettelheim…
Sir Rowland Hill and the Penny Post

Sir Rowland Hill and the Penny Post

On August 27, 1879, English teacher, inventor and social reformer Sir Rowland Hill passed away. Hill campaigned for a comprehensive reform of the postal system, based on the concept of Uniform Penny Post and his solution of prepayment, facilitating the safe, speedy and cheap transfer of letters. Hill later served as a government postal official, and he is usually credited with originating the basic concepts of the modern postal service, including…
Johann Heinrich Lambert – A Swiss Polymath

Johann Heinrich Lambert – A Swiss Polymath

On August 26, 1728, Swiss polymath Johann Heinrich Lambert was born. Lambert provided the first rigorous proof that pi is irrational (i.e. it cannot be expressed as the quotient of two integers). He also was the first to introduce hyperbolic functions into trigonometry as well as the first mathematician to address the general properties of map projections. He also made significant contributions to physics, philosophy, and logic. Lambert was born in…
Theodor Kocher and the Thyroid Gland

Theodor Kocher and the Thyroid Gland

On August 25, 1841, Swiss physician and Nobel Laureate Emil Theodor Kocher was born. Kocher received the 1909 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his work in the physiology, pathology and surgery of the thyroid. Among his many accomplishments are the introduction and promotion of aseptic surgery and scientific methods in surgery, specifically reducing the mortality of thyroidectomies below 1% in his operations. Theodor Kocher received his doctorate in Bern…
Louis Essen and the Precise Measurement of Time

Louis Essen and the Precise Measurement of Time

On August 24, 1997, English physicist Louis Essen FRS, O.B.E passed away. Essen’s most notable achievements were in the precise measurement of time and the determination of the speed of light. He invented the quartz crystal ring clock and the first practical atomic clock. These devices were capable of measuring time more accurately than any previous clocks. He built a cesium-beam atomic clock, a device that ultimately changed the way time…
R. D. Laing and the Anti-Psychiatry Movement

R. D. Laing and the Anti-Psychiatry Movement

On August 23, 1989, Scottish psychiatrist Ronald David Laing passed away. Laing is noted for his alternative approach to the treatment of schizophrenia. His first book, The Divided Self, was an attempt to explain schizophrenia by using existentialist philosophy to vividly portray the inner world of a schizophrenic, which Laing presented as an attempt to live in an unlivable situation. Laing’s views on the causes and treatment of serious mental…
George W. De Long and the ill-fated Jeanette Polar Expedition

George W. De Long and the ill-fated Jeanette Polar Expedition

On August 22, 1844, United States Navy officer and explorer George Washington De Long was born. De Long led the ill-fated Jeannette Expedition in search of the Open Polar Sea. The expedition tried to reach the North Pole by pioneering a route from the Pacific Ocean through the Bering Strait. The premise was that a temperate current, the Kuro Siwo, flowed northwards into the strait, providing a gateway to an…
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