Yearly Archives: 2017

Gaston Maspero and the Sea Peoples

Gaston Maspero and the Sea Peoples

On June 23, 1846, French egyptologist Gaston Camille Charles Maspero was born. Maspero is best known for popularizing the term “Sea Peoples“. He was director general of excavations and antiquities for the Egyptian government, who was responsible for locating a collective royal tomb of prime historic importance. Gaston Maspero studied at the École normale and met Egyptologist Auguste Mariette in 1867, back then the commissioner for the Egyptian section of the…
Franz Alexander and Psychosomatic Medicine

Franz Alexander and Psychosomatic Medicine

On June 22, 1891, Hungarian-American psychoanalyst and physician Franz Alexander was born. Alexander is considered one of the founders of psychosomatic medicine and psychoanalytic criminology. He was a leader in identifying emotional tension as a significant cause of physical illness. Franz Gabriel Alexander, in Hungarian Alexander Ferenc Gábor, was born in Budapest, Austria-Hungary, to his father was Bernhard Alexander, a philosopher and literary critic. Alexander studied in Berlin. Already a…
Charles B. Momsen and the Momsen Lung

Charles B. Momsen and the Momsen Lung

On June 21, 1896, American inventor and navy officer Charles Bowers Momsen was born. Momsen was an American pioneer in submarine rescue for the United States Navy, and he invented the underwater escape device later called the “Momsen lung“. Charles Momsen entered the U.S. Naval Academy in 1914 but was not able to complete his education there due to a cheating scandal. He then pursued another appointment to the Academy and…
The Collages of Kurt Schwitters

The Collages of Kurt Schwitters

On June 20, 1887, German artist Kurt Hermann Eduard Karl Julius Schwitters, known as Kurt Schwitters was born. Schwitters worked in several genres and media, including Dadaism, Constructivism, Surrealism, poetry, sound, painting, sculpture, graphic design, typography, and what came to be known as installation art. He is most famous for his collages, called Merz Pictures. Kurt Schwitters was born in Hanover, Germany, the only child of Eduard Schwitters, the (co-)proprietor…
The Rotary Plane of Engelbert Zaschka

The Rotary Plane of Engelbert Zaschka

On June 19, 1926, German engineer, designer aviation pioneer Engelbert Zaschka filed a patent on his “Hubschraubenflugzeug” (Zaschka Rotary-Wing Airplane), a predecessor of today’s helicopter. He also constructed a large human-powered aircraft and produced some interesting unorthodox designs for automobils and motorcycles. Engelbert Zaschka grew up in a family of musucians. His father taught music and was part of the Freiburg city orchestra and his mother was a singer. However, Zaschka…
Jacobus Cornelius Kapteyn and the Rotation of the Milky Way

Jacobus Cornelius Kapteyn and the Rotation of the Milky Way

On June 18, 1922, Dutch astronomer Jacobus Cornelius Kapteyn passed away. Kapteyn carried out extensive studies of the Milky Way and was the discoverer of evidence for galactic rotation. He used photography and statistical methods in determining the motions and spatial distribution of stars, the first major step after the works of William and John Herschel. Jacobus Cornelius Kapteyn was born on 19 January 1851 in Barneveld,in the Dutch province…
John Henry Pepper and Pepper’s Ghost

John Henry Pepper and Pepper’s Ghost

On June 17, 1821, British inventor John Henry Pepper was born. Pepper is primarily remembered for developing the projection technique known as Pepper’s ghost, building a large-scale version of the concept by Henry Dircks. Furthermore, he toured the English-speaking world with his scientific demonstrations. He also entertained the public, royalty, and fellow scientists with a wide range of technological innovations. John Henry Pepper was highly influenced by the teachings of…
Aryabhata and Indian Mathematics

Aryabhata and Indian Mathematics

In 476 CE, Indian mathematician and astronomer Aryabhata was born. Aryabhata is the earliest Indian mathematician whose work and history are available to modern scholars. In his work “Ganita” Aryabhata names the first 10 decimal places and gives algorithms for obtaining square and cubic roots, using the decimal number system. He also came up with an approximation of pi and the area of a triangle. “Aryabhata is the master who,…
Georg Wüst and the Motion of Water Masses

Georg Wüst and the Motion of Water Masses

On June 15, 1890, German oceanographer Georg Adolf Otto Wüst was born. Wüst’s pioneering work on the Atlantic Ocean provided a new view of the motions of water masses between the northern and southern hemispheres and the first evidence of the concentration of water mass spreading in western boundary currents. He developed the first essentially complete understanding of the physical structure and deep circulation of the Atlantic Ocean. Georg Wüst studied geography and oceanography…
Sir James Black and the Beta Blockers

Sir James Black and the Beta Blockers

On June 14, 1924, British pharmacologist and Nobel Laureate Sir James Whyte Black was born. Black developed propranolol, a beta blocker used for the treatment of heart disease. Black was also responsible for the development of cimetidine, a H2 receptor antagonist, a drug used to treat stomach ulcers. For both developments he was awarded the 1968 Nobel Prize in Medicine. “I call myself a pharmacological toolmaker. ” — Sir James W.…
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