Monthly Archives: January 2017

The Inventions of Luther George Simjian

The Inventions of Luther George Simjian

On January 28, 1905, Armenian-American inventor Luther George Simjian was born. Simjian probably is best known for his invention of the Bankmatic Automated Teller Machine. His more than 200 inventions also included the TelePrompter, a self-posing portrait camera, automatic postage metering equipment, and an indoor golf practice range. Early Years Luther Simjian emigrated to the United States in 1920 and started to work as a photographer at the age of 15 and…
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Victor Moritz Goldschmidt and the Origins of Geochemistry

Victor Moritz Goldschmidt and the Origins of Geochemistry

On January 27, 1888, Swiss-Norwegian geochemist, mineralogist and petrologist Victor Moritz Goldschmidt was born. Goldschmidt is considered (together with Vladimir Vernadsky) to be the founder of modern geochemistry and crystal chemistry, as well as the developer of the Goldschmidt Classification of elements. “Every beginning is hard. At most stopping is sometimes even harder.” – Victor Moritz Goldschmidt, as quoted in [9] Victor Moritz Goldschmidt’s Early Years Goldschmidt was born in Zürich, Switzerland,…
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Ancel Keys and the Effect of Saturated Fats on Our Health

Ancel Keys and the Effect of Saturated Fats on Our Health

On January 26, 1904, American nutritionist and epidemiologist Ancel Keys was born. Keys studied the influence of diet on health. In particular, he hypothesized that saturated fat in the diet is unhealthy and should be avoided. He also was the first to identify the role of saturated fats in causing heart disease. Ancel Keys – Early Years Ancel Keys was born in Colorado Springs in 1904 to Benjamin Pious Keys (1883-1961) and Carolyn…
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Ernst Heinkel and His Obsession with Highspeed Aircraft

Ernst Heinkel and His Obsession with Highspeed Aircraft

On January 24, 1888, German aircraft designer and manufacturer Ernst Heinkel was born. Heinkel’s company Heinkel Flugzeugwerke produced the Heinkel He 178, the world’s first turbojet aircraft and jet plane, and the Heinkel He 176, the first rocket aircraft. Ernst Heinkel – Early Years Ernst Heinkel was born in Grunbach, today a part of Remshalden, Germany. As a young man he was apprenticed as machinist at a foundry. In the autumn semester of 1907 Ernst Heinkel…
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Hideki Yukawa and the Existence of Mesons

Hideki Yukawa and the Existence of Mesons

On January 23, 1907, Japanese theoretical physicist and the first Japanese Nobel laureate Hideki Yukawa was born. Yukawa shared the 1949 Nobel Prize for Physics for “his prediction of the existence of mesons on the basis of theoretical work on nuclear forces.” “Reality is cruel. All of the naivete is going to be removed. Reality is always changing, and it is always unpredictable. All of the balance is going to be destroyed.”…
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Albert Neisser and the Causative Agent of Gonorrhea

Albert Neisser and the Causative Agent of Gonorrhea

On January 22, 1855, German physician Albert Ludwig Sigesmund Neisser was born. Neisser discovered the causative agent (pathogen) of gonorrhea, a strain of bacteria that was named in his honour (Neisseria gonorrhoeae). Youth and Education Albert Neisser was born the son of the Jewish physician Moritz Neisser (1820-1896), Privy Councillor in Breslau and Charlottenbrunn, and Louise Lossen (1819-1855), who came from an entrepreneurial family in Berlin. Since his mother died before he was…
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Alexandre-Émile Béguyer de Chancourtois and the Order of the Chemical Elements

Alexandre-Émile Béguyer de Chancourtois and the Order of the Chemical Elements

On January 20, 1820, French geologist and mineralogist  Alexandre-Émile Béguyer de Chancourtois was born. De Chancourtois was the first to arrange the chemical elements in order of atomic weights in 1862. De Chancourtois only published his paper, but did not publish his actual graph with the irregular arrangement. Although his publication was significant, it was ignored by chemists as it was written in terms of geology. It was Dmitri Mendeleev’s table published in 1869…
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Thomas Sopwith and his legendary Aircrafts

Thomas Sopwith and his legendary Aircrafts

On January 18, 1888, English aviation pioneer and yachtsman Thomas Octave Murdoch Sopwith was born. Sopwith’s pioneering firm was famous for British WWI military aircraft, including the legendary Sopwith Camel. Thomas Sopwith’s Early Years Thomas Sopwith was born in Kensington, London, UK, as the eighth child and only son of Thomas Sopwith, a civil engineer and managing director of the Spanish Lead Mines Company, Linares, Jaén, Spain, and his wife Lydia Gertrude née Messiter. When he…
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François Lenormant and the Akkadian Language

François Lenormant and the Akkadian Language

On January 17, 1837, French assyriologist and archaeologist François Lenormant was born. Lenormant recognized, from cuneiform inscriptions, a language now known as Akkadian that proved valuable to the understanding of Mesopotamian civilization 3,000 years before the Christian era. François Lenormant – Youth and Education François Lenormant was born in Paris, France, to his father Charles Lenormant, who, distinguished as an archaeologist, numismatist and Egyptologist, was anxious that his son should follow in…
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Paul Müller and the Doubtful Qualities of DDT

Paul Müller and the Doubtful Qualities of DDT

On January 12, 1899, Swiss chemist and Nobel Laureate Paul Hermann Müller was born. Müller received the 1948 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his 1939 discovery of insecticidal qualities and use of DDT in the control of vector diseases such as malaria and yellow fever. “We have discovered many preventives against tropical diseases, and often against the onslaught of insects of all kinds, from lice to mosquitoes and back again. The excellent…
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