Monthly Archives: February 2017

Robert Hope-Jones and the Theatre Organ

Robert Hope-Jones and the Theatre Organ

On February 9, 1859, British instrument maker Robert Hope-Jones was born. Hope-Jones is considered to be the inventor of the theatre organ in the early 20th century. He thought that a pipe organ should be able to imitate the instruments of an orchestra, and that the console should be detachable from the organ. Robert Hope-Jones learned to play the organ in his early childhood and when he turned 9 years old,…
D. W. Giffith’s Birth of a Nation

D. W. Giffith’s Birth of a Nation

On February 8, 1915, American silent epic drama film The Birth of a Nation, directed by D. W. Griffith, was released. Griffith’s innovative techniques and storytelling power have made The Birth of a Nation one of the landmarks of film history. The film chronicles the relationship of two families in the American Civil War and Reconstruction era over the course of several years. Griffith was the son Jacob “Roaring Jake”…
Konstantin Feoktistov, Space Engineer

Konstantin Feoktistov, Space Engineer

On February 7, 1926, Soviet cosmonaut and an eminent space engineer Konstantin Petrovich Feoktistov was born. Feoktistov was part of the team that would go on to design the Sputnik, Vostok, Voskhod, and Soyuz spacecraft under the leadership of Sergey Korolev. He trained as a cosmonaut, and eventually launched 12 Oct 1964 for 16 earth orbits as one of the crew of Voskhod 1 (with Vladimir Komarov and Boris Yegorov),…
Edwin Klebs and the Bacterial Theory of Infection

Edwin Klebs and the Bacterial Theory of Infection

On February 6, 1834, Swiss-German pathologist Theodor Albrecht Edwin Klebs was born. Klebs is mainly known for his work on infectious diseases. His works paved the way for the beginning of modern bacteriology, and inspired Louis Pasteur and Robert Koch. He was the first to identify a bacterium that causes diphtheria, which was called Klebs–Loeffler bacterium. Edwin Klebs was born in Königsberg, Province of Prussia. Ignoring the family tradition to…
Sir Alan Hodgkin and the Giant Axon of the Atlantic Squid

Sir Alan Hodgkin and the Giant Axon of the Atlantic Squid

On February 5, 1914, English physiologist and biophysicis Sir Alan Lloyd Hodgkin was born. Hodgkin shared the 1963 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Andrew Huxley and John Eccles for the discovery of the chemical processes involved in nerve conduction, more specifically, discoveries concerning the ionic mechanisms involved in excitation and inhibition in the peripheral and central portions of the nerve cell membrane. Alan Hodgkin attended Trinity College, Cambridge. He…

Rolf Landauer and the Landauer Principle

On February 4, 1927, German-American physicist Rolf William Landauer was born. Landauer made important contributions in diverse areas of the thermodynamics of information processing, condensed matter physics, and the conductivity of disordered media. He is probably best known for the formulation of the eponymous Landauer Principle concerning the energy used during a computer‘s operation. Rolf Landauer was born on February 4, 1927, in Stuttgart, Germany. He emigrated to the United…
Elizabeth Blackwell M. D.

Elizabeth Blackwell M. D.

On February 3, 1821, British-born physician Elizabeth Blackwell was born. Blackwell is notable as the first woman to receive a medical degree in the United States, as well as the first woman on the UK Medical Register. She was the first woman to graduate from medical school, a pioneer in promoting the education of women in medicine in the United States, and a social and moral reformer in both the…
James Clark Ross and the Ross Expedition

James Clark Ross and the Ross Expedition

On February 2, 1841, British Polar explorer James Clark Ross with the ships HMS Erebus and HMS Terror reached a Southern latitude of 78° 10′ in Antarctica, when the expedition was forced to redraw because of a barrier of ice. The Ross expedition discovered the Ross Sea, Victoria Land, and the volcanoes Mount Erebus and Mount Terror, which were named for the expedition’s vessels. James Clark Ross was born in…
Gertrude Caton Thompson and Prehistoric Egypt

Gertrude Caton Thompson and Prehistoric Egypt

On February 1, 1888, English archaeologist Gertrude Caton Thompson was born. Thompson was an influential archaeologist at a time when participation by women in the discipline was rather uncommon working primarily in Egypt. She was able to distinguish two prehistoric cultures in the Al-Fayyum depression of Upper Egypt, the older dating to about 5000 BC and the younger to about 4500 BC. Gertrude Caton Thompson traveled to Egypt with her mother…
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