Monthly Archives: July 2017

The Inventions of John Ericsson

The Inventions of John Ericsson

On July 31, 1803, Swedish-American inventor John Ericsson was born. Ericsson regarded as one of the most influential mechanical engineers ever. Ericsson collaborated on the design of the steam locomotive Novelty, which competed in the Rainhill Trials on the Liverpool and Manchester Railway, won by George Stephenson’s Rocket. In America he designed the US Navy’s first screw-propelled steam-frigate USS Princeton, in partnership with Captain Robert Stockton as well as the…
The Volkswagen Beetle – It’s Ugly But It Gets You There

The Volkswagen Beetle – It’s Ugly But It Gets You There

On July 30, 2003, the very last Volkswagen Beetle was produced, manufactured in Puebla, Mexico. With 21,529,464 produced from 1938 to 2003, the Beetle is the longest-running and most-manufactured car of a single platform ever made. Currently, German automobile industry and especially Volkswagen worldwide is in the focus of public attention due to manipulations of the emission control system on their Diesel cars. Potentially, the famous Volkswagen Beetle had produced…
John Caius and the English Sweating Sickness

John Caius and the English Sweating Sickness

On July 29, 1573, English physician John Caius passed away. Caius was one of the founders of the present Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge. His classic account of the English sweating sickness is considered one of the earliest histories of an epidemic. John Caius attended Gonville Hall, Cambridge and after graduating traveled to Italy where he studied under the celebrated Montanus and Vesalius at Padua. He earned his degree as a…
Charles H. Townes and the Maser

Charles H. Townes and the Maser

On July 28, 1915, American physicist and Nobel Laureate Charles Hard Townes was born. Townes was known for his work concerning the theory and application of the maser, for which he obtained the fundamental patent, and other work in quantum electronics associated with both maser and laser devices. Charls H. Townes was born in Greenville, South Carolina, the son of Henry Keith Townes, an attorney, and Ellen Sumter Townes. As…
The Citroën 2CV

The Citroën 2CV

On July 27, 1990, the very last Citroën 2CV rolled off the Portuguese production line in Mangualde. From 1948 to 1990 more than 3.8 million of the air-cooled front-engine, front-wheel-drive economy car were produced. During the 1930s, Michelin took over the Citroën company and the new management ordered a new market survey. It was found that France had a large rural population not able to afford cars. Therefore, a design for…
Paul Walden and the Walden Inversion

Paul Walden and the Walden Inversion

On July 26, 1863, Russian and Latvian-German chemist Paul Walden was born. Walden is known for his work in stereochemistry and history of chemistry. In particular he invented the stereochemical reaction known as Walden inversion and synthesized the first room-temperature ionic liquid, ethylammonium nitrate. Paul Walden was born in Rozula in present-day Stalbe parish, Pārgauja municipality, Latvia as the youngest of 13 children in a peasant family. Already at the…
Davidson Black and the Peking Man

Davidson Black and the Peking Man

On July 25, 1884, Canadian anatomist and paleoanthropologist Davidson Black was born. Black is best known for his postulation of the existence of a distinct form of early man, Sinanthropus pekinensis, popularly known as Peking man and now Homo erectus pekinensis. It is believed that Davidson Black already enjoyed to collect fossils along the banks of the Don River when he was a child. Further, he probably became friends with…
The Decorative Art of Alphonse Mucha

The Decorative Art of Alphonse Mucha

On July 24, 1860, Czech Art Nouveau painter and decorative artist Alphonse Mucha was born. Mucha is known best for his distinct style. He produced many paintings, illustrations, advertisements, postcards, and designs. So many, that for sure you will know one of his designs that have become an Art Nouveau icon. Alphonse Maria Mucha was born in the town of Ivančice, Moravia, the son of a local court usher and…
Arthur Whitten Brown and the First Transatlantic Flight

Arthur Whitten Brown and the First Transatlantic Flight

On July 23, 1886, Scottish aviator  Sir Arthur Whitten Brown was born. Whitten Brown was the navigator of the first successful non-stop transatlantic flight in in June 1919 together with Sir John Alcock, who piloted the modified First World War Vickers Vimy bomber from St. John’s, Newfoundland, to Clifden, Connemara, County Galway, Ireland. Arthur Whitten Brown was apprenticed with British Westinghouse in Manchester. He enlisted in the ranks of the University and…
Gaspard de Prony and the Prony Brake

Gaspard de Prony and the Prony Brake

On July 22, 1755, French mathematician and hydraulic engineer Gaspard Clair François Marie Riche de Prony was born. De Prony is best known for his efforts in the mechanization of calculations as well as for his invention of the eponymous “brake” to measure the performance of machines and engines. Gaspard de Prony’s family name was Riche, the de Prony title having been bought by his parents. De Prony was educated…
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