Yearly Archives: 2017

George W. Fuller and the Purification of Water

George W. Fuller and the Purification of Water

On December 21, 1868, American sanitary engineer George Warren Fuller was born. Fuller was also trained in bacteriology and chemistry. His career extended from 1890 to 1934 and he was responsible for important innovations in water and wastewater treatment. He designed and built the first modern water filtration plant, and he designed and built the first chlorination system that disinfected a U.S. drinking water supply. George W. Fuller was born in Franklin,…
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Jaroslav Heyrovský and the Polarography

Jaroslav Heyrovský and the Polarography

On December 20, 1890, Czech chemist and inventor Jaroslav Heyrovský was born. Jaroslav Heyrovský received the 1959 Nobel Prize in Chemistry “for his discovery and development of the polarographic methods of analysis” (1922), which is one of the most versatile analytical techniques. It applies the principle that in electrolysis the ions are discharged at an electrode and, if the electrode is small, the current may be limited by the rate of movement of…
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Mileva Marić and the Theory of Relativity

Mileva Marić and the Theory of Relativity

On December 19, 1875, Serbian physicist Mileva Marić, sometimes called Mileva Marić-Einstein, was born. Marić was the second woman to finish a full program of study of mathematics and physics at ETH Zurich, where she met her future husband Albert Einstein. When Einstein received the Nobel Prize in 1921 after their divorce, he transferred the prize money to Marić. The question whether (and if so, to what extent) Marić contributed to Einstein‘s…
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Walter Dorwin Teague and U.S. Industrial Design

Walter Dorwin Teague and U.S. Industrial Design

On December 18, 1883, American industrial designer, architect, illustrator, graphic designer, writer, and entrepreneur Walter Dorwin Teague was born. Often referred to as the “Dean of Industrial Design”, Teague pioneered in the establishment of industrial design as a profession in the US. Regarded as a classicist and a traditionalist despite a later shift to modern tastes, Teague is recognized as a critical figure in the spread of mid-century modernism in America. He…
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Sophus Lie and the Lie Theory

Sophus Lie and the Lie Theory

On December 17, 1842, Norwegian mathematician Sophus Lie was born. Lie largely created the theory of continuous symmetry and applied it to the study of geometry and differential equations. He made significant contributions to the theories of algebraic invariants, continuous groups of transformations and differential equations. Lie groups and Lie algebras are named after him. Marius Sophus Lie was born in Nordfjordeid, near Bergen, Norway, to his father Johann Lie, pastor in…
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Ernst von Bergmann and Aseptical Surgery

Ernst von Bergmann and Aseptical Surgery

On December 16 1836 (greg.), Baltic German surgeon Ernst von Bergmann was born. Von Bergmann was a pioneer of aseptic surgery and must undoubtedly be attributed to the greatest surgeons of his time. His main merits are the co-foundation of brain surgery and the introduction of asepsis in wound treatment. Ernst von Bergmann studied medicine in Dorpat and started working as an assistant at the Dorpats Surgical Clinic. In 1864 he habilitated under his…
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Economist Henry James Carey

Economist Henry James Carey

On December 15, 1793, 19th-century economist of the American School of capitalism Henry Charles Carey was born. Carey was chief economic adviser to U.S. President Abraham Lincoln. Henry James Carey succeeded his father Mathew Carey, who was an influential economist, political reformer, editor, and publisher, in his publishing company. In 1835 he co-founded the Franklin Fire Insurance Company of Philadelphia. While publishing his 4-volume treatise Principles of Political Economy, Carey retired from…
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The Revenge of the 47 Ronin

The Revenge of the 47 Ronin

In Genroku 15, on the 14th day of the 12th month (元禄十五年十二月十四日, Tuesday, January 30, 1703), in revenge for the death of their prince Asano, 47 Ronin invade the house of the Japanese Shogunate official Kira Yoshihisa in Edo and kill him and his male followers. The story of the 47 Ronin is one of the most celebrated in the history of the samurai. Described by Japanese historians as a ‘National Legend’,…
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Franz Aepinius’ Theory of Electricity and Magnetism

Franz Aepinius’ Theory of Electricity and Magnetism

On December 13, 1724, German and Russian Empire natural philosopher Franz Ulrich Theodor Aepinus was born. Aepinius is best known for his researches, theoretical and experimental, in electricity and magnetism. His Tentamen theoriae electricitatis et magnetismi (1759; “An Attempt at a Theory of Electricity and Magnetism“) was the first work to apply mathematics to the theory of electricity and magnetism. Franz Aepinus studied medicine at first but soon became enthusiastic about physical…
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James Challis and his failure to discover the planet Neptune

James Challis and his failure to discover the planet Neptune

On December 12, 1803, English clergyman, physicist and astronomer James Challis was born. Challis investigated a wide range of physical phenomena though made few lasting contributions outside astronomy. He is best remembered for his missed opportunity to discover the planet Neptune in 1846. James Challis was born in Braintree, Essex, UK, where his father, John Challis, was a stonemason.After attending Braintree School, the Revd Daniel Copsey’s school, Braintree, and Mill Hill School,…
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