Yearly Archives: 2017

Emil Rathenau and the German Electrical Industry

Emil Rathenau and the German Electrical Industry

On December 11, 1838, German entrepreneur and industrialist, Emil Moritz Rathenau was born. Rathenau was a leading figure in the early European electrical industry. He founded the Allgemeine Elektrizitats Gesellschaft (AEG), the German General Electric Company, with a product range including power stations, railways as well as electrical machines and devices. Rathenau was also the first to produce aluminium in Germany for industrial use. Emil Rathnau studied mechanical engineering at the Polytechnic in Hanover…
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Edmund Gunter and his Measuring Devices

Edmund Gunter and his Measuring Devices

On December 10, 1626, English clergyman, mathematician, geometer and astronomer Edmund Gunter passed away. Gunther is best remembered for his mathematical contributions which include the invention of the Gunter’s chain, the Gunter’s quadrant, and the Gunter’s scale. In 1620, he invented the first successful analog device which he developed to calculate logarithmic tangents. Edmund Gunter was born in Hertfordshire in 1581. Edmund attended Westminster School as a Queen’s Scholar, then entered Christ…
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Joseph Needham and the History of China

Joseph Needham and the History of China

On December 9, 1900, British historian and sinologist Joseph Needham was born. Needham is best known for his scientific research and writing on the history of Chinese science and technology. He wrote and edited the landmark history Science and Civilisation in China, a remarkable multivolume study of nearly every branch of Chinese medicine, science, and technology over some 25 centuries. Joseph Needham attended Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge. There he received his Bachelors degree…
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Johann Hedwig – the Father of Bryology

Johann Hedwig – the Father of Bryology

On December 8, 1730, German botanist Johann Hedwig was born. Hedwig is notable for his studies of mosses for which he is sometimes called the father of bryology, in particular the observation of sexual reproduction in the cryptogams. He dealt with the anatomy, fertilization, and reproduction of mosses and introduced a new method of classification based on the distribution of spores (reproductive bodies). Hedwig was the first to recognize the true organs…
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Eleanor J. Gibson and the Visual Cliff

Eleanor J. Gibson and the Visual Cliff

On December 7, 1910, American psychologist Eleanor Jack Gibson was born. Gibson focused on reading development and perceptual learning in infants and toddlers. In the 1960s and 1970s Gibson, with her husband James J. Gibson, created the Gibsonian ecological theory of development which emphasized how important perception was because it allows humans to adapt to their environments. Perhaps her most well-known contribution to psychology was the “visual cliff“, which studied depth perception and…
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Libbie Hyman and the Invertebrates

Libbie Hyman and the Invertebrates

On December 6, 1888, U.S. zoologist Libbie Henrietta Hyman was born. Hyman wrote two laboratory manuals and a comprehensive six-volume reference work, The Invertebrates, (1940-67) covering most phyla of its subject. This work, important for its organization, description and classification of invertebrates, is a reference still used today. Libbie Hyman was born in Des Moines, Iowa, USA, the third of four children and the only daughter of Joseph Hyman, a Polish/Russian Jew,…
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C. F. Powell and the Pion

C. F. Powell and the Pion

On December 5, 1903, English physicist and nobel Laureate Cecil Frank Powell, was born. Powell was awarded the 1950 Nobel Prize in Physics for his development of the photographic method of studying nuclear processes and for the resulting discovery of the pion. The pion proved to be the hypothetical particle proposed in 1935 by Yukawa Hideki of Japan in his theory. Cecil Frank Powell joined Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge and graduated in 1925 in…
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Robert Redfield and the Folk-Urban Continuum

Robert Redfield and the Folk-Urban Continuum

On December 4, 1897, American anthropologist and ethnolinguist Robert Redfield was born. Redfield‘s ethnographic work in Tepoztlán, Mexico is considered a landmark Latin American ethnography. From his studies of Mexican communities, Redfield developed a theory (1956) of a folk-urban continuum, to account for the differences between folk society and urban society. Robert Redfield was the son-in-law of University of Chicago sociologist Robert E. Park. In 1923 he and his wife Margaret traveled…
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Richard Kuhn and his Work on Carotinoids and Vitamins

Richard Kuhn and his Work on Carotinoids and Vitamins

On December 3, 1900, Austrian-German biochemist Richard Johann Kuhn was born. Kuhn was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1938 “for his work on carotenoids and vitamins“. Kuhn is also credited with the discovery of the deadly nerve agent Soman in 1944. Before entering the University of Vienna in 1918, Richard Kuhn attended the same classes as the later Nobel Prize winner Wolfgang Pauli. In 1919, Kuhn moved to the Ludwig-Maximilians-University of…
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Domonic Corrigan and Heart Diseases

Domonic Corrigan and Heart Diseases

On December 2, 1802, Irish physician Sir Dominic John Corrigan was born. Corrigan is known for his original observations in heart disease. The abnormal “collapsing” pulse of aortic valve insufficiency is named Corrigan’s pulse after him. Dominic John Corrigan was born in Thomas Street, Dublin, the son of John Corrigan, a dealer in agricultural tools. He was educated in St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth, near Dublin, which then had a department for secular…
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