Yearly Archives: 2017

Julius Lothar Meyer and the Periodic Law

Julius Lothar Meyer and the Periodic Law

On August 19, 1830, German chemist Julius Lothar Meyer was born. Meyer was one of the pioneers in developing the first periodic table of chemical elements. He discovered the Periodic Law, independently of Dmitry Mendeleev, at about the same time (1869). However, he did not develop the periodic classification of the chemical elements as thoroughly as Mendeleev. “That the as yet undivided chemical elements are absolutely irreducible substances, is currently…
The Volksempfänger VE301

The Volksempfänger VE301

On August 18, 1933, the original Volksempfänger VE 301 was presented at the 10. Große Deutsche Funkausstellung in Berlin. The purpose of the Volksempfänger-program was to make radio reception technology affordable to the general public. Nazi Propagandaminister Joseph Goebbels realized the great propaganda potential of this relatively new medium and thus considered widespread availability of receivers highly important. The first model, the Volksempfänger VE301 was developed by the company Dr.…
Matthew Boulton and James Watt’s Steam Engines

Matthew Boulton and James Watt’s Steam Engines

On August 17, 1809, English manufacturer Matthew Boulton passed away. Boulton financed and introduced James Watt‘s steam engine. The partnership installed hundreds of Boulton & Watt steam engines, which were a great advance on the state of the art, making possible the mechanisation of factories and mills. Boulton applied modern techniques to the minting of coins, striking millions of pieces for Britain and other countries, and supplying the Royal Mint with…
Jean de La Bruyère and the Characters

Jean de La Bruyère and the Characters

On August 16, 1645, French philosopher and moralist Jean de La Bruyère was born. La Bruyère is best known for one work, Les Caractères de Théophraste traduits du grec avec Les Caractères ou les moeurs de ce siècle (1688; The Characters, or the Manners of the Age, with The Characters of Theophrastus), which is considered to be one of the masterpieces of French literature. Jean de La Bruyère studied law…
E. Morton Jellinek and the Causes of Alcoholism

E. Morton Jellinek and the Causes of Alcoholism

On August 15, 1890, American biostatistician and physiologist E. Morton Jellinek was born. Jellinek was a pioneer in the scientific study of the nature and causes of alcoholism and in descriptions of its symptomatology. He was an early proponent of the disease theory of alcoholism, arguing with great persuasiveness that alcoholics should be treated as sick people. Born in New York City, USA, Jellinek studied biostatistics and physiology at the…
Paul Bartsch and the Molluscs

Paul Bartsch and the Molluscs

On August 14, 1871, American malacologist and carcinologist Paul Bartsch was born, Bartsch was an authority on molluscs, but had broad interests in natural history including plants and birds. He was named the last of those belonging to the “Descriptive Age of Malacology. During his school years, Paul Bartsch founded a natural history club at his home. It is believed that he further collected birds and prpared skins which he displayed…
Frederick Sanger and the Structure of Proteins

Frederick Sanger and the Structure of Proteins

On August 13, 1918, British biochemist Frederick Sanger was born. In 1958, he was awarded a Nobel Prize in chemistry “for his work on the structure of proteins, especially that of insulin“. In 1980, Walter Gilbert and Sanger shared half of the chemistry prize “for their contributions concerning the determination of base sequences in nucleic acids“. “Scientific research is one of the most exciting and rewarding of occupations. It is…
The Fruit Breeding of Thomas Andrew Knight

The Fruit Breeding of Thomas Andrew Knight

On August 12, 1759, English horticulturalist and botanist Thomas Andrew Knight was born. Knight initiated the field of fruit breeding, experimental horticulture while also studying plant physiology with botanical experiments. He made studies on the movement of sap in plants, the nature of the cambium, and phototropism in tendrils. To investigate the geotropism of roots and stems, he invented a machine, rotating to simulate gravity with centrifugal force in either horizontal or vertical…
Christiaan Eijkman and the Cause of Beriberi

Christiaan Eijkman and the Cause of Beriberi

On August 11, 1858, Dutch physiologist Christiaan Eijkman was born. Eijkman‘s demonstrated that beriberi is caused by poor diet led to the discovery of antineuritic vitamins (thiamine). Together with Sir Frederick Hopkins, he received the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine. Christiaan Eijkman was born at Nijkerk, Netherlands as the seventh child of Christiaan Eijkman, the headmaster of a local school, and Johanna Alida Pool. In 1859, the Eijkman family…
Abu Ma’shar – the Greatest Astronomer of Baghdad

Abu Ma’shar – the Greatest Astronomer of Baghdad

On August 10, 787, Persian astrologer Abu Ma’shar, Latinized as Albumasar, was probably born. Abu Maʿshar thought to be the greatest astrologer of the Abbasid court in Baghdad. While he was not a major innovator, his practical manuals for training astrologers profoundly influenced Muslim intellectual history and, through translations, that of western Europe and Byzantium. He is known primarily for his theory that the world, created when the seven planets were in conjunction…
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