Yearly Archives: 2017

Agnes Bernauer’s inglorious Trial and Death

Agnes Bernauer’s inglorious Trial and Death

On October 12, 1435, Agnes Bernauer, the mistress and perhaps also the first wife of Albert, later Albert III, Duke of Bavaria, was condemned for witchcraft and drowned in the Danube. Her life and death have been depicted in numerous literary works, the most well known being Friedrich Hebbel‘s tragedy of the same name. The Beauty of the Agnes Bernauer Agnes Bernauer, often called “the Bernauerin”, was probably born around 1410. Nothing…
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Harriet Boyd Hawes and the Minoan Culture

Harriet Boyd Hawes and the Minoan Culture

On October 11, 1871, American archaeologist, nurse, and relief worker Harriet Boyd Hawes was born. Hawes is best known as the discoverer and first director of Gournia, one of the first archaeological excavations to uncover a Minoan settlement and palace on the Aegean. Harriet Ann Boyd Hawes  was the daughter of leather merchant Alexander Boyd and had four older brothers. Her mother Harriet Fay Wheeler Boyd died when she was a child. She…
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William Lassell and the Discovery of Triton

William Lassell and the Discovery of Triton

On October 10, 1846, English merchant and astronomer William Lassell discovered Triton, the largest moon of Neptune, just 17 days after the discovery of Neptune itself by German astronomer Johann Gottfried Galle. Besides, Lassell also discovered Ariel and Umbriel, two moons of planet Uranus [3], as well the Saturn moon Hyperion. Lassell started a brewery business about 1825, after a seven-year apprenticeship. He became interested in astronomy and, in 1844, began construction of…
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Pieter Zeeman and the Zeeman Effect

Pieter Zeeman and the Zeeman Effect

On October 9, 1943, Dutch physicist Pieter Zeeman passed away. Zeeman shared the 1902 Nobel Prize in Physics with Hendrik Lorentz for his discovery of the Zeeman effect, the effect of splitting a spectral line into several components in the presence of a static magnetic field. Youth and Education Pieter Zeeman was born on 25 May 1865 in Zonnemaire, a small town on the island of Schouwen-Duiveland, Netherlands, to Catharinus Forandinus Zeeman, a minister of…
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Henry Louis Le Châtelier and the Le Châtelier Principle

Henry Louis Le Châtelier and the Le Châtelier Principle

On October 8, 1850, French chemist Henry Louis Le Chatelier was born. Le Châtelier is most famous for devising Le Chatelier’s principle, with the help of his partner Jasper Rossi, used by chemists to predict the effect a changing condition has on a system in chemical equilibrium. Youth and Education Le Châtelier was born in Paris, France, the first of six children [1] of French materials engineer Louis Le Chatelier, an influential figure…
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Emil Kraepelin’s classification system for Mental Illness

Emil Kraepelin’s classification system for Mental Illness

On October 7, 1926, German psychologist Emil Kraepelin passed away. Kraepelin is considered the founder of modern scientific psychiatry, psychopharmacology and psychiatric genetics. He developed a classification system for mental illness that influenced subsequent classifications. Kraepelin made distinctions between schizophrenia and manic-depressive psychosis that remain valid today. Youth and Education Emil Kraepelin was born as the youngest of three children of the music teacher and actor Karl Kraepelin. He graduated from high school in…
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Florence Seibert and the Tuberculosis Test

Florence Seibert and the Tuberculosis Test

On October 6, 1897, American biochemist Florence Barbara Seibert was born. Seibert is best known for identifying the active agent in the antigen tuberculin as a protein, and subsequently for isolating a pure form of tuberculin, purified protein derivative (PPD), enabling the development and use of a reliable TB test. Youth and Education Seibert was born in Easton, Pennsylvania, USA, the second of three children of George Peter Seibert, a rug manufacturer…
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Reinhard Selten – Game Theory and Experimental Economics

Reinhard Selten – Game Theory and Experimental Economics

On October 5, 1930, German economist and Nobel Laureate Reinhard Selten was born. Selten is well known for his work in bounded rationality and can be considered as one of the founding fathers of experimental economics. For his work in game theory, Selten won the 1994 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences (shared with John Harsanyi and John Nash). “I was always skeptical about authority, about things which were told by authorities, because I…
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Edward Murray East and the Hybrid Corn

Edward Murray East and the Hybrid Corn

On October 4, 1879, American plant geneticist, botanist, agronomist and eugenisist Edward Murray East was born. East is known for his experiments that led to the development of hybrid corn and his support of ‘forced’ elimination of the ‘unfit’ based on eugenic findings. “Genetics has enticed a great many explorers during the past two decades. They have labored with fruit-flies and guinea-pigs, with sweet peas and corn, with thousands of animals and…
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Elias Howe and the Invention of the Sewing Machine

Elias Howe and the Invention of the Sewing Machine

On October 3, 1867, American inventor Elias Howe Jr. passed away. Howe is best known for his invention of a a sewing machine using a lockstitch design. Elias Howe Jr. was apprentice in a textile factory and after mill closings due to the Panic of 1837, he moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts. There, Howe started working with carding machinery, apprenticing along with his cousin Nathaniel P. Banks. In 1838, Howe apprenticed in the…
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