Yearly Archives: 2019

The Rise and Fall of the British East India Company

The Rise and Fall of the British East India Company

On December 31, 1600, the British East India Company (EIC) received a Royal Charter from Queen Elizabeth making it the oldest among several similarly formed European East India Companies pursuing trade with the East Indies. “The East India Company established a monopoly over the production of opium, shortly after taking over Bengal.” – Robert Trout [10] The Foundation of the British East India Company Already 12 years before, the Spanish Armada was defeated…
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The Convention of Tauroggen and the European Liberation Wars

The Convention of Tauroggen and the European Liberation Wars

On December 30, 1812, Prussian General Johann David Ludwig Count of Yorck von Wartenburg on his own initiative without permission of the Prussian King decleared a local ceasefire with the Russian General Hans Karl von Diebitsch-Sabalkanski at Tauroggen. The eponymous Convention of Tauroggen marks the starting point of Europe’s Liberation Wars against Napoleon Bonaparte. The City of Tauroggen Today, Tauroggen, or Taurogé, is a small industrial city in Lithuania not far from the…
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There’s Plenty of Room at the Bottom – Richard Feynman and The Birth of Nanotechnology

There’s Plenty of Room at the Bottom – Richard Feynman and The Birth of Nanotechnology

On December 29, 1959, American physicist and Nobel Laureate Richard Feynman at an American Physical Society meeting at Caltech gave a presentation entitled ‘There’s Plenty of Room at the Bottom‘, which is generally considered to be a seminal event in the history of nanotechnology, as it inspired the conceptual beginnings of the field decades later. At SciHi blog, Richard Feynman already is some sort of an old acquaintance.[3] Not only that he was…
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Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau and the Expressionism in German Cinema

Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau and the Expressionism in German Cinema

On December 28, 1888, Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau was born. He was one of the most influential German film directors of the silent era, and a prominent figure in the expressionist movement in German cinema during the 1920s. Murnau‘s best known work was his 1922 film Nosferatu, an adaptation of Bram Stoker‘s Dracula.[6] Becoming Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau was actually born as Friedrich Wilhelm Pumpe in Bielefeld, Germany. He grew up in…
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George Cayley and the Science of Aeronautics

George Cayley and the Science of Aeronautics

On December 27, 1773, English engineer and important pioneer of aeronautics Sir George Cayley was born. Many consider him the first true scientific aerial investigator and the first person to understand the underlying principles and forces of flight. About 100 years ago, an Englishman, Sir George Cayley, carried the science of flight to a point which it had never reached before and which it scarcely reached again during the last century. – Wilbur Wright, 1909…
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Ernst Moritz Arndt – Key Figure of the German Nationalism

Ernst Moritz Arndt – Key Figure of the German Nationalism

On December 26, 1769, German nationalist historian, writer and poet Ernst Moritz Arndt was born. Early in his life, he fought for the abolition of serfdom, later against Napoleonic dominance over Germany. Arndt had to flee to Sweden for some time due to his anti-French positions. He is one of the main founders of German nationalism and the 19th century movement for German unification. “He who does not respect and love his…
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Goethe’s Famous Muse Charlotte von Stein

Goethe’s Famous Muse Charlotte von Stein

On December 25, 1742, Charlotte Albertine Ernestine von Stein was born. She was a lady-in-waiting at the court in Weimar and famous for being a close friend to both Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Friedrich Schiller, whose work and life were strongly influenced by her. We already have had several articles on the works and life of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe at SciHi Blog.[4,5,6,7] No wonder, he was one of the most prominent German…
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How Reginald Fessenden sent the World’s First Radio Broadcast on Christmas Eve 1906

How Reginald Fessenden sent the World’s First Radio Broadcast on Christmas Eve 1906

It was on Christmas Evening in 1906, when Reginald Fessenden broadcasted the very first radio program in the United States including a speech by Fessenden, music from the phonograph, a violin solo, and a short reading of the bible heard on the US-Atlantic-Coasters. Reginald Fessenden Background Reginald Fessenden was educated at the Trinity College in Ontario followed by the Bishop’s College School in Quebec. During this period, he already taught mathematics to…
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The Nuremberg Chronicle and the History of the World

The Nuremberg Chronicle and the History of the World

On December 23, 1493, the German version of the Nuremberg Chronicle – in German ‘Schedelsche Weltchronik‘ – was published. It is one of the best-documented early printed books – an incunabulum – and one of the first to successfully integrate illustrations and text. Moreover, it was the most extensively illustrated book of the 15th century. OK, unless you are not a book history afficionado, a bibliophile eccentric or a historian with focus on…
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The Untranslatable Linguistic Elegance of Jean Racine

The Untranslatable Linguistic Elegance of Jean Racine

On Dec 22, 1637, French dramatist Jean Racine was born, one of the three great playwrights of 17th-century France, along with Molière and Corneille, and an important literary figure in the Western tradition. Racine’s plays displayed his mastery of the dodecasyllabic (12 syllable) French alexandrine. His writing is renowned for its elegance, purity, speed, and fury. The linguistic effects of Racine’s poetry are widely considered to be untranslatable,although many eminent poets have…
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