Monthly Archives: April 2019

The Triumph of the Game Boy

The Triumph of the Game Boy

On April 21, 1989, Nintendo presented the 8-bit handheld video game device called Game Boy, the first handheld console. The Game Boy and its successor, the Game Boy Color, have been tremendous successful by combined selling 118.69 million units worldwide. Upon its release in the United States, it sold its entire shipment of one million units within weeks. The device became a cultural icon of the early 1990s. Production of the device continued…
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Royal Botanist Charles Plumier

Royal Botanist Charles Plumier

On April 20, 1646, French botanist Charles Plumier was born. He is considered one of the most important of the botanical explorers of his time. He made three botanizing expeditions to the West Indies, which resulted in a massive work Nova Plantarum Americanarum Genera (1703–04) and was appointed botanist to king Louis XIV of France. A Friar and Botanist Charles Plumier was born in Marseille and entered the order of the Minims,…
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August Wilhelm Iffland and the Iffland Ring

August Wilhelm Iffland and the Iffland Ring

On April 19, 1759, German actor and dramatic author August Wilhelm Iffland was born. He was the most important actor of his age and is best remembered for playing the main part of Franz Moor in Friedrich Schiller‘s ‘The Robbers‘.[6] And there is this ring, the Iffland-Ring, which bears Iffland‘s likeness, and is borne by the most important German-speaking actor, as decided by his predecessor. When I first heard the story of the…
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The Natural History Museum in London

The Natural History Museum in London

On April 18, 1881, the Natural History Museum in London was opened for the public. It is one of the largest natural history museum‘s of the world. Sir Hans Sloane was an Irish physician, but also a collector who provided the foundation for the museum. He allowed his collections to be purchased by the British government below their actual value on the free market. The collections included dried plants, and animal and human…
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William Wilson and the First German Railway

William Wilson and the First German Railway

On April 17, 1862, British mechanical engineer William Wilson passed away. He was the first engine driver of the locomotive Adler on the first German railway. There was a time, when every little boy wanted to become an engineer or engine driver. Master of the huge and powerful machine, driving the rails, faster and faster. But, this was already way before my time. I wanted to become an astronaut. What did I…
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Charlie Chaplin – Making Motion Pictures the Art form of the 20th Century

Charlie Chaplin – Making Motion Pictures the Art form of the 20th Century

On April 16, 1889, English comic actor, filmmaker, and composer Charlie Chaplin was born. Chaplin rose to fame in the era of silent film. He became a worldwide icon through his screen persona, “The Tramp“, and is considered one of the most important figures in the history of the film industry with a career that spanned more than 75 years. I wanted everything to be a contradiction: the pants baggy, the coat tight,…
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Henry James and Impressionism in Literature

Henry James and Impressionism in Literature

On April 15, 1843, American-British author Henry James was born. James is regarded as a key transitional figure between literary realism and literary modernism, and is considered by many to be among the greatest novelists in the English language. He is best known for a number of novels dealing with the social and marital interplay between emigre Americans, English people, and continental Europeans – examples of such novels include The Portrait of…
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Peter Behrens – Pioneer of Modern Industrial Design

Peter Behrens – Pioneer of Modern Industrial Design

On April 14, 1868, German architect and designer Peter Behrens was born. Behrens was important to the modernist movement, and several of the movement’s leading names (including Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Le Corbusier and Walter Gropius) worked for him in earlier stages of their careers. “Design is not about decorating functional forms – it is about creating forms that accord with the character of the object and that show new technologies…
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Catherine de Medici and St. Bartholomew’s Day

Catherine de Medici and St. Bartholomew’s Day

On April 13, 1519, Italian noblewoman and Queen of France Catherine de’ Medici was born. Catherine played a key role in the reign of her sons, and is blamed for the excessive persecutions of the Hugenots in particular for the St. Bartholomew’s Day massacre of 1572, in which thousands of Huguenots were killed in Paris and throughout France. Catherine de Medici and Henry, Duke of Orleans Catherine de’ Medici was born into a…
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Robert Delaunay and Orphism Art Movement

Robert Delaunay and Orphism Art Movement

On April 12, 1885, French artist Robert Delaunay was born. Together with his wife Sonia Delaunay and others, he cofounded the Orphism art movement, noted for its use of strong colours and geometric shapes. Light in nature creates movement in color. The movement is provided by the relationships of uneven measures, of colors contrasts among themselves and constitutes Reality. – Robert Delaunay Early Years Robert Delauney grew up with his aunt and…
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